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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 66

in order even to endure the sight
of his own person,--ill with unbridled vanity and wanton self-contempt;
this abortion, who planted his tent on the threshold of modernity,
also wanted a "return to nature"; but, I ask once more, whither did
he wish to return? I hate Rousseau, even _in_ the Revolution itself:
the latter was the historical expression of this hybrid of idealist
and _canaille._ The bloody farce which this Revolution ultimately
became, its "immorality," concerns me but slightly; what I loathe
however is its Rousseauesque _morality_--the so-called "truths" of the
Revolution, by means of which it still exercises power and draws all
flat and mediocre things over to its side. The doctrine of equality!
... But there is no more deadly poison than this; for it _seems_ to
proceed from the very lips of justice, whereas in reality it draws
the curtain down on all justice.... "To equals equality, to unequals
inequality"--that would be the real speech of justice and that which
follows from it "Never make unequal things equal." The fact that so
much horror and blood are associated with this doctrine of equality,
has lent this "modern idea" _par excellence_ such a halo of fire and
glory, that the Revolution as a drama has misled even the most noble
minds.--That after all is no reason for honouring it the more.--I can
see only one who regarded it as it should be regarded--that is to say,
with _loathing;_ I speak of Goethe.


_Goethe_.--No mere German, but a European event: a magnificent attempt
to overcome the eighteenth century by means of a return to nature, by
means of an ascent to the naturalness of the Renaissance, a kind of
self-overcoming on the part of the century in question.--He bore the
strongest instincts of this century in his breast: its sentimentality,
and idolatry of nature, its anti-historic, idealistic, unreal, and
revolutionary spirit (--the latter is only a form of the unreal). He
enlisted history, natural science, antiquity, as well as Spinoza, and
above all practical activity, in his service. He drew a host of very
definite horizons around him; far from liberating himself from life, he
plunged right into it; he did not give in; he took as much as he could
on his own shoulders, and into his heart. That to which he aspired was
_totality_; he was opposed to the sundering of reason, sensuality,
feeling and will (as preached with most repulsive scholasticism
by Kant, the antipodes of Goethe); he disciplined himself into a
harmonious whole, he _created_ himself. Goethe in the midst of an age
of unreal sentiment, was a convinced realist: he said

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

Page 1
The whole of our father's family, which I only got to know when they were very advanced in years, were remarkable for their great power of self-control, their lively interest in intellectual matters, and.
Page 29
What was the enormous need from which proceeded such an illustrious group of Olympian beings? Whosoever, with another religion in his heart, approaches these Olympians and seeks among them for moral elevation, even for sanctity, for incorporeal spiritualisation, for sympathetic looks of love, will soon be obliged to turn his back on them, discouraged and disappointed.
Page 30
The Greek knew and felt the terrors and horrors of existence: to be able to live at all, he had to interpose the shining dream-birth of the Olympian world between himself and them.
Page 44
An art indeed exists also here, as in certain novels much in vogue at present: but let no one pester us with the claim that by this art the Schiller-Goethian "Pseudo-idealism" has been vanquished.
Page 50
In several successive outbursts does this primordial basis of tragedy beam forth the vision of the drama, which is a dream-phenomenon throughout, and, as such, epic in character: on the other hand, however, as objectivation of a Dionysian state, it does not represent the Apollonian redemption in appearance, but, conversely, the dissolution of the individual and his unification with primordial existence.
Page 51
This is the Apollonian dream-state, in which the world of day is veiled, and a new world, clearer, more intelligible, more striking than the former, and nevertheless more shadowy, is ever born anew in perpetual change before our eyes.
Page 56
"[13] He who understands this innermost core of the tale of Prometheus--namely the necessity of crime imposed on the titanically striving individual--will at once be conscious of the un-Apollonian nature of this pessimistic representation: for Apollo seeks to pacify individual beings precisely by drawing boundary lines between them, and by again and again calling attention thereto, with his requirements of self-knowledge and due proportion, as the holiest laws of the universe.
Page 63
These considerations here make it obvious that our formula--namely, that Euripides brought the spectator upon the stage, in order to make him truly competent to pass judgment--was but a provisional one, and that we must seek for a deeper understanding of his tendency.
Page 66
" Here we no longer observe anything of the epic absorption in appearance, or of the unemotional coolness of the true actor, who precisely in his highest activity is wholly appearance and joy in appearance.
Page 69
of the universe, the νοῡς, was still excluded from artistic activity, things were all mixed together in a chaotic, primitive mess;--it is thus Euripides was obliged to think, it is thus he was obliged to condemn the "drunken" poets as the first "sober" one among them.
Page 71
Here is the extraordinary hesitancy which always seizes upon us with regard to Socrates, and again and again invites us to ascertain the sense and purpose of this most questionable phenomenon of antiquity.
Page 72
[17] Woe! Woe! Thou hast it destroyed, The beautiful world; With powerful fist; In ruin 'tis hurled! _Faust,_ trans.
Page 81
Perhaps we may lead up to this primitive problem with the question: what æsthetic effect results when the intrinsically separate art-powers, the Apollonian and the Dionysian, enter into concurrent actions? Or, in briefer form: how is music related to image and concept?--Schopenhauer, whom Richard Wagner, with especial reference.
Page 83
This relation may be very well expressed in the language of the schoolmen, by saying: the concepts are the _universalia post rem,_ but music gives the _universalia ante rem,_ and the real world the _universalia in re.
Page 85
by Haldane and Kemp.
Page 87
For if it endeavours to excite our delight only by compelling us to seek external analogies between a vital or natural process and certain rhythmical figures and characteristic sounds of music; if our understanding is expected to satisfy itself with the perception of these analogies, we are reduced to a frame of mind in which the reception of the mythical is impossible; for the myth as a unique exemplar of generality and truth towering into the infinite, desires to be conspicuously perceived.
Page 97
He who would destroy the opera must join issue with Alexandrine cheerfulness, which expresses itself so naïvely therein concerning its favourite representation; of which in fact it is the specific form of art.
Page 105
the veins of the world, would he not collapse all at once? Could he endure, in the wretched fragile tenement of the human individual, to hear the re-echo of countless cries of joy and sorrow from the "vast void of cosmic night," without flying irresistibly towards his primitive home at the sound of this pastoral dance-song of metaphysics? But if, nevertheless, such a work can be heard as a whole, without a renunciation of individual existence, if such a creation could be created without demolishing its creator--where are we to get the solution of this contradiction? Here there interpose between our highest musical excitement and the music in question the tragic myth and the tragic hero--in reality only as symbols of the most universal facts, of which music alone can speak directly.
Page 110
The pathological discharge, the catharsis of Aristotle, which philologists are at a loss whether to include under medicinal or moral phenomena, recalls a remarkable anticipation of Goethe.
Page 114
Greek art and especially Greek tragedy delayed above all the annihilation of myth: it was necessary to annihilate these also to be able to live detached from the native soil, unbridled in the wilderness of thought, custom, and action.