On the Future of our Educational Institutions

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 45

has convinced himself of the
singularity and inaccessibility of Hellenic antiquity, and has warded
off this conviction after an exhausting struggle--every such man knows
that the door leading to this enlightenment will never remain open to
all comers; and he deems it absurd, yea disgraceful, to use the Greeks
as he would any other tool he employs when following his profession or
earning his living, shamelessly fumbling with coarse hands amidst the
relics of these holy men. This brazen and vulgar feeling is, however,
most common in the profession from which the largest numbers of
teachers for the public schools are drawn, the philological
profession, wherefore the reproduction and continuation of such a
feeling in the public school will not surprise us.

"Just look at the younger generation of philologists: how seldom we
see in them that humble feeling that we, when compared with such a
world as it was, have no right to exist at all: how coolly and
fearlessly, as compared with us, did that young brood build its
miserable nests in the midst of the magnificent temples! A powerful
voice from every nook and cranny should ring in the ears of those who,
from the day they begin their connection with the university, roam at
will with such self-complacency and shamelessness among the
awe-inspiring relics of that noble civilisation: 'Hence, ye
uninitiated, who will never be initiated; fly away in silence and
shame from these sacred chambers!' But this voice speaks in vain; for
one must to some extent be a Greek to understand a Greek curse of
excommunication. But these people I am speaking of are so barbaric
that they dispose of these relics to suit themselves: all their modern
conveniences and fancies are brought with them and concealed among
those ancient pillars and tombstones, and it gives rise to great
rejoicing when somebody finds, among the dust and cobwebs of
antiquity, something that he himself had slyly hidden there not so
very long before. One of them makes verses and takes care to consult
Hesychius' Lexicon. Something there immediately assures him that he is
destined to be an imitator of AEschylus, and leads him to believe,
indeed, that he 'has something in common with' AEschylus: the miserable
poetaster! Yet another peers with the suspicious eye of a policeman
into every contradiction, even into the shadow of every
contradiction, of which Homer was guilty: he fritters away his life in
tearing Homeric rags to tatters and sewing them together again, rags
that he himself was the first to filch from the poet's kingly robe. A
third feels ill at ease when examining all the mysterious

Last Page Next Page

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

Page 1
We feel we are on a higher plane, and that we must not judge these two men as if they were a couple of little business people who had had a suburban squabble.
Page 2
For a long while he regarded his master as the Saviour of Germany, as the innovator and renovator who was going to arrest the decadent current of his time and lead men to a greatness which had died with antiquity.
Page 3
When he speaks about music, therefore, he knows what he is talking about, and when he refers to Wagner's music in particular, the simple fact of his long intimacy with Wagner during the years at Tribschen, is a sufficient guarantee of his deep knowledge of the subject.
Page 8
The only difference between them and the romanticists lies in the fact that they (the former) were conscious of what was wrong with them, and possessed the will and the strength to overcome their illness; whereas the romanticists chose the easier alternative--namely, that of shutting their eyes on themselves.
Page 13
I envy Bizet for having had the courage of this sensitiveness, which hitherto in the cultured music of Europe has found no means of expression,--of this southern, tawny, sunburnt sensitiveness.
Page 17
His principal undertaking, however, is to emancipate woman,--"to deliver Brunnhilda.
Page 20
All these people argue in the same way.
Page 23
(In this respect he was very different from old Kant, who rejoiced in another form of daring, _i.
Page 24
including that which has become so outside the theatre, is in bad taste and spoils taste.
Page 27
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Very modern--eh? Very Parisian! very decadent!{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Incidentally, the _plots_ that Wagner knows how to unravel with the help of dramatic inventions, are of quite another kind.
Page 36
His creations are not the result of plenitude, he thirsts after abundance.
Page 40
Here and there, of course, they will be found to have been made a little more intelligible, but above all, more brief.
Page 51
He is easily silenced by the judgment of others, he hears with unmoved countenance how people honour, admire, love, and glorify, where he has opened his eyes and _seen_--or he even conceals his silence by expressly agreeing with some obvious opinion.
Page 55
This, to my sorrow, is what I realised; a good deal even struck me with sudden fear.
Page 56
Page 57
Profound jealousy of everything great from which he can draw _fresh_ ideas.
Page 58
Wagner always reaches the high-water mark of his vanity when he speaks of the German nature (incidentally it is also the height of his imprudence); for, if Frederick the Great's justice, Goethe's nobility and freedom from envy, Beethoven's sublime resignation, Bach's delicately transfigured spiritual life,--if steady work performed without any thought of glory and success, and without envy, constitute the true _German_ qualities, would it not seem as if Wagner almost wished to prove he is no German? 38.
Page 59
Page 61
With these words I would say something complimentary, but by no means wholly so.
Page 63