Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 101

the inner side to be judged from the outer. I
sometimes think that modern men are eternally bored with each other
and look to the arts to make them interesting. They let their artists
make savoury and inviting dishes of them; they steep themselves in
the spices of the East and West, and have a very interesting aroma
after it all. They are ready to suit all palates: and every one will
be served, whether he want something with a good or bad taste,
something sublime or coarse, Greek or Chinese, tragedy or
gutter-drama. The most celebrated chefs among the moderns who wish to
interest and be interested at any price, are the French; the worst
are the Germans. This is really more comforting for the latter, and
we have no reason to mind the French despising us for our want of
interest, elegance and politeness, and being reminded of the Indian
who longs for a ring through his nose, and then proceeds to tattoo
himself.

Here I must digress a little. Many things in Germany have evidently
been altered since the late war with France, and new requirements for
German culture brought over. The war was for many their first venture
into the more elegant half of the world: and what an admirable
simplicity the conqueror shows in not scorning to learn something of
culture from the conquered! The applied arts especially will be
reformed to emulate our more refined neighbours, the German house
furnished like the French, a "sound taste" applied to the German
language by means of an Academy on the French model, to shake off the
doubtful influence of Goethe--this is the judgment of our new Berlin
Academician, Dubois-Raymond. Our theatres have been gradually moving,
in a dignified way, towards the same goal, even the elegant German
savant is now discovered--and we must now expect everything that does
not conform to this law of elegance, our music, tragedy and
philosophy, to be thrust aside as un-German. But there were no need
to raise a finger for German culture, did German culture (which the
Germans have yet to find) mean nothing but the little amenities that
make life more decorative--including the arts of the dancing-master
and the upholsterer;--or were they merely interested in academic
rules of language and a general atmosphere of politeness. The late
war and the self-comparison with the French do not seem to have
aroused any further desires, and I suspect that the German has a
strong wish for the moment to be free of the old obligations laid on
him by his wonderful gifts of seriousness and profundity. He would
much rather

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Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

Page 0
These philological aims were pursued sometimes with greater ardour and sometimes with less, in accordance with the degree of culture and the development of the taste of a particular period; but, on the other hand, the followers of this science are in the habit of regarding the aims which correspond to their several abilities as _the_ aims of philology; whence it comes about that.
Page 1
And philology has a great many such enemies.
Page 2
It was none other than Goethe who, in early life a supporter of Wolf's theories regarding Homer, recanted in the verses-- With subtle wit you took away Our former adoration: The Iliad, you may us say, Was mere conglomeration.
Page 3
The entire scientific and artistic movement of this peculiar centaur is bent, though with cyclopic slowness, upon bridging over the gulf between the ideal antiquity--which is perhaps only the magnificent blossoming of the Teutonic longing for the south--and the real antiquity; and thus classical philology pursues only the final end of its own being, which is the fusing together of primarily hostile impulses that have only forcibly been brought together.
Page 4
Friedrich August Wolf has exactly indicated the spot where Greek antiquity dropped the question.
Page 5
It may be remarked as most characteristic of this hypothesis that, in the strictest sense, the personality of Homer is treated seriously; that a certain standard of inner harmony is everywhere presupposed in the manifestations of the personality; and that, with these two excellent auxiliary hypotheses, whatever is seen to be below this standard and opposed to this inner harmony is at once swept aside as un-Homeric.
Page 6
The conception of popular poetry seemed to lead like a bridge over this problem--a deeper and more original power than that of every single creative individual was said.
Page 7
Such a conception justly made people suspicious.
Page 8
For this discovery prepared the way for a coming scientific view of history, which was until then, and in many respects is even now, a mere collection of materials, with the prospect that new materials would continue to be added, and that the huge, overflowing pile would never be systematically arranged.
Page 9
With the superstition which presupposes poetising masses is connected another: that popular poetry is limited to one particular period of a people's history and afterwards dies out--which indeed follows as a consequence of the first superstition I have mentioned.
Page 10
The only path which leads back beyond the time of Pisistratus and helps us to elucidate the meaning of the name Homer, takes its way on the one hand through the reports which have reached us concerning Homer's birthplace: from which we see that, although his name is always associated with heroic epic poems, he is on the other hand no more referred to as the composer of the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ than as the author of the _Thebais_ or any other cyclical epic.
Page 11
The infinite profusion of images and incidents in the Homeric epic must force us to admit that such a wide range of vision is next to impossible.
Page 12
He well knew that no one would ever consider the collection as a whole; but would merely look at the individual parts.
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The decision on this point has already been given.
Page 14
And there is a second fact which I should like to recall to the memory of those friends of antiquity who turn their dissatisfied backs on classical philology.
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great homogeneous views alone remain.