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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 72

his torture?--And to come back again to our
first question, "What is the meaning of a philosopher paying homage to
ascetic ideals?" We get now, at any rate, a first hint; he wishes to
escape _from a torture_.


Let us beware of making dismal faces at the word "torture"--there is
certainly in this case enough to deduct, enough to discount--there is
even something to laugh at. For we must certainly not underestimate
the fact that Schopenhauer, who in practice treated sexuality as
a personal enemy (including its tool, woman, that "_instrumentum
diaboli_"), needed enemies to keep him in a good humour; that he loved
grim, bitter, blackish-green words; that he raged for the sake of
raging, out of passion; that he would have grown ill, would have become
a _pessimist_ (for he was not a pessimist, however much he wished to
be), without his enemies, without Hegel, woman, sensuality, and the
whole "will for existence" "keeping on." Without them Schopenhauer
would not have "kept on," that is a safe wager; he would have run away:
but his enemies held him fast, his enemies always enticed him back
again to existence, his wrath was just as theirs' was to the ancient
Cynics, his balm, his recreation, his recompense, his _remedium_
against disgust, his _happiness_. So much with regard to what is most
personal in the case of Schopenhauer; on the other hand, there is
still much which is typical in him--and only now we come back to our
problem. It is an accepted and indisputable fact, so long as there
are philosophers in the world and wherever philosophers have existed
(from India to England, to take the opposite poles of philosophic
ability), that there exists a real irritation and rancour on the part
of philosophers towards sensuality. Schopenhauer is merely the most
eloquent, and if one has the ear for it, also the most fascinating
and enchanting outburst. There similarly exists a real philosophic
bias and affection for the whole ascetic ideal; there should be no
illusions on this score. Both these feelings, as has been said, belong
to the type; if a philosopher lacks both of them, then he is--you may
be certain of it--never anything but a "pseudo." What does this mean?
For this state of affairs must first be, interpreted: in itself it
stands there stupid, to all eternity, like any "Thing-in-itself." Every
animal, including la bête philosophe, strives instinctively after an
_optimum_ of favourable conditions, under which he can let his whole
strength have play, and achieves his maximum consciousness of power;
with equal instinctiveness, and with a fine perceptive flair which is
superior to any

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Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

Page 0
Kennedy, Translator, 1910] HOMER AND CLASSICAL PHILOLOGY.
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With this contrast the so heartrending and dogmatic tradition follows in a _theory_, and consequently in the practice.
Page 2
It was none other than Goethe who, in early life a supporter of Wolf's theories regarding Homer, recanted in the verses-- With subtle wit you took away Our former adoration: The Iliad, you may us say, Was mere conglomeration.
Page 3
Let us talk as we will about the unattainability of this goal, and even designate the goal itself as an illogical pretension--the aspiration for it is very real; and I should like to try to make it clear by an example that the most significant steps of classical philology never lead away from the ideal antiquity, but to it; and that, just when people are speaking unwarrantably of the overthrow of sacred shrines, new and more worthy altars are being erected.
Page 4
Up to this time the Homeric question had run through the long chain of a uniform process of development, of which the standpoint of those grammarians seemed to be the last link, the last, indeed, which was attainable by antiquity.
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From those times until the generation that produced Friedrich August Wolf we must take a jump over a long historical vacuum; but in our own age we find the argument left just as it was at the time when the power of controversy departed from antiquity, and it is a matter of indifference to us that Wolf accepted as certain tradition what antiquity itself had set up only as a hypothesis.
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Poetical works, which cause the hearts of even the greatest geniuses to fail when they endeavour to vie with them, and in which unsurpassable images are held up for the admiration of posterity--and yet the poet who wrote them with only a hollow, shaky name, whenever we do lay hold on him; nowhere the solid kernel of a powerful personality.
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A second party, on the other hand, sheltered themselves beneath the authority of Aristotle, who especially admired Homer's "divine" nature in the choice of his entire subject, and the manner in which he planned and carried it out.
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The people now understood for the first time that the long-felt power of greater individualities and wills was larger than the pitifully small will of an individual man;[1] they now saw that everything truly great in the kingdom of the will could not have its deepest root in the inefficacious and ephemeral individual will; and, finally, they now discovered the powerful instincts of the masses, and diagnosed those unconscious impulses to be the foundations and supports of the so-called universal history.
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genius set upon their empty heads.
Page 10
What was left of Homer's own individual work? Nothing but a series of beautiful and prominent passages chosen in accordance with subjective taste.
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And I very much doubt whether the majority of those who adopt the first part of the contention have taken the following considerations into account.
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On the contrary, this design is a later product, far later than Homer's celebrity.
Page 13
The generation that invented those numerous Homeric fables, that poetised the myth of the contest between Homer and Hesiod, and looked upon all the poems of the epic cycle as Homeric, did not feel an aesthetic but a material singularity when it pronounced the name "Homer.
Page 14
Let us hear how a learned man of the first rank writes about Homer even so late as 1783: "Where does the good man live? Why did he remain so long incognito? Apropos, can't you get me a silhouette of him?" We demand _thanks_--not in our own name, for we are but atoms--but in the name of philology itself, which is indeed neither a Muse nor a Grace, but a messenger of the gods: and just as the Muses descended upon the dull and tormented Boeotian peasants, so Philology comes into a world full of gloomy colours and pictures, full of the deepest, most incurable woes; and speaks to men comfortingly of the beautiful and godlike figure of a distant, rosy, and happy fairyland.
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Now, therefore, that I have enunciated my philological creed, I trust you will give me cause to hope that I shall no longer be a stranger among you: give me the assurance that in working with you towards this end I am worthily fulfilling the confidence with which the highest authorities of this community have honoured me.