Ecce Homo Complete Works, Volume Seventeen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 9

the summer like a shadow in St. Moritz, and spent the following
winter, the most sunless of my life, like a shadow in Naumburg. This
was my lowest ebb. During this period I wrote _The Wanderer and His
Shadow._ Without a doubt I was conversant with shadows then. The winter
that followed, my first winter in Genoa, brought forth that sweetness
and spirituality which is almost inseparable from extreme poverty
of blood and muscle, in the shape of _The Dawn of Day,_ The perfect
lucidity and cheerfulness, the intellectual exuberance even, that this
work reflects, coincides, in my case, not only with the most profound
physiological weakness, but also with an excess of suffering. In the
midst of the agony of a headache which lasted three days, accompanied
by violent nausea, I was possessed of most singular dialectical
clearness, and in absolutely cold blood I then thought out things, for
which, in my more healthy moments, I am not enough of a climber, not
sufficiently subtle, not sufficiently cold. My readers perhaps know
to what extent I consider dialectic a symptom of decadence, as, for
instance, in the most famous of all cases--the case of Socrates. All
the morbid disturbances of the intellect, even that semi-stupor which
accompanies fever, have, unto this day, remained completely unknown to
me; and for my first information concerning their nature and frequency,
I was obliged to have recourse to the learned works which have been
compiled on the subject. My circulation is slow. No one has ever been
able to detect fever in me. A doctor who treated me for some time as
a nerve patient finally declared: "No! there is nothing wrong with
your nerves, it is simply I who am nervous." It has been absolutely
impossible to ascertain any local degeneration in me, nor any organic
stomach trouble, however much I may have suffered from profound
weakness of the gastric system as the result of general exhaustion.
Even my eye trouble, which sometimes approached so parlously near
to blindness, was only an effect and not a cause; for, whenever my
general vital condition improved, my power of vision also increased.
Having admitted all this, do I need to say that I am experienced in
questions of decadence? I know them inside and out. Even that filigree
art of prehension and comprehension in general, that feeling for
delicate shades of difference, that psychology of "seeing through brick
walls," and whatever else I may be able to do, was first learnt then,
and is the specific gift of that period during which everything in
me was subtilised,--observation itself, together with all

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with We Philologists Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Volume 8

Page 0
Page 2
sufficiently shown by observing how few people have any real capacity for their professions and callings, and how many square pegs there are in round holes: happy and well chosen instances are quite exceptional, like happy marriages, and even these latter are not brought about by reason.
Page 4
It follows from this that old men are well suited to be philologists if they were not such during that portion of their life which was richest in experiences.
Page 7
we should do so in order that we may not be too severe on ourselves.
Page 10
Philology as a means of instruction is the clear expression of a predominating conception regarding the value of antiquity, and the best methods of education.
Page 12
But if this antiquity has been wrongly valued, then the whole foundation upon which the high position of the philologist is based suddenly collapses.
Page 14
41 There has been an age-long battle between the Germans and antiquity, _i.
Page 15
They could not but clash; for a sincere leaning towards antiquity renders one unchristian.
Page 17
In order to understand how ineffectual this study is, just look at our philologists .
Page 20
however, that Winckelmann was lacking in the more common talent of philological criticism, or else he could not use it properly: "A rare mixture of a cool head and a minute and restless solicitude for hundreds of things which, insignificant in themselves, were combined in his case with a fire that swallowed up those little things, and with a gift of divination which is a vexation and an annoyance to the uninitiated.
Page 21
Its effect is one more illusion of the modern man.
Page 24
Page 26
The "wide separation of will and intellect" indicates the genius, and is seen in the Greeks.
Page 27
they instinctively made the utmost exertions to secure a safe refuge for themselves (in the _polis_).
Page 28
On the whole, however, their state is merely a caricature of the polls, a corruption of Hellas.
Page 30
the expenditure of intelligence is much less lavish when people have only _one_ God.
Page 35
In regard.
Page 36
Page 37
The philologist is thus a great sceptic in the present conditions of our culture and training .
Page 40
The highest form: the conquest of the ideal by a backward movement from tendencies to institutions, and from institutions to men.