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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 23

ages still operates too
strongly, because the two ages still stand too closely together;
the individual man himself now goes through too many inward and
outward developments for him to venture to arrange his own lifetime
permanently, and once and for all. An entirely modern man, for
instance, who is going to build himself a house, has a feeling as if
he were going to immure himself alive in a mausoleum.


23.

THE AGE OF COMPARISON.--The less men are fettered by tradition, the
greater becomes the inward activity of their motives; the greater,
again, in proportion thereto, the outward restlessness, the confused
flux of mankind, the polyphony of strivings. For whom is there still an
absolute compulsion to bind himself and his descendants to one place?
For whom is there still anything strictly compulsory? As all styles of
arts are imitated simultaneously, so also are all grades and kinds of
morality, of customs, of cultures. Such an age obtains its importance
because in it the various views of the world, customs, and cultures can
be compared and experienced simultaneously,--which was formerly not
possible with the always localised sway of every culture, corresponding
to the rooting of all artistic styles in place and time. An increased
æsthetic feeling will now at last decide amongst so many forms
presenting themselves for comparison; it will allow the greater number,
that is to say all those rejected by it, to die out. In the same way
a selection amongst the forms and customs of the higher moralities is
taking place, of which the aim can be nothing else than the downfall of
the lower moralities. It is the age of comparison! That is its pride,
but more justly also its grief. Let us not be afraid of this grief!
Rather will we comprehend as adequately as possible the task our age
sets us: posterity will bless us for doing so,--a posterity which knows
itself to be as much above the terminated original national cultures as
above the culture of comparison, but which looks back with gratitude on
both kinds of culture as upon antiquities worthy of veneration.


24.

THE POSSIBILITY OF PROGRESS.--When a scholar of the ancient culture
forswears the company of men who believe in progress, he does quite
right. For the greatness and goodness of ancient culture lie behind
it, and historical education compels one to admit that they can never
be fresh again; an unbearable stupidity or an equally insufferable
fanaticism would be necessary to deny this. But men can _consciously_
resolve to develop themselves towards a new culture; whilst formerly
they only developed unconsciously and by chance, they can now

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions; Homer and Classical Philology Complete Works, Volume Three

