The Genealogy of Morals The Complete Works, Volume Thirteen, edited by Dr. Oscar Levy.

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 66

and "angel," as being on the
face of it one of the principles opposed to existence--the most subtle
and brilliant spirits, such as Goethe, such as Hafiz,> have even seen
in this a _further_ charm of life. Such "conflicts" actually allure
one to life. On the other hand, it is only too clear that when once
these ruined swine are reduced to worshipping chastity--and there
are such swine--they only see and worship in it the antithesis to
themselves, the antithesis to ruined swine. Oh what a tragic grunting
and eagerness! You can just think of it--they worship that painful
and superfluous contrast, which Richard Wagner in his latter days
undoubtedly wished to set to music, and to place on the stage! "_For
what purpose, forsooth?_" as we may reasonably ask. What did the swine
matter to him; what do they matter to us?


At this point it is impossible to beg the further question of what he
really had to do with that manly (ah, so unmanly) country bumpkin,
that poor devil and natural, Parsifal, whom he eventually made a
Catholic by such fraudulent devices. What? Was this Parsifal really
meant _seriously_? One might be tempted to suppose the contrary, even
to wish it--that the Wagnerian Parsifal was meant joyously, like a
concluding play of a trilogy or satyric drama, in which Wagner the
tragedian wished to take farewell of us, of himself, above all of
tragedy, and to do so in a manner that should be quite fitting and
worthy, that is, with an excess of the most extreme and flippant parody
of the tragic itself, of the ghastly earthly seriousness and earthly
woe of old--a parody of that _most crude phase_ in the unnaturalness
of the ascetic ideal, that had at length been overcome. That, as I
have said, would have been quite worthy of a great tragedian; who like
every artist first attains the supreme pinnacle of his greatness when
he can look _down_ into himself and his art, when he can _laugh_ at
himself. Is Wagner's Parsifal his secret laugh of superiority over
himself, the triumph of that supreme artistic freedom and artistic
transcendency which he has at length attained. We might, I repeat,
wish it were so, for what can Parsifal, _taken seriously_, amount to?
Is it really necessary to see in it (according to an expression once
used against me) the product of an insane hate of knowledge, mind,
and flesh? A curse on flesh and spirit in one breath of hate? An
apostasy and reversion to the morbid Christian and obscurantist ideals?
And finally a self-negation and self-elimination on the

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Text Comparison with The Case of Wagner Complete Works, Volume 8

Page 14
Page 15
Scarcely any one has sufficient character not to be corrupted--"saved" when he finds himself treated as a God:--he then immediately condescends to woman.
Page 32
Page 36
Brahms is _not_ an actor.
Page 39
[Footnote 1: Senta is the heroine in the "Flying Dutchman,"--Tr.
Page 45
The age of international wars, of ultramontane martyrdom, in fact, the whole interlude-character which typifies the present condition of Europe, may indeed help an art like Wagner's to sudden glory, without, however, in the least ensuring its _future prosperity.
Page 48
On the whole, a daring dare-devil, magnificently violent, soaring and high-springing crew of artists, who first had to teach their own century---it is the century of the mob--what the concept "artist" meant.
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How can _such a man allow himself to be tyrannised over in this way!_ For instance by his hatred of Jews.
Page 58
Hatred of all that which he cannot approach: the Renaissance, French and Greek art in style.
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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 67
When such ant-like work is not carried out under any special direction the greater part of it is simply nonsense, and quite superfluous.
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17 One very great value of antiquity consists in the fact that its writings are the only ones which modern men still read carefully.
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[Footnote 4: The reference is not to Pope, but to Hegel.
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But at the same time also we condemn our own attitude towards antiquity, and likewise our philology.
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53 Friedrich August Wolf reminds us how apprehensive and feeble were the first steps taken by our ancestors in moulding scholarship--how even the Latin classics, for example, had to be smuggled into the university market under all sorts of pretexts, as if they had been contraband goods.
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108 The Greeks were lacking in sobriety and caution.
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The participants appear to be less attractive than ever: how stupid they must be! Thus the danger arises that knowledge may avenge itself on us, just as ignorance avenged itself on us during the Middle Ages.
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