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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 62

of the fact that for long ages
energy has been collected, hoarded up, saved up and preserved for their
use, and that no explosion has taken place. When, the tension in the
bulk has become sufficiently excessive, the most fortuitous stimulus
suffices in order to call "genius," "great deeds," and momentous
fate-into the world. What then is the good of all environment,
historical periods, "_Zeitgeist_" (Spirit of the age) and "public
opinion"?--Take the case of Napoleon. France of the Revolution,
and still more of the period preceding the Revolution, would have
brought forward a type which was the very reverse of Napoleon: it
actually _did_ produce such a type. And because Napoleon was something
different, the heir of a stronger, more lasting and older civilisation
than that which in France was being smashed to atoms he became master
there, he was the only master there. Great men are necessary, the age
in which they appear is a matter of chance; the fact that they almost
invariably master their age is accounted for simply by the fact that
they are stronger, that they are older, and that power has been stored
longer for them. The relation of a genius to his age is that which
exists between strength and weakness and between maturity and youth:
the age is relatively always very much younger, thinner, less mature,
less resolute and more childish. The fact that the general opinion in
France at the present day, is utterly different on this very point (in
Germany too, but that is of no consequence); the fact that in that
country the theory of environment--a regular neuropathic notion--has
become sacrosanct and almost scientific, and finds acceptance even
among the physiologists, is a very bad, and exceedingly depressing
sign. In England too the same belief prevails: but nobody will be
surprised at that. The Englishman knows only two ways of understanding
the genius and the "great man": either _democratically_ in the style
of Buckle, or religiously after the manner of Carlyle.--The danger
which great men and great ages represent, is simply extraordinary;
every kind of exhaustion and of sterility follows in their wake. The
great man is an end; the great age--the Renaissance for instance,--is
an end. The genius--in work and in deed,--is necessarily a squanderer:
the fact that he spends himself constitutes his greatness. The instinct
of self-preservation is as it were suspended in him; the overpowering
pressure of out-flowing energy in him forbids any such protection and
prudence. People call this "self-sacrifice," they praise his "heroism,"
his indifference to his own well-being, his utter devotion to an idea,
a great cause, a father-land: All misunderstandings....

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Text Comparison with The Joyful Wisdom Complete Works, Volume Ten

Page 0
) THE JOYFUL WISDOM ("LA GAYA SCIENZA") BY FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE TRANSLATED BY THOMAS COMMON WITH POETRY RENDERED BY PAUL V.
Page 4
And as regards sickness, should we not be almost tempted to ask whether we could in general dispense with it? It is great pain only which is the ultimate emancipator of the spirit; for it is the teacher of the _strong suspicion_ which makes an X out of every U[1], a true, correct X, _i.
Page 10
Like the wild beasts I'll wander far afield.
Page 27
" Our love of our neighbour,--is it not a striving after new _property?_ And similarly our love of knowledge, of truth; and in general all the striving after novelties? We gradually become satiated with the old and securely possessed, and again stretch out our hands; even the finest landscape in which we live for three months is no longer certain of our love, and any kind of more distant coast excites our covetousness: the possession for the most part becomes smaller through possessing.
Page 34
Those who reverence the old religion and the religious disposition then complain of corruption,--they have hitherto also determined the usage of language, and have given a bad repute to superstition, even among the freest spirits.
Page 39
Already even politics ceases to be the business of a gentleman; and it is possible that one day it may be found to be so vulgar as to be brought, like all party literature and daily literature, under the rubric: "Prostitution of the intellect.
Page 84
_--We construct a new picture, which we see immediately with the aid of all the old experiences which we have had, _always according to the degree_ of our honesty and justice.
Page 85
" Freedom of thought was regarded as discomfort personified.
Page 93
_The Chosen People.
Page 100
" 164.
Page 105
_Lack of Reserve.
Page 108
_--He who is great is cruel to his second-rate virtues and judgments.
Page 110
But this is as it ought to be, and we do not want either to conceal or obscure the fact, as if we had to be ashamed of it.
Page 116
When we consider the mode of building cities in the north, the law and the general delight in legality and obedience, impose upon us: we thereby divine the propensity to equality and submission which must have ruled in those builders.
Page 123
_--Certainly this man, notwithstanding his youth, understands the _improvisation of life,_ and astonishes even the acutest observers.
Page 143
all the unspeakably small and great in thy life must come to thee again, and all in the same series and sequence--and similarly this spider and this moonlight among the trees, and similarly this moment, and I myself.
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-- 346.
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Page 163
One sees what has really gained the victory over the Christian God--, Christian morality itself, the conception of veracity, taken ever more strictly, the confessional subtlety of the Christian conscience, translated and sublimated to the scientific conscience, to intellectual purity at any price.
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