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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 41

artistic standpoint, nature is no model. It exaggerates, distorts, and
leaves gaps. Nature is the _accident._ To study "from nature" seems to
me a bad sign: it betrays submission, weakness, fatalism--this lying
in the dust before trivial facts is unworthy of a thorough artist. To
see _what is_--is the function of another order of intellects, the
_anti-artistic,_ the matter-of-fact One must know _who_ one is.


_Concerning the psychology of the artist_ For art to be possible at
all--that is to say, in order that an æsthetic mode of action and of
observation may exist, a certain preliminary physiological state is
indispensable _ecstasy._[1] This state of ecstasy must first have
intensified the susceptibility of the whole machine otherwise, no art
is possible. All kinds of ecstasy, however differently produced, have
this power to create art, and above all the state dependent upon sexual
excitement--this most venerable and primitive form of ecstasy. The same
applies to that ecstasy which is the outcome of all great desires,
all strong passions; the ecstasy of the feast, of the arena, of the
act of bravery, of victory, of all extreme action; the ecstasy of
cruelty; the ecstasy of destruction; the ecstasy following upon certain
meteorological influences, as for instance that of spring-time, or upon
the use of narcotics; and finally the ecstasy of will, that ecstasy
which results from accumulated and surging will-power.--The essential
feature of ecstasy is the feeling of increased strength and abundance.
Actuated by this feeling a man gives of himself to things, _he
forces_ them to partake of his riches, he does violence to them--this
proceeding is called _idealising._ Let us rid ourselves of a prejudice
here: idealising does not consist, as is generally believed, in a
suppression or an elimination of detail or of unessential features.
A stupendous _accentuation_ of the principal characteristics is by
far the most decisive factor at work, and in consequence the minor
characteristics vanish.


In this state a man enriches everything from out his own abundance:
what he sees, what he wills, he sees distended, compressed, strong,
overladen with power. He transfigures things until they reflect his
power,--until they are stamped with his perfection. This compulsion
to transfigure into the beautiful is--Art Everything--even that which
he is not,--is nevertheless to such a man a means of rejoicing over
himself; in Art man rejoices over himself as perfection.--It is
possible to imagine a contrary state, a specifically anti-artistic
state of the instincts,--a state in which a man impoverishes,
attenuates, and draws the blood from everything. And, truth to tell,
history is full of such anti-artists, of such creatures of low
vitality who have no choice but to

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Thoughts out of Season, Part I

Page 5
Page 9
I am alluding to a man whose politics you used to consider and whose writings you even now consider as fantastic, but who, like another fantast of his race, may possess the wonderful gift of resurrection, and come again to life amongst you--to Benjamin Disraeli.
Page 11
It is not less astonishing--but likewise easily intelligible for one who knows something of the great Jews of the Middle Ages--that in Disraeli we discover that furious enmity against the doctrine of the natural equality of men which Nietzsche combated all his life.
Page 12
And thirdly, and worst of all, Disraeli never suspected that the French Revolution, which in the same breath he once contemptuously denounced as "the Celtic Rebellion against Semitic laws," was, in spite of its professed attack against religion, really a profoundly Christian, because a democratic and revolutionary movement.
Page 20
And just as Wagner is merely a misunderstanding among Germans, so am I and ever will be.
Page 28
For henceforth inquiry is to cease: that is the Philistine watchword.
Page 49
Innate cowardice, which is the Philistine's birthright, would not be incompatible with this mode of development, and it is precisely this cowardice which is perceptible in the want of logic of those sentences of Strauss's which it needed courage to pronounce.
Page 53
It has been found to contain the general expression of his restless love of inquiry and activity.
Page 63
Indeed, what perhaps strikes us most forcibly about him is the multitude of artificial procedures of which he avails himself before he ultimately gets the feeling.
Page 66
What Strauss wishes, however, is best revealed by his own emphatic and not quite harmless commendation of Voltaire's charms, in whose service he might have learned precisely those "lightly equipped" arts of which his admirer speaks--granting, of course, that virtue may be acquired and a pedagogue can ever be a dancer.
Page 69
This is unquestionably the best way to become a classical author; hence Strauss himself is able to tell us: "I even enjoy the unsought honour of being, in the opinion of many, a classical writer of prose.
Page 72
The greater part of a German's daily reading matter is undoubtedly sought either in the pages of newspapers, periodicals, or reviews.
Page 73
A grammatical error--and this is the most extraordinary feature of the case--does not therefore seem an offence in any sense to our Philistine, but a most delightful restorative in the barren wilderness of everyday German.
Page 90
The moment his constructive powers direct him, history becomes yielding clay in his hands.
Page 93
The picture represented by our own times is by no means a new one: to the student of history it must always seem as though he were merely in the presence of an old familiar face, the features of which he recognises.
Page 97
We cannot be happy so long as everything about us suffers and causes suffering; we cannot be moral so long as the course of human events is determined by violence, treachery, and injustice; we cannot even be wise, so long as the whole of mankind does not compete for wisdom, and does not lead the individual to the most sober and reasonable form of life and knowledge.
Page 108
The mockery and perversity of the surrounding world only goad and spur it on the more.
Page 110
However the development of the born dramatist may be pictured, in his ultimate expression he is a being free from all inner barriers and voids: the real, emancipated artist cannot help himself, he must think in the spirit of all the arts.
Page 128
Now, when passions are rendered in song, they require rather more time than when conveyed by speech; music prolongs, so to speak, the duration of the feeling, from which it follows, as a rule, that the actor who is also a singer must overcome the extremely unplastic animation from which spoken drama suffers.
Page 137
Their literary side represents his attempts to understand the instinct which urged him to create his works and to get a glimpse of himself through them.