Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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lay eggs oftener: but the eggs are always smaller,
though their books are bigger. The natural result of it all is the
favourite "popularising" of science (or rather its feminising and
infantising), the villainous habit of cutting the cloth of science to
fit the figure of the "general public." Goethe saw the abuse in this,
and demanded that science should only influence the outer world by
way of _a nobler ideal of action_. The older generation of savants
had good reason for thinking this abuse an oppressive burden: the
modern savants have an equally good reason for welcoming it, because,
leaving their little corner of knowledge out of account, they are
part of the "general public" themselves, and its needs are theirs.
They only require to take themselves less seriously to be able to
open their little kingdom successfully to popular curiosity. This
easy-going behaviour is called "the modest condescension of the
savant to the people"; whereas in reality he has only "descended" to
himself, so far as he is not a savant but a plebeian. Rise to the
conception of a people, you learned men; you can never have one noble
or high enough. If you thought much of the people, you would have
compassion towards them, and shrink from offering your historical
aquafortis as a refreshing drink. But you really think very little of
them, for you dare not take any reasonable pains for their future;
and you act like practical pessimists, men who feel the coming
catastrophe and become indifferent and careless of their own and
others' existence. "If only the earth last for us: and if it do not
last, it is no matter." Thus they come to live an _ironical_


It may seem a paradox, though it is none, that I should attribute a
kind of "ironical self-consciousness" to an age that is generally so
honestly, and clamorously, vain of its historical training; and
should see a suspicion hovering near it that there is really nothing
to be proud of, and a fear lest the time for rejoicing at historical
knowledge may soon have gone by. Goethe has shown a similar riddle in
man's nature, in his remarkable