Page 4
However frequently my general observations may seem to bear particular application to our own conditions here, I personally have no desire to draw these inferences, and do not wish to be held responsible if they should be drawn, for the simple reason that I consider myself still far too much an inexperienced stranger among you, and much too superficially acquainted with your methods, to pretend to pass judgment upon any such special order of scholastic establishments, or to predict the probable course their development will follow.
Page 9
This being so, I presume I may take it for granted that in a quarter where so much is _done_ for the things of which I wish to speak, people must also _think_ a good deal about them.
Page 14
bitter tones: "People should not have points of view, but thoughts!" And then his companion added: "Be respectful when a man such as this even makes mistakes!" Meanwhile, my friend, who had reloaded, fired a shot at the pentagram, after having cried: "Look out!" This sudden report behind his back made the old man savage; once more he turned round and looked sourly at my friend, after which he said to his companion in a feeble voice: "What shall we do? These young men will be the death of me with their firing.
Page 33
The words: 'formal education' belong to that crude kind of unphilosophical phraseology which one should do one's utmost to get rid of; for there is no such thing as 'the opposite of formal education.
Page 34
"Only by means of such discipline can the young man acquire that physical loathing for the beloved and much-admired 'elegance' of style of our newspaper manufacturers and novelists, and for the 'ornate style' of our literary men; by it alone is he irrevocably elevated at a stroke above a whole host of absurd questions and scruples, such, for instance, as whether Auerbach and Gutzkow are really poets, for his disgust at both will be so great that he will be unable to read them any longer, and thus the problem will be solved for him.
Page 41
yet ripe for a higher culture, a culture founded upon that of the ancients: the neglected state of linguistic instruction; the forcing of students into learned historical paths, instead of giving them a practical training; the connection of certain practices, encouraged in the public schools, with the objectionable spirit of our journalistic publicity--all these easily perceptible phenomena of the teaching of German led to the painful certainty that the most beneficial of those forces which have come down to us from classical antiquity are not yet known in our public schools: forces which would train students for the struggle against the barbarism of the present age, and which will perhaps once more transform the public schools into the arsenals and workshops of this struggle.
Page 43
But it is just at this point that one should learn to hear aright: it is here, without being disconcerted by the thundering noise of the education-mongers, that we must confront those who talk so tirelessly about the educational necessities of their time.
Page 48
And such a usefully employed philologist would now fain be a teacher! He now undertakes to teach the youth of the public schools something about the ancient writers, although he himself has read them without any particular impression, much less with insight! What a dilemma! Antiquity has said nothing to him, consequently he has nothing to say about antiquity.
Page 56
If you wish to guide a young man on the path of true culture, beware of interrupting his naive, confident, and, as it were, immediate and personal relationship with nature.
Page 59
cliff, so it now seemed to us that we had hastened to meet the great danger rather than run away from it.
Page 63
And would you give the name of arguments to those distorted, clumsy, narrow-minded, ungainly, crippled things? Yes, I have just now been listening to the fruits of some of this present-day culture, and my ears are still ringing with the sound of historical 'self-understood' things, of over-wise and pitiless historical reasonings! Mark this, thou unprofaned Nature: thou hast grown old, and for thousands of years this starry sky has spanned the space above thee--but thou hast never yet heard such conceited and, at bottom, mischievous chatter as the talk of the present day! So you are proud of your poets and artists, my good Teutons? You point to them and brag about them to foreign countries, do you? And because it has given you no trouble to have them amongst you, you have formed the pleasant theory that you need not concern yourselves further with them? Isn't that so, my inexperienced children: they come of their own free will, the stork brings them to you! Who would dare to mention a midwife! You deserve an earnest teaching, eh? You should be proud of the fact that all the noble and brilliant men we have mentioned were prematurely suffocated, worn out, and crushed through you, through your barbarism? You think without shame of Lessing, who, on account of your stupidity, perished in battle against your ludicrous gods and idols, the evils of your theatres, your learned men, and your theologians, without once daring to lift himself to the height of that immortal flight for which he was brought into the world.
Page 70
And we were thus rather unwillingly preparing to depart when something else suddenly brought him to a standstill, and the foot he had just raised sank hesitatingly to the ground again.
Page 73
The teaching of German composition must be at the service of this independence: the individual must enjoy his opinions and carry out his designs early, so that he may be able to travel alone and without crutches.
Page 74
The student hears.
Page 86
These philological aims were pursued sometimes with greater ardour and sometimes with less, in accordance with the degree of culture and the development of the taste of a particular period; but, on the other hand, the followers of this science are in the habit of regarding the aims which correspond to their several abilities as _the_ aims of philology; whence it comes about that the estimation of philology in public opinion depends upon the weight of the personalities of the philologists! At the present time--that is to say, in a period which has seen men distinguished in almost every department of philology--a general uncertainty of judgment has increased more and more, and likewise a general relaxation of interest and participation in philological problems.
Page 91
The difficulty of answering this question, however, is increased when we seek a reply in another direction, from the standpoint of the poems themselves which have come down to us.
Page 94
With the superstition which presupposes poetising masses is connected another: that popular poetry is limited to one particular period of a people's history and afterwards dies out--which indeed follows as a consequence of the first superstition I have mentioned.
Page 95
A certain mechanism forms part of the method: it must be explained--i.
Page 96
On the other hand, again, an old tradition tells of the contest between Homer and Hesiod, which proves that when these two names were mentioned people instinctively thought of two epic tendencies, the heroic and the didactic; and that the signification of the name "Homer" was included in the material category and not in the formal.
Page 99
We grant that philology is not the creator of this world, not the composer of that immortal music; but is it not a merit, and a great merit, to be a mere virtuoso, and let the world for the first time hear that music which lay so long in obscurity, despised and undecipherable? Who was Homer previously to Wolf's brilliant investigations? A good old man, known at best as a "natural genius," at all events the child of a barbaric age, replete with faults against good taste and good morals.