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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 87

circumstances become a great
improvisatore; but artistic improvisation ranks low in comparison with
serious and laboriously chosen artistic thoughts. All great men were
great workers, unwearied not only in invention but also in rejection,
reviewing, transforming, and arranging.


INSPIRATION AGAIN.--If the productive power has been suspended for a
length of time, and has been hindered in its outflow by some obstacle,
there comes at last such a sudden out-pouring, as if an immediate
inspiration were taking place without previous inward working,
consequently a miracle. This constitutes the familiar deception, in
the continuance of which, as we have said, the interest of all artists
is rather too much concerned. The capital has only _accumulated,_ it
has not suddenly fallen down from heaven. Moreover, such apparent
inspirations are seen elsewhere, for instance in the realm of goodness,
of virtue and of vice.


THE SUFFERING OF GENIUS AND ITS VALUE.--The artistic genius desires
to give pleasure, but if his mind is on a very high plane he does not
easily find any one to share his pleasure; he offers entertainment
but nobody accepts it. This gives him, in certain circumstances, a
comically touching pathos; for he has really no right to force pleasure
on men. He pipes, but none will dance: can that be tragic? Perhaps.--As
compensation for this deprivation, however, he finds more pleasure in
creating than the rest of mankind experiences in all other species
of activity. His sufferings are considered as exaggerated, because
the sound of his complaints is louder and his tongue more eloquent;
and yet _sometimes_ his sufferings are really very great; but only
because his ambition and his envy are so great. The learned genius,
like Kepler and Spinoza, is usually not so covetous and does not make
such an exhibition of his really greater sufferings and deprivations.
He can reckon with greater certainty on future fame and can afford to
do without the present, whilst an artist who does this always plays a
desperate game that makes his heart ache. In very rare cases, when in
one and the same individual are combined the genius of power and of
knowledge and the moral genius, there is added to the above-mentioned
pains that species of pain which must be regarded as the most
curious exception in the world; those extra- and super-personal
sensations which are experienced on behalf of a nation, of humanity,
of all civilisation, all suffering existence, which acquire their
value through the connection with particularly difficult and remote
perceptions (pity in itself is worth but little). But what standard,
what proof is there for its genuineness? Is it not almost imperative to
be mistrustful of

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