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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 93

frenzy frequently exert the virtue of
remedies which are poisons in themselves; but in every "genius" that
believes in his own divinity the poison shows itself at last in the
same proportion as the "genius" grows old; we need but recollect the
example of Napoleon, for it was most assuredly through his faith in
himself and his star, and through his scorn of mankind, that he grew
to that mighty unity which distinguished him from all modern men, until
at last, however, this faith developed into an almost insane fatalism,
robbed him of his quickness of comprehension and penetration, and was
the cause of his downfall.


GENIUS AND NULLITY.--It is precisely the _original_ artists, those who
create out of their own heads, who in certain circumstances can bring
forth complete _emptiness_ and husk, whilst the more dependent natures,
the so-called talented ones, are full of memories of all manner of
goodness, and even in a state of weakness produce something tolerable.
But if the original ones are abandoned by themselves, memory renders
them no assistance; they become empty.


THE PUBLIC.--The people really demands nothing more from tragedy than
to be deeply affected, in order to have a good cry occasionally; the
artist, on the contrary, who sees the new tragedy, takes pleasure in
the clever technical inventions and tricks, in the management and
distribution of the material, in the novel arrangement of old motives
and old ideas. His attitude is the æsthetic attitude towards a work of
art, that of the creator; the one first described, with regard solely
to the material, is that of he people. Of the individual who stands
between the two nothing need be said: he is neither "people" nor
artist, and does not know what he wants--therefore his pleasure is also
clouded and insignificant.


THE ARTISTIC EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC.--If the same _motif_ is not
employed in a hundred ways by different masters, the public never
learns to get beyond their interest in the subject; but at last, when
it is well acquainted with the _motif_ through countless different
treatments, and no longer finds in it any charm of novelty or
excitement, it will then begin to grasp and enjoy the various shades
and delicate new inventions in its treatment.


grade of style to another must be so slow that not only the artists but
also the auditors and spectators can follow it and know exactly what is
going on. Otherwise there will suddenly appear that great chasm between
the artist, who creates his work upon a height apart, and the public,

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Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

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(_Inaugural Address delivered at Bale University, 28th of May 1869.
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Against these enemies, we philologists must always count upon the assistance of artists and men of artistic minds; for they alone can judge how the sword of barbarism sweeps over the head of every one who loses sight of the unutterable simplicity and noble dignity of the Hellene; and how no progress in commerce or technical industries, however brilliant, no school regulations, no political education of the masses, however widespread and complete, can protect us from the curse of ridiculous and barbaric offences against good taste, or from annihilation by the Gorgon head of the classicist.
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When, however, even the friends of antiquity, possessed of such doubts and hesitations, point to our present classical philology as something questionable, what influence may we not ascribe to the outbursts of the "realists" and the claptrap of the heroes of the passing hour? To answer the latter on this occasion, especially when we consider the nature of the present assembly, would be highly injudicious; at any rate, if I do not wish to meet with the fate of that sophist who, when in Sparta, publicly undertook to praise and defend Herakles, when he was interrupted with the query: "But who then has found fault with him?".
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" It may be added that, for a given period--such as our present philological period, for example--the centre of discussion may be removed from the problem of the poet's personality; for even now a painstaking experiment is being made to reconstruct the Homeric poems without the aid of personality, treating them as the work of several different persons.
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The zenith of the historico-literary studies of the Greeks, and hence also of their point of greatest importance--the Homeric question--was reached in the age of the Alexandrian grammarians.
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But even this distinguishing characteristic, in place of wishing to recognise the supernatural existence of a tangible personality, ascends likewise through all the stages that lead to that zenith, with ever-increasing energy and clearness.
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"For who would wage war with the gods: who, even with the one god?" asks Goethe even, who, though a genius, strove in vain to solve that mysterious problem of the Homeric inaccessibility.
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The first school, on the other.
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This is the reaction, or, if you will, the superstition, which followed upon the most momentous discovery of historico-philological science, the discovery and appreciation of the _soul of the people_.
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The difference between them is not in the way they originate, but it is their diffusion and propagation, in short, _tradition_.
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Since literary history first ceased to be a mere collection of names, people have attempted to grasp and formulate the individualities of the poets.
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It is, however, by no means affirmed against the poet of these epics that he was merely the imaginary being of an aesthetic impossibility, which can be the opinion of only very few philologists indeed.
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The relative imperfection of the design must not, however, prevent us from seeing in the designer a different personality from the real poet.
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We believe in a great poet as the author of the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey--but not that Homer was this poet_.
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" By this I wish to signify that all philological activities should be enclosed and surrounded by a philosophical view of things, in which everything individual and isolated is evaporated as something detestable, and in which.
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