The Twilight of the Idols - The Antichrist Complete Works, Volume Sixteen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 135

_will_ anybody
understand what the Renaissance was? _The transvaluation of Christian
values,_ the attempt undertaken with all means, all instincts and all
genius to make the _opposite_ values, the _noble_ values triumph,...
Hitherto there has been only _this_ great war: there has never yet
been a more decisive question than the Renaissance,--_my_ question
is the question of the Renaissance:--there has never been a more
fundamental, a more direct and a more severe _attack,_ delivered with
a whole front upon the centre of the foe. To attack at the decisive
quarter, at the very seat of Christianity, and there to place _noble_
values on the throne,--that is to say, to _introduce_ them into the
instincts, into the most fundamental needs and desires of those
sitting there.... I see before me a possibility perfectly magic in
its charm and glorious colouring--it seems to me to scintillate
with all the quivering grandeur of refined beauty, that there is
an art at work within it which is so divine, so infernally divine,
that one might seek through millenniums in vain for another such
possibility; I see a spectacle so rich in meaning and so wonderfully
paradoxical to boot, that it would be enough to make all the gods of
Olympus rock with immortal laughter,--_Cæsar Borgia as Pope._ ...
Do you understand me? ... Very well then, this would have been the
triumph which I alone am longing for to-day:--this would have _swept_
Christianity _away!_--What happened? A German monk, Luther, came to
Rome. This monk, with all the vindictive instincts of an abortive
priest in his body, foamed with rage over the Renaissance in Rome....
Instead of, with the profoundest gratitude, understanding the vast
miracle that had taken place, the overcoming of Christianity at its
_headquarters,_--the fire of his hate knew only how to draw fresh fuel
from this spectacle. A religious man thinks only of himself.--Luther
saw the corruption of the Papacy when the very reverse stared him in
the face: the old corruption, the _peceatum originate,_ Christianity
_no_ longer sat upon the Papal chair! But Life! The triumph of
Life! The great yea to all lofty, beautiful and daring things!...
And Luther reinstated the Church; he attacked it The Renaissance
thus became an event without meaning, a great _in vain!_--Ah these
Germans, what have they not cost us already! In vain--this has always
been the achievement of the Germans.--The Reformation, Leibniz,
Kant and so-called German philosophy, the Wars of Liberation, the
Empire--in each case are in vain for something which had already
existed, for something which _cannot be recovered._ ... I confess it,
these Germans are my enemies: I despise every sort of

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Dawn of Day

Page 0
Page 4
Page 7
Page 16
--First stage: In every misfortune or discomfort man sees something for which he must make somebody else suffer, no matter who--in this way he finds out the amount of power still remaining to him; and this consoles him.
Page 17
As a consequence it is believed that the gods likewise are pleased by the sight of cruelty and rejoice at it--and in this way the belief is spread that _voluntary suffering_, self-chosen martyrdom, has a high signification and value of its own.
Page 27
Page 35
--Is there any one, then, who seriously dislikes pious people who hold formally to their belief? Do we not, on the contrary, regard them with silent esteem and pleasure, deeply regretting at the same time that these excellent people do not share our own feelings? But whence arises that sudden, profound, and unreasonable dislike for the man who, having at one time possessed freedom of spirit, finally becomes a "believer"? In thinking of him we involuntarily experience the sensation of having beheld some loathsome spectacle, which we must quickly efface from our recollection.
Page 46
Must a feeling, then, always be called evil against which we are forced to struggle, which we must restrain even within certain limits, or, in given cases, banish entirely from our minds? Is it not the habit of vulgar souls always to call an _enemy_ evil! and must we call Eros an enemy? The sexual feelings, like the feelings of pity and adoration, possess the particular characteristic that, in their case, one being gratifies another by the pleasure he enjoys--it is but rarely that we meet with such a benevolent arrangement in nature.
Page 95
--He is one of the brave old warriors: angry with civilisation because he believes that its object is to make all good things--honour, rewards, and fair women--accessible even to cowards.
Page 96
_That_ is why they preached moderation to themselves.
Page 98
Page 126
Page 145
Page 168
Taken separately they would, perhaps, be very small pleasures; but when put into one hand, that hand will be fuller than ever before--and the heart also.
Page 182
--Everything that is agitated, noisy, fitful, and nervous forms a contrast to the great passion which, glowing in the heart of man like a quiet and gloomy flame, and gathering about it all that is flaming and ardent, gives to man the appearance of coldness and indifference, and stamps a certain impassiveness on his features.
Page 185
_ Seek for knowledge! Yes! but always as a man! What? must I always be a spectator of the same comedy, and always play a part in the same comedy, without ever being able to observe things with other eyes than those? and yet there may be countless types of beings whose organs are better adapted for knowledge than ours! At the end of all their searching for knowledge what will men at.
Page 188
_ You describe a petty, agreeable illness.
Page 189
These geniuses could not rise above themselves, but they believed that, fly where they would, they would always find and recover themselves--this is their "greatness," and this can be greatness!--The others who are entitled to this name possess the pure and purifying eye which does not seem to have sprung out of their temperament and character, but separately from them, and generally in contradiction to them, and looks out upon the world as on a God whom it loves.
Page 213
Then, perhaps, they too, like Ulysses, will be forced to descend among the dead to get rid of their sorrow and to relieve their affliction.
Page 216