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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 59

others, to provide a motive for subsequent actions; words of praise are
flung to the runners on the course, not to the one who has reached
the goal. Neither punishment nor reward is anything that comes to one
as _one's own;_ they are given from motives of usefulness, without one
having a right to claim them. Hence we must say, "The wise man gives
no reward because the deed has been well done," just as we have said,
"The wise man does not punish because evil has been committed, but in
order that evil shall not be committed." If punishment and reward no
longer existed, then the strongest motives which deter men from certain
actions and impel them to certain other actions, would also no longer
exist; the needs of mankind require their continuance; and inasmuch as
punishment and reward, blame and praise, work most sensibly on vanity,
the same need requires the continuance of vanity.


AT THE WATERFALL.--In looking at a water-fall we imagine that there is
freedom of will and fancy in the countless turnings, twistings, and
breakings of the waves; but everything is compulsory, every movement
can be mathematically calculated. So it is also with human actions;
one would have to be able to calculate every single action beforehand
if one were all-knowing; equally so all progress of knowledge, every
error, all malice. The one who acts certainly labours under the
illusion of voluntariness; if the world's wheel were to stand still
for a moment and an all-knowing, calculating reason were there to make
use of this pause, it could foretell the future of every creature to
the remotest times, and mark out every track upon which that wheel
would continue to roll. The delusion of the acting agent about himself,
the supposition of a free will, belongs to this mechanism which still
remains to be calculated.


IRRESPONSIBILITY AND INNOCENCE.--The complete irresponsibility of
man for his actions and his nature is the bitterest drop which he
who understands must swallow if he was accustomed to see the patent
of nobility of his humanity in responsibility and duty. All his
valuations, distinctions, disinclinations, are thereby deprived of
value and become false,--his deepest feeling for the sufferer and
the hero was based on an error; he may no longer either praise or
blame, for it is absurd to praise and blame nature and necessity. In
the same way as he loves a fine work of art, but does not praise it,
because it can do nothing for itself; in the same way as he regards
plants, so must he regard his own actions and those of

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 4
78 _et seq.
Page 5
Page 8
Far be it from me to value Wagner's music _in extenso_ here--this is scarcely a fitting opportunity to do so;--but I think it might well be possible to show, on purely psychological grounds, how impossible it was for a man like Wagner to produce real art.
Page 9
But, to repeat what I have already said, these abnormal symptoms are not in the least incompatible with Wagner's music, they are rather its very cause, the root from which it springs.
Page 12
It comes forward lightly, gracefully, stylishly.
Page 14
For, as a rule, artists are no better than the rest of the world, they are even worse--they _misunderstand_ love.
Page 16
Page 17
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Siegfried continues as he began: he follows only his first impulse, he flings all tradition, all respect, all _fear_ to the winds.
Page 25
A man is an actor when he is ahead of mankind in his possession of this one view, that everything which has to strike people as true, must not be true.
Page 28
Wagner is godly.
Page 29
Tremulously they listen while the _great symbols_ in his art seem to make themselves heard from out the misty distance, with a gentle roll of thunder, and they are not at all displeased if at times it gets a little grey, gruesome and cold.
Page 40
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} I have my readers everywhere, in Vienna, St Petersburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Paris, and New York--but _I have none_ in Europe's Flat-land--Germany.
Page 41
My objections to Wagner's music are physiological objections.
Page 44
, and of the art of Racine and Claude Lorrain, in _ringing_ gold; only in Beethoven's and Rossini's music did the Eighteenth Century sing itself out--the century of enthusiasm, broken ideals, and _fleeting joy_.
Page 46
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} He tortured himself when he wrote, just as Pascal tortured himself when he thought--the feelings of both were inclined to be "non-egoistic.
Page 49
Already in the summer of 1876, when the first festival at Bayreuth was at its height, I took leave of Wagner in my soul.
Page 51
The manifold torments of the psychologist who has discovered this ruination, who discovers once, and then discovers almost repeatedly throughout all history, this universal inner "hopelessness" of higher men, this eternal "too late!" in every sense--may perhaps one day be the cause of his "going to the dogs" himself.
Page 56
He who accomplishes anything that lies beyond the vision and the experience of his acquaintances,--provokes envy and hatred masked as pity,--prejudice regards the work as decadence, disease, seduction.
Page 57
Both carry on their chase at the same speed, each is as blind and as unjust as the other.
Page 59
Dramatists are _borrowers_--their principal source of wealth--artistic thoughts drawn from the epos.