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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 40

proof of the strength and
profundity of this dominion. It only shows that the origin of English
morality has been forgotten, and that its exceedingly relative right to
exist is no longer felt. For Englishmen morality is not yet a problem.


_George Sand._--I have been reading the first "_Lettres d'un
Voyageur_:" like everything that springs from Rousseau's influence
it is false, made-up, blown out, and exaggerated! I cannot endure
this bright wall-paper style, any more than I can bear the vulgar
striving after generous feelings. The worst feature about it is
certainly the coquettish adoption of male attributes by this female,
after the manner of ill-bred schoolboys. And how cold she must have
been inwardly all the while, this insufferable artist! She wound
herself up like a clock--and wrote. As cold as Hugo and Balzac, as
cold as all Romanticists are as soon as they begin to write! And how
self-complacently she must have lain there, this prolific ink-yielding
cow. For she had something German in her (German in the bad sense),
just as Rousseau, her master, had;--something which could only have
been possible when French taste was declining!--and Renan adores her!...


_A Moral for Psychologists._ Do not go in for any note-book psychology!
Never observe for the sake of observing! Such things lead to a false
point of view, to a squint, to something forced and exaggerated.
To experience things on purpose--this is not a bit of good. In the
midst of an experience a man should not turn his eyes upon himself;
in such cases any eye becomes the "evil eye." A born psychologist
instinctively avoids seeing for the sake of seeing. And the same holds
good of the born painter. Such a man never works "from nature,"--he
leaves it to his instinct, to his _camera obscura_ to sift and to
define the "fact," "nature," the "experience." The general idea,
the conclusion, the result, is the only thing that reaches his
consciousness. He knows nothing of that wilful process of deducing
from particular cases. What is the result when a man sets about this
matter differently?--when, for instance, after the manner of Parisian
novelists, he goes in for note-book psychology on a large and small
scale? Such a man is constantly spying on reality, and every evening
he bears home a handful of fresh curios.... But look at the result!--a
mass of daubs, at best a piece of mosaic, in any case something heaped
together, restless and garish. The Goncourts are the greatest sinners
in this respect: they cannot put three sentences together which are not
absolutely painful to the eye--the eye of the psychologist. From

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

Page 0
From the standpoint of the pedagogue, a choice was offered of those elements which were of the greatest educational value; and thus that science, or at least that scientific aim, which we call philology, gradually developed out of the practical calling originated by the exigencies of that science itself.
Page 1
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.
Page 2
Schiller upbraided the philologists with having scattered Homer's laurel crown to the winds.
Page 3
The entire scientific and artistic movement of this peculiar centaur is bent, though with cyclopic slowness, upon bridging over the gulf between the ideal antiquity--which is perhaps only the magnificent blossoming of the Teutonic longing for the south--and the real antiquity; and thus classical philology pursues only the final end of its own being, which is the fusing together of primarily hostile impulses that have only forcibly been brought together.
Page 4
To explain the different general impression of the two books on the assumption that _one_ poet composed them both, scholars sought assistance by referring to the seasons of the poet's life, and compared the poet of the _Odyssey_ to the setting sun.
Page 5
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.
Page 6
The conception of popular poetry seemed to lead like a bridge over this problem--a deeper and more original power than that of every single creative individual was said.
Page 7
to have become active; the happiest people, in the happiest period of its existence, in the highest activity of fantasy and formative power, was said to have created those immeasurable poems.
Page 8
By the misapplication of a tempting analogical inference, people had reached the point of applying in the domain of the intellect and artistic ideas that principle of greater individuality which is truly applicable only in the domain of the will.
Page 9
If we apply all these principles to the Homeric poems, it follows that we gain nothing with our theory of the poetising soul of the people, and that we are always referred back to the poetical individual.
Page 10
This is the central point of the Homeric errors.
Page 11
The first part of this contention may be admitted; but, in accordance with what I have said, the latter part must be denied.
Page 12
The _Iliad_ is not a garland, but a bunch of flowers.
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
Page 15
great homogeneous views alone remain.