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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 69

background, and with cold but roguish
hostility towards all "beautiful words" and "beautiful feelings"--in
these things I found my own particular bent. In my writings up to my
"Zarathustra," there will be found a very earnest ambition to attain
to the _Roman_ style, to the "_ære perennius_" in style.--The same
thing happened on my first acquaintance with Horace. Up to the present
no poet has given me the same artistic raptures as those which from
the first I received from an Horatian ode. In certain languages it
would be absurd even to aspire to what is accomplished by this poet.
This mosaic of words, in which every unit spreads its power to the
left and to the right over the whole, by its sound, by its place in
the sentence, and by its meaning, this _minimum_ in the compass and
number of the signs, and the _maximum_ of energy in the signs which is
thereby achieved--all this is Roman, and, if you will believe me, noble
_par excellence._ By the side of this all the rest of poetry becomes
something popular,--nothing more than senseless sentimental twaddle.


I am not indebted to the Greeks for anything like such strong
impressions; and, to speak frankly, they cannot be to us what the
Romans are. One cannot _learn_ from the Greeks--their style is too
strange, it is also too fluid, to be imperative or to have the effect
of a classic. Who would ever have learnt writing from a Greek! Who
would ever have learned it without the Romans!... Do not let anyone
suggest Plato to me. In regard to Plato I am a thorough sceptic, and
have never been able to agree to the admiration of Plato the _artist,_
which is traditional among scholars. And after all, in this matter,
the most refined judges of taste in antiquity are on my side. In my
opinion Plato bundles all the forms of style pell-mell together,
in this respect he is one of the first decadents of style: he has
something similar on his conscience to that which the Cynics had
who invented the _satura Menippea._ For the Platonic dialogue--this
revoltingly self-complacent and childish kind of dialectics--to
exercise any charm over you, you must never have read any good French
authors,--Fontenelle for instance. Plato is boring. In reality my
distrust of Plato is fundamental. I find him so very much astray
from all the deepest instincts of the Hellenes, so steeped in moral
prejudices, so pre-existently Christian--the concept "good" is already
the highest value with him,--that rather than use any other expression
I would prefer to designate the whole phenomenon Plato

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

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Unfortunately its author was already stricken down with illness when the work first appeared at the end of January 1889, and he was denied the joy of seeing it run into nine editions, of one thousand each, before his death in 1900.
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In plain English, _The Twilight of the Idols_ means that the old truth is on its last legs.
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_Whence do they come therefore?_ In India, as in Greece, the same mistake was made: "we must already once have lived in a higher world (--instead of in a much lower one, which would have been the truth!), we must have been divine, for we possess reason!" .
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_, virtuous; they wished him to be after their own image,--that is to say sanctimonious.
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Nevertheless this error is one of the most ancient and most recent habits of mankind.
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For we had blissfully abused that experience, we had built the world upon it as a world of causes, as a world of will, as a world of spirit.
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" In physiological terms: in a fight with an animal, the only way of making it weak may be to make it sick.
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Their clothes shall consist only of the rags torn from corpses, their vessels shall be the fragments of broken pottery, their ornaments shall be made of old iron, and their religion shall be the worship of evil spirits; without rest they shall wander from place to place.
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In the history of European culture the rise of the Empire signifies, above all, a displacement of the centre of gravity.
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Enough of a poet and of a female to be able to feel greatness as power; he is always turning and twisting, because, like the proverbial worm, he constantly feels that he is being trodden upon.
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And, truth to tell, history is full of such anti-artists, of such creatures of low vitality who have no choice but to.
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And now let us straightway add the second to it: nothing is ugly save the degenerate man,--within these two first principles the realm of æsthetic judgments is confined.
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Finally let me whisper a word of advice to our friends the pessimists and all other decadents.
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In England too the same belief prevails: but nobody will be surprised at that.
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In my writings up to my "Zarathustra," there will be found a very earnest ambition to attain to the _Roman_ style, to the "_ære perennius_" in style.
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It was then necessary to be strong; for danger lay close at hand,--it lurked in ambush everywhere.
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_ The two physiological facts upon which it rests and upon which it bestows its attention are: in the first place excessive irritability of feeling, which manifests itself as a refined susceptibility to pain, _and also_ as super-spiritualisation, an all-too-lengthy sojourn amid concepts and logical procedures, under the influence of which the personal instinct has suffered in favour of the "impersonal.
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_ Fancy the Church having waged its deadly war upon everything noble on earth, precisely with the help of German swords, German blood and courage! A host of painful _questions_ might be raised on this point German nobility scarcely takes a place in the history of higher culture: the reason of this is obvious; Christianity, alcohol--the two _great_ means of corruption.
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48 The more an individual is free and firm, the more exacting becomes his love: at last he yearns for Superman, because nothing else is able to appease his love, 49 Half-way round the course Superman arises.