_us_ to all that is most remote and most strange in life and culture;
but our accessibility and ingenuousness, which precisely does not
"pity," but rather takes pleasure in hundreds of things which formerly
caused pain (which in former days either outraged or moved us, or in
the presence of which we were either hostile or indifferent). Pain in
all its various phases is now interesting to us: on that account we are
certainly _not_ the more pitiful, even though the sight of pain may
shake us to our foundations and move us to tears: and we are absolutely
not inclined to be more helpful in view thereof.
In this _deliberate_ desire to look on at all pain and error, we have
grown stronger and more powerful than in the eighteenth century; it
is a proof of our increase of strength (we have _drawn closer_ to the
seventeenth and sixteenth centuries). But it is a profound mistake
to regard our "romanticism" as a proof of our "beautified souls." We
want _stronger_ sensations than all _coarser_ ages and classes have
wanted. (This fact must not be confounded with the needs of neurotics
and decadents; in their case, of course, there is a craving for pepper
--even for cruelty.)
We are all seeking conditions _which are emancipated from_ the
bourgeois, and to a greater degree from the priestly, notion of
morality (every book which savours at all of priestdom and theology
gives us the impression of pitiful _niaiserie_ and mental indigence).
"Good company," in fact, finds everything insipid which is not
forbidden and considered compromising in bourgeois circles; and the
case is the same with books, music, politics, and opinions on women.
_The simplification of man in the nineteenth century_ (The eighteenth
century was that of elegance, subtlety, and generous feeling).--Not
"return to nature"; for no natural humanity has ever existed yet.
Scholastic, unnatural, and antinatural values are the rule and the
beginning; man only reaches Nature after a long struggle--he never
turns his "back" to her.... To be natural means, to dare to be as
immoral as Nature is.
We are coarser, more direct, richer in irony towards generous feelings,
even when we are beneath them.
Our _haute volÃ©e,_ the society consisting of our rich and leisured
men, is more natural: people hunt each other, the love of the sexes
is a kind of sport in which marriage is both a charm and an obstacle;
people entertain each other and live for the sake of pleasure; bodily
advantages stand in the first rank, and curiosity and daring are the
Our attitude towards _knowledge_ is more natural; we are innocent
For the German sees you acting as a moral and law-abiding Christian at home, and as an unscrupulous and Machiavellian conqueror abroad; and if he refrains from the reproach of hypocrisy, with which the more stupid continentals invariably charge you, he will certainly call you a "British muddlehead.Page 12
TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.Page 13
Had he such a purpose, such an ideal, such a direction? We have no wish to open a controversy here, neither do we think that in replying to this question in the affirmative we shall give rise to one; for every careful student of Nietzsche, we know, will uphold us in our view.Page 20
The more conscientious observer, more particularly if he be a foreigner, cannot help noticing withal that no great disparity exists between that which the German scholar regards as his culture and that.Page 21
Everywhere, where knowledge and not ability, where information and not art, hold the first rank,--everywhere, therefore, where life bears testimony to the kind of culture extant, there is now only one specific German culture--and this is the culture that is supposed to have conquered France? The contention appears to be altogether too preposterous.Page 29
On this occasion a second admission was made by the speaker: "It is not always strength of will, but weakness, which makes us superior to those tragic souls which are so passionately responsive to the attractions of beauty," or words to this effect.Page 39
432); then, to our minds, one thing, and one thing alone, became certain--namely, that his Sweetmeat-Beethoven is not our Beethoven, and his Soup-Haydn is not our Haydn.Page 56
And only a few can prove this.Page 58
Some one actually played something to us, and even if it were Haydn's music, Haydn could not be blamed because it sounded like Riehl's music for the home.Page 75
RICHARD WAGNER IN BAYREUTH.Page 88
And philosophy is in the same plight: all that the majority demand of it is, that it may teach them to understand approximate facts--very approximate facts--in order that they may then become adapted to them.Page 99
The road to such a new though not unprecedented goal would lead to this: that we should be compelled to acknowledge where the worst faults of our educational system lie, and why it has failed hitherto to elevate us out of barbarity: in reality, it lacks the stirring and creative soul of music; its requirements and arrangements are moreover the product of a period in which the music, to which We seem to attach so much importance, had not yet been born.Page 109
Thus everything that others regard as commonplace strikes him as weird, and he is tempted to meet the whole phenomenon with haughty mockery.Page 121
It were perhaps possible for a philosopher to present us with its exact equivalent in pure thought, and to purge it of all pictures drawn from life, and of all living actions, in which case we should be in possession of the same thing portrayed in two completely different forms--the one for the people, and the other for the very reverse of the people; that is to say, men of theory.Page 122
Wagner's poetry is eloquent of his affection for the German language, and there is a heartiness and candour in his treatment of it which are scarcely to be met with in any other German writer, save perhaps Goethe.Page 128
Life and art weigh heavily upon him when he cannot play wit their most difficult questions.Page 135
Inasmuch as Wagner's art bears us, from time to time, beyond itself, we are enabled to get a general view of its uniform character: we see Goethe and Leopardi as the last great stragglers of the Italian philologist-poets, Faust as the incarnation of a most unpopular problem, in the form of a man of theory thirsting for life; even Goethe's song is an imitation of the song of the people rather than a standard set before them to which they are expected to attain, and the poet knew very well how truly he spoke when he seriously assured his adherents: "My compositions cannot become popular; he who hopes and strives to make them so is mistaken.Page 138
The loving soul of a wife, and the people besides, joyfully welcome the new benevolent genius, although the retainers of tradition and custom reject and revile him: the theme of the Meistersingers.