Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 83

has ever existed; but this does
not alter the fact that I shall become the most beneficent. I know the
joy of _annihilation_ to a degree which is commensurate with my power
to annihilate. In both cases I obey my Dionysian nature, which knows
not how to separate the negative deed from the saying of yea. I am the
first immoralist, and in this sense I am essentially the annihilator.


People have never asked me as they should have done, what the name
of Zarathustra precisely meant in my mouth, in the mouth of the
first immoralist; for that which distinguishes this Persian from all
others in the past is the very fact that he was the exact reverse
of an immoralist. Zarathustra was the first to see in the struggle
between good and evil the essential wheel in the working of things.
The translation of morality into the realm of metaphysics, as force,
cause, end-in-itself, is his work. But the very question suggests
its own answer. Zarathustra created this most portentous of all
errors,--morality; therefore he must be the first to expose it. Not
only because he has had longer and greater experience of the subject
than any other thinker,--all history is indeed the experimental
refutation of the theory of the so-called moral order of things,--but
because of the more important fact that Zarathustra was the most
truthful of thinkers. In his teaching alone is truthfulness upheld as
the highest virtue--that is to say, as the reverse of the cowardice
of the "idealist" who takes to his heels at the sight of reality.
Zarathustra has more pluck in his body than all other thinkers put
together. To tell the truth and to aim straight: that is the first
Persian virtue. Have I made myself clear? ... The overcoming of
morality by itself, through truthfulness, the moralist's overcoming of
himself in his opposite--in me--that is what the name Zarathustra means
in my mouth.


In reality two negations are involved in my title Immoralist. I first
of all deny the type of man that has hitherto been regarded as the
highest--the _good,_ the _kind,_ and the _charitable_; and I also
deny that kind of morality which has become recognised and paramount
as morality-in-itself--I speak of the morality of decadence, or, to
use a still cruder term, Christian morality. I would agree to the
second of the two negations being regarded as the more decisive, for,
reckoned as a whole, the overestimation of goodness and kindness seems
to me already a consequence of decadence, a symptom of weakness, and
incompatible with any ascending and yea-saying life. Negation and
annihilation are inseparable

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Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

Page 0
_) At the present day no clear and consistent opinion seems to be held regarding Classical Philology.
Page 1
For opponents of this sort, however, philology is merely a useless, harmless, and inoffensive pastime, an object of laughter and not of hate.
Page 2
When, however, even the friends of antiquity, possessed of such doubts and hesitations, point to our present classical philology as something questionable, what influence may we not ascribe to the outbursts of the "realists" and the claptrap of the heroes of the passing hour? To answer the latter on this occasion, especially when we consider the nature of the present assembly, would be highly injudicious; at any rate, if I do not wish to meet with the fate of that sophist who, when in Sparta, publicly undertook to praise and defend Herakles, when he was interrupted with the query: "But who then has found fault with him?".
Page 3
where individual scientific investigation comes into contact with the whole life of science and culture--if any one, in other words, indicates a historico-cultural valuation as the central point of the question, he must also, in the province.
Page 4
To explain the different general impression of the two books on the assumption that _one_ poet composed them both, scholars sought assistance by referring to the seasons of the poet's life, and compared the poet of the _Odyssey_ to the setting sun.
Page 5
Page 6
"For who would wage war with the gods: who, even with the one god?" asks Goethe even, who, though a genius, strove in vain to solve that mysterious problem of the Homeric inaccessibility.
Page 7
If, however, this construction was not clearly seen, this fault was due to the way the poems were handed down to posterity and not to the poet himself--it was the result of retouchings and interpolations, owing to which the original setting of the work gradually became obscured.
Page 8
By the misapplication of a tempting analogical inference, people had reached the point of applying in the domain of the intellect and artistic ideas that principle of greater individuality which is truly applicable only in the domain of the will.
Page 9
Now, however, such a contrast between popular poetry and individual poetry does not exist at all; on the contrary, all poetry, and of course popular poetry also, requires an intermediary individuality.
Page 10
A certain mechanism forms part of the method: it must be explained--i.
Page 11
With this process of aesthetic separation, the conception of Homer gradually became narrower: the old material meaning of the name "Homer" as the father of the heroic epic poem, was changed into the aesthetic meaning of Homer, the father of poetry in general, and likewise its original prototype.
Page 12
The _Iliad_ is not a garland, but a bunch of flowers.
Page 13
The decision on this point has already been given.
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this statement was, unfortunately, not justified.
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