Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 1 Complete Works, Volume Six

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 116

RISE OF GENIUS.--The ingenuity with which a prisoner seeks the
means of freedom, the most cold-blooded and patient employment of every
smallest advantage, can teach us of what tools Nature sometimes makes
use in order to produce Genius,--a word which I beg will be understood
without any mythological and religious flavour; she, Nature, begins it
in a dungeon and excites to the utmost its desire to free itself. Or
to give another picture: some one who has completely _lost his way_
in a wood, but who with unusual energy strives to reach the open in
one direction or another, will sometimes discover a new path which
nobody knew previously, thus arise geniuses, who are credited with
originality. It has already been said that mutilation, crippling,
or the loss of some important organ, is frequently the cause of the
unusual development of another organ, because this one has to fulfil
its own and also another function. This explains the source of many a
brilliant talent. These general remarks on the origin of genius may be
applied to the special case, the origin of the perfect free spirit.


increase when in equatorial regions the sun shines upon the seas
with greater force than hitherto, so may a very strong and spreading
free-spiritism be a proof that somewhere or other the force of feeling
has grown extraordinarily.


THE VOICE OF HISTORY.--In general, history _appears_ to teach the
following about the production of genius: it ill-treats and torments
mankind--calls to the passions of envy, hatred, and rivalry--drives
them to desperation, people against people, throughout whole centuries!
Then, perhaps, like a stray spark from the terrible energy thereby
aroused, there flames up suddenly the light of genius; the will, like
a horse maddened by the rider's spur, thereupon breaks out and leaps
over into another domain. He who could attain to a comprehension of the
production of genius, and desires to carry out practically the manner
in which Nature usually goes to work, would have to be just as evil and
regardless as Nature itself. But perhaps we have not heard rightly.


THE VALUE OF THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.--It is possible that the
production of genius is reserved to a limited period of mankind's
history. For we must not expect from the future everything that
very defined conditions were able to produce; for instance, not the
astounding effects of religious feeling. This has had its day, and
much that is very? good can never grow again, because it could grow
out of that alone. There will never again be a horizon of

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

Page 3
what then becomes of the classicism of the Greeks and Romans? The points to be proved are-- (_a_) The disparity between philologists and the ancients.
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Overstraining of the memory--very common among philologists, together with a poor development of the judgment.
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How has it acquired this power? Calculations of the different prejudices in its favour.
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Why philologists precisely? This is not altogether such a matter of course as the case of a professor of medicine, who is also a practical physician and surgeon.
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It must be a gold mine, thinks the spectator.
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Secondly, the help of ancient culture was found to be necessary as a weapon for the intellectual protection of Christianity.
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the human element which may be seen everywhere and among all peoples, but among the Greeks it is seen in a state of nakedness and inhumanity which cannot be dispensed with for purposes of instruction.
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52 The teacher of reading and writing, and the reviser, were the first types of the philologist.
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" In Winckelmann's youth there were no philological studies apart from the ordinary bread-winning branches of the science--people read and explained the ancients in order to prepare themselves for the better interpretation of the Bible and the Corpus Juris.
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that is a goal which dazzles the eyes of our dreamers of the future! It was, on the contrary, dreadful; for this is a matter that.
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128 It is exceedingly doubtful whether we should draw any conclusion in regard to nationality and relationship with other nations from languages.
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136 Greek morality is not based on religion, but on the _polis_.
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140 The incarnate appearance of gods, as in Sappho's invocation to Aphrodite, must not be taken as poetic licence .
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In any case, it would be my desire to live together with such people.
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163 With the dissolution of Christianity a great part of antiquity has become incomprehensible to us, for instance, the entire religious basis of life.
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The philologist is thus a great sceptic in the present conditions of our culture and training .
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What is the extent of man's power over things? This is the question in connection with all education.