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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 55

one should not merely deny life with
"The World as Will and Idea," as Schopenhauer did; one should in the
first place _deny Schopenhauer._ ... Incidentally, Pessimism, however
infectious it may be, does not increase the morbidness of an age or of
a whole species; it is rather the expression of that morbidness. One
falls a victim to it in the same way as one falls a victim to cholera;
one must already be predisposed to the disease. Pessimism in itself
does not increase the number of the world's _decadents_ by a single
unit. Let me remind you of the statistical fact that in those years in
which cholera rages, the total number of deaths does not exceed that of
other years.


_Have we become more moral?_--As might have been expected, the whole
_ferocity_ of moral stultification, which, as is well known, passes
for morality itself in Germany, hurled itself against my concept
"Beyond Good and Evil." I could tell you some nice tales about this.
Above all, people tried to make me see the "incontestable superiority"
of our age in regard to moral sentiment, and the _progress_ we had
made in these matters. Compared with us, a Cæsar Borgia was by no
means to be represented as "higher man," the sort of _Superman,_
which I declared him to be. The editor of the Swiss paper the _Bund_
went so far as not only to express his admiration for the courage
displayed by my enterprise, but also to pretend to "understand" that
the intended purpose of my work was to abolish all decent feeling.
Much obliged!--In reply, I venture to raise the following question:
_have we really become more moral?_ The fact that everybody believes
that we have is already an objection to the belief. We modern men,
so extremely delicate and susceptible, full of consideration one for
the other, actually dare to suppose that the pampering fellow-feeling
which we all display, this unanimity which we have at last acquired
in sparing and helping and trusting one another marks a definite step
forward, and shows us to be far ahead of the man of the Renaissance.
But every age thinks the same, it is _bound_ to think the same. This
at least, is certain, that we should not dare to stand amid the
conditions which prevailed at the Renaissance, we should not even dare
to imagine ourselves in those conditions: our nerves could not endure
that reality, not to speak of our muscles. The inability to do this
however does not denote any progress; but simply the different and
more senile quality of our particular nature, its

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

Page 10
History is necessary above all to the man of action and power who fights a great fight and needs examples, teachers and comforters; he cannot find them among his contemporaries.
Page 13
Monumental history lives by false analogy; it entices the brave to rashness, and the enthusiastic to fanaticism by its tempting comparisons.
Page 14
There is much harm wrought by wrong and thoughtless planting: the critic without the need, the antiquary without piety, the knower of the great deed who cannot be the doer of it, are plants that have grown to weeds, they are torn from their native soil and therefore degenerate.
Page 22
The visible action is not the self-manifestation of the inward life, but only a weak and crude attempt of a single thread to make a show of representing the whole.
Page 27
If the personality be.
Page 28
Page 41
What is there in a couple of thousand years--the period of thirty-four consecutive human lives of sixty years each--to make us speak of youth at the beginning, and "the old age of mankind" at the end of them? Does not this paralysing belief in a fast-fading humanity cover the misunderstanding of a theological idea, inherited from the Middle Ages, that the end of the world is approaching and we are waiting anxiously for the judgment? Does not the increasing demand for historical judgment give us that idea in a new dress? as if our time were the latest possible time, and commanded to hold that universal judgment of the past, which the Christian never expected from a man, but from "the Son of Man.
Page 42
the hours of man's life, thinks the last the most important, that has prophesied the end of earthly life and condemned all creatures to live in the fifth act of a tragedy, may call forth the subtlest and noblest powers of man, but it is an enemy to all new planting, to all bold attempts or free aspirations.
Page 43
" Even if we would rest content with our vocation to follow antiquity, even if we decided to take it in an earnest and strenuous spirit and to show our high prerogative in our earnestness,--we should yet be compelled to ask whether it were our eternal destiny to be pupils of a fading antiquity.
Page 48
We have seldom read a more jovial production, a greater philosophical joke than Hartmann's book.
Page 52
the future shall prove to be right,--and no one has despised them with such loathing as thou,--I am ready then to cry with the majority in the form prescribed by thee, that next Saturday evening, punctually at twelve o'clock, thy world shall fall to pieces.
Page 64
But how full of hope should they all be who feel that they are no citizens of this age! If they were, they would have to help on the work.
Page 77
" In this way must Schopenhauer's philosophy always be interpreted; as an individualist philosophy, starting from the single man, in his own nature,.
Page 81
For this very reason we can use his writings as mirrors of his time; it is no fault of the mirror if everything contemporary appear in it stricken by a ravaging disease, pale and thin, with tired looks and hollow eyes,--the step-child's sorrow made visible.
Page 83
believe in all seriousness that the world was put right two years ago,[1] and that all stern and gloomy views of life are now contradicted by "facts.
Page 89
But "gift" and "compulsion" are contemptible words, mere means of escape from an inner voice, a slander on him who has listened to the voice--the great man; he least of all will allow himself to be given or compelled to anything: for he knows as well as any smaller man how easily life can be taken and how soft the bed whereon he might lie if he went the pleasant and conventional way with himself and his fellow-creatures: all the regulations of mankind are turned to the end that the intense feeling of life may be lost in continual distractions.
Page 90
He wishes to know everything, not to feed a delicate taste, like Goethe's man, to take delight, from a safe place in the multiplicity of existence: but he himself is the first sacrifice that he brings.
Page 91
It is as though the beholder of these things began to wake, and it had only been the clouds of a passing dream that had been weaving about him.
Page 93
perverted desire of a fool--this is what it means to be an animal.
Page 97
our loves.