Homer and Classical Philology

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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I cannot help thinking, however, that some of
these scruples are still sounding in the ears of not a few in this
gathering; for they may still be frequently heard from the lips of noble
and artistically gifted men--as even an upright philologist must feel
them, and feel them most painfully, at moments when his spirits are
downcast. For the single individual there is no deliverance from the
dissensions referred to; but what we contend and inscribe on our banner
is the fact that classical philology, as a whole, has nothing whatsoever
to do with the quarrels and bickerings of its individual disciples. The
entire scientific and artistic movement of this peculiar centaur is
bent, though with cyclopic slowness, upon bridging over the gulf between
the ideal antiquity--which is perhaps only the magnificent blossoming of
the Teutonic longing for the south--and the real antiquity; and thus
classical philology pursues only the final end of its own being, which
is the fusing together of primarily hostile impulses that have only
forcibly been brought together. Let us talk as we will about the
unattainability of this goal, and even designate the goal itself as an
illogical pretension--the aspiration for it is very real; and I should
like to try to make it clear by an example that the most significant
steps of classical philology never lead away from the ideal antiquity,
but to it; and that, just when people are speaking unwarrantably of the
overthrow of sacred shrines, new and more worthy altars are being
erected. Let us then examine the so-called _Homeric question_ from this
standpoint, a question the most important problem of which Schiller
called a scholastic barbarism.

The important problem referred to is _the question of the personality of

We now meet everywhere with the firm opinion that the question of
Homer's personality is no longer timely, and that it is quite a
different thing from the real "Homeric question." It may be added that,
for a given period--such as our present philological period, for
example--the centre of discussion may be removed from the problem of the
poet's personality; for even now a painstaking experiment is being made
to reconstruct the Homeric poems without the aid of personality,
treating them as the work of several different persons. But if the
centre of a scientific question is rightly seen to be where the swelling
tide of new views has risen up, i.e. 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

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Text Comparison with The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms.

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24) that he never attacked persons as persons.
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In the first period of his relationship with Wagner, he thought that he had found the man who was prepared to lead in this direction.
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78 _et seq.
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From first to last this problem is not to be settled by "facts.
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It was this that caused him to suffer.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} In order to undertake such a mission I was obliged to exercise self-discipline:--I had to side against all that was morbid in myself including Wagner, including Schopenhauer, including the whole of modern _humanity_.
Page 15
--That one can never be too sure of the spouse one actually marries (for the third time, the case of "Lohengrin").
Page 19
Oh, the rattlesnake joy of the old Master precisely because he always saw "the little children" coming unto him! I place this point of view first and foremost: Wagner's art is diseased.
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was a gloomy hate throughout almost three-quarters of Wagner's life.
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In the art of seduction "Parsifal" will for ever maintain its rank as a stroke of genius.
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The age either has the virtues of _ascending_ life, in which case it resists the virtues of degeneration with all its deepest instincts.
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_Le moi est toujours haissable.
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A certain catholicism of feeling, and a predilection for some ancient indigenous (so-called national) ideals and eccentricities, was its first condition.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Had the _hatred of life_ become dominant in him as in Flaubert? For "Parsifal" is a work of rancour, of revenge, of the most secret concoction of poisons with which to make an end of the first conditions of life, _it is a bad work_.
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--But let no one think that one has therefore become a spirit of gloom or a blind owl! Even love of life is still possible,--but it is a _different kind_ of love.
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_"{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} "Is it true," a little girl once asked her mother, "that the beloved Father is everywhere?--I think it.
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Hight), pp.