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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 90

persuade ourselves that the faculty for
doing this is quite extraordinarily wonderful, a very rare case, or,
if we are religiously inclined, a grace from above. Thus the cult of
genius fosters our vanity, our self-love, for it is only when we think
of it as very far removed from us, as a _miraculum,_ that it does not
wound us (even Goethe, who was free from envy, called Shakespeare a
star of the farthest heavens, whereby we are reminded of the line "die
Sterne, die begehrt man nicht".[1]) But, apart from those suggestions
of our vanity, the activity of a genius does not seem so radically
different from the activity of a mechanical inventor, of an astronomer
or historian or strategist. All these forms of activity are explicable
if we realise men whose minds are active in one special direction, who
make use of everything as material, who always eagerly study their
own inward life and that of others, who find types and incitements
everywhere, who never weary in the employment of their means. Genius
does nothing but learn how to lay stones, then to build, always to
seek for material and always to work upon it. Every human activity is
marvellously complicated, and not only that of genius, but it is no
"miracle." Now whence comes the belief that genius is found only in
artists, orators, and philosophers, that they alone have "intuition"
(by which we credit them with a kind of magic glass by means of which
they see straight into one's "being")? It is clear that men only speak
of genius where the workings of a great intellect are most agreeable
to them and they have no desire to feel envious. To call any one
"divine" is as much as saying "here we have no occasion for rivalry."
Thus it is that everything completed and perfect is stared at, and
everything incomplete is undervalued. Now nobody can see how the work
of an artist has _developed_; that is its advantage, for everything of
which the development is seen is looked on coldly The perfected art of
representation precludes all thought of its development, it tyrannises
as present perfection. For this reason artists of representation are
especially held to be possess of genius, but not scientific men. In
reality, however, the former valuation and the latter under-valuation
are only puerilities of reason.


THE EARNESTNESS OF HANDICRAFT.--Do not talk of gifts, of inborn
talents! We could mention great men of all kinds who were but little
gifted. But they _obtained_ greatness, became "geniuses" (as they are
called), through qualities of the lack of which nobody who

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_ Brethren, war's the.
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—Perhaps then laughter will have united with wisdom, perhaps then there will be only "joyful wisdom.
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_—I have always the same experience over again, and always make a new effort against it; for although it is evident to me I do not want to believe it: _in the greater number of men the intellectual conscience is lacking_; indeed, it would often seem to me that in demanding such a thing, one is as solitary in the largest cities as in the desert.
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How could we ever explain! We operate only with things which do not exist, with lines, surfaces, bodies, atoms, divisible times, divisible spaces—how can explanation ever be possible when we first make everything a _conception_, our conception! It is sufficient to regard science as the exactest humanising of things that is possible; we always learn to describe ourselves more accurately by describing things and their successions.
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To what an extent this has succeeded in Europe is traced most accurately in the extent of our alienness to Greek antiquity—a world without the feeling of sin—in our sentiments even at present; in spite of all the good will to approximation and assimilation, which whole generations and many distinguished individuals have not failed to display.
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The inventing of Gods, heroes and supermen of all kinds, as well as co-ordinate men and undermen—dwarfs, fairies, centaurs, satyrs, demons, devils—was the inestimable preliminary to the justification of the selfishness and sovereignty of the individual: the freedom which was granted to one God in respect to other Gods, was at last given to the individual himself in respect to laws, customs and neighbours.
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_Excelsior!_—"Thou wilt never more pray, never more worship, never more repose in infinite trust—thou refusest to stand still and dismiss thy thoughts before an ultimate wisdom, an ultimate virtue, an ultimate power,—thou hast no constant guardian and friend in thy seven solitudes—thou livest without the outlook on a mountain that has snow on its head and fire in its heart—there is no longer any requiter for thee, nor any amender with his finishing touch—there is no longer any reason in that which happens, or any love in that which will happen to thee—there is no longer any resting-place for thy weary heart, where it has only to find and no longer to seek, thou art opposed to any kind of ultimate.
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_Prophetic Men.
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Or like a blockhead who follows because he has nothing to say to the contrary.
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But to bear this immense sum of grief of all kinds, to be able to bear it, and yet still be the hero who at the commencement of a second day of battle greets the dawn and his happiness, as one who has an horizon of centuries before and behind him, as the heir of all nobility, of all past intellect, and the obligatory heir (as the noblest) of all the old nobles; while at the same time the first of a new nobility, the equal of which has never been seen nor even dreamt of: to take all this upon his soul, the oldest, the newest, the losses, hopes, conquests, and victories of mankind: to have all this at last in one soul, and to comprise it in one feeling:—this would necessarily furnish a happiness which man has not hitherto known,—a God's happiness, full of power and love, full of tears and laughter, a happiness which, like the sun in the evening, continually gives of its inexhaustible riches and empties into the sea,—and like the sun, too, feels itself richest when even the poorest fisherman rows with golden oars! This divine feeling might then be called—humanity! 338.
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") 349.
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in like manner the orators, preachers, and authors: all of them men who come at the end of a long succession, "late-born" always, in the best sense of the word, and as has been said, _squanderers_ by their very nature).
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which was to be _mistress of the world_.
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A person must have been affected with a _Gallic_ excess of erotic susceptibility and amorous impatience even to approach mankind honourably with his lewdness.
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To me she'll be forgiving! Who will not show me grace? I lisp with pretty halting, I curtsey, bid.