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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 120

This Deity is unveiled ever more and
more throughout the changes and fortunes of mankind; it is not all
blind mechanism, a senseless and aimless confusion of forces. The
deification of the process of being is a metaphysical outlook, seen as
from a lighthouse overlooking the sea of history, in which a far-too
historical generation of scholars found their comfort. This must not
arouse anger, however erroneous the view may be. Only those who, like
Schopenhauer, deny development also feel none of the misery of this
historical wave, and therefore, because they know nothing of that
becoming God and the need of His supposition, they should in justice
withhold their scorn.


is desired for mankind is necessarily in many respects also a worse
future, for it is foolishness to suppose that a new, higher grade of
humanity will combine in itself all the good points of former grades,
and must produce, for instance, the highest form of art. Rather has
every season its own advantages and charms, which exclude those of
the other seasons. That which has grown out of religion and in its
neighbourhood cannot grow again if this has been destroyed; at the
most, straggling and belated off-shoots may lead to deception on that
point, like the occasional outbreaks of remembrance of the old art, a
condition that probably betrays the feeling of loss and deprivation,
but which is no proof of the power from which a new art might be born.


individual attains, the less field there is left for mockery and scorn.
Voltaire thanked Heaven from his heart for the invention of marriage
and the Church, by which it had so well provided for our cheer. But he
and his time, and before him the sixteenth century, had exhausted their
ridicule on this theme; everything that is now made fun of on this
theme is out of date, and above all too cheap to tempt a purchaser.
Causes are now inquired after; ours is an age of seriousness. Who
cares now to discern, laughingly, the difference between reality and
pretentious sham, between that which man _is_ and that which he wishes
to represent; the feeling of this contrast has quite a different effect
if we seek reasons. The more thoroughly any one understands life,
the less he will mock, though finally, perhaps, he will mock at the
"thoroughness of his understanding."


THE GENIUS OF CULTURE.--If any one wished to imagine a genius of
culture, what would it be like? It handles as its tools falsehood,
force, and

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

Page 0
Our grandfather Oehler was a bright, clever man, and.
Page 1
As a result of the wars in the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, our great-grandfather lost the greater part of his property.
Page 9
I must, however, emphasise this fact here, that neither "Homer and Classical Philology," nor _The Birth of Tragedy,_ represents a beginning in my brother's career.
Page 10
Moreover, during his years at Leipzig, when he consciously gave himself up to philological research, he began to engross himself in Schopenhauer, and was thereby won by philosophy for ever.
Page 16
A fundamental question is the relation of the Greek to pain, his degree of sensibility,--did this relation remain constant? or did it veer about?--the question, whether his ever-increasing _longing for beauty,_ for festivals, gaieties, new cults, did really grow out of want, privation, melancholy, pain? For suppose even this to be true--and Pericles (or Thucydides) intimates as much in the great Funeral Speech:--whence then the opposite longing, which appeared first in the order of time, the _longing for the ugly_, the good, resolute desire of the Old Hellene for pessimism, for tragic myth, for the picture of all that is terrible, evil, enigmatical, destructive, fatal at the basis of existence,--whence then must tragedy have sprung? Perhaps from _joy,_ from strength, from exuberant health, from over-fullness.
Page 23
And it is perhaps not only the agreeable and friendly pictures that he realises in himself with such perfect understanding: the earnest, the troubled, the dreary, the gloomy, the sudden checks, the tricks of fortune, the uneasy presentiments, in short, the whole "Divine Comedy" of life, and the Inferno, also pass before him, not merely like pictures on the wall--for he too lives and suffers in these scenes,--and yet not without that fleeting sensation of appearance.
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455 ff.
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It is for this same reason that the innermost heart of Nature experiences that indescribable joy in the naïve artist and in the naïve work of art, which is likewise only "an appearance of appearance.
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What kind of art would that be which was extracted from the concept of the spectator, and whereof we are to regard the "spectator as such" as the true form? The spectator without the play is something absurd.
Page 46
Knowledge kills action, action requires the veil of illusion--it is this lesson which Hamlet teaches, and not the cheap wisdom of John-a-Dreams who from too much reflection, as it were from a surplus of possibilities, does not arrive at action at all.
Page 78
He who once makes intelligible to himself how, after the death of Socrates, the mystagogue of science, one philosophical school succeeds another, like wave upon wave,--how an entirely unfore-shadowed universal development of the thirst for knowledge in the widest compass of the cultured world (and as the specific task for every one highly gifted) led science on to the high sea from which since then it has never again been able to be completely ousted; how through the universality of this movement a common net of thought was first stretched over the entire globe, with prospects, moreover, of conformity to law in an entire solar system;--he who realises all this, together with the amazingly high pyramid of our present-day knowledge, cannot fail to see in Socrates the turning-point and vortex of so-called universal history.
Page 80
Presently also the forces will be designated which seem to me to guarantee _a re-birth of tragedy_--and who knows what other blessed hopes for the German genius! Before we plunge into the midst of these struggles, let us array ourselves in the armour of our hitherto acquired knowledge.
Page 81
) To this most important perception of æsthetics (with which, taken in a serious sense, æsthetics properly commences), Richard Wagner, by way of confirmation of its eternal truth, affixed his seal, when he asserted in his _Beethoven_ that music must be judged according to æsthetic principles quite different from those which apply to the plastic arts, and not, in general, according to the category of beauty: although an erroneous æsthetics, inspired by a misled and degenerate art, has by virtue of the concept of beauty prevailing in the plastic domain accustomed itself to demand of music an effect analogous to that of the works of plastic art, namely the suscitating _delight in beautiful forms.
Page 90
These three specimens of illusion are on the whole designed only for the more nobly endowed natures, who in general feel profoundly the weight and burden of existence, and must be deluded into forgetfulness of their displeasure by exquisite stimulants.
Page 92
With this knowledge a culture is inaugurated which I venture to designate as a tragic culture; the most important characteristic of which is that wisdom takes the place of science as the highest end,--wisdom, which, uninfluenced by the seductive distractions of the sciences, turns with unmoved eye to the comprehensive view of the world, and seeks to apprehend therein the eternal suffering as its own with sympathetic feelings of love.
Page 96
The first case furnishes the elegy in its narrower signification, the second the idyll in its widest sense.
Page 101
method and with the supercilious air of our present cultured historiography.
Page 102
But how suddenly this gloomily depicted wilderness of our exhausted culture changes when the Dionysian magic touches it! A hurricane seizes everything decrepit, decaying, collapsed, and stunted; wraps it whirlingly into a red cloud of dust; and carries it like a vulture into the air.
Page 104
By way of return for this service, music imparts to tragic myth such an impressive and convincing metaphysical significance as could never be attained by word and image, without this unique aid; and the tragic spectator in particular experiences thereby the sure presentiment of supreme joy to which the path through destruction and negation leads; so that he thinks he hears, as it were, the innermost abyss of things speaking audibly to him.
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word, from within outwards, obvious to us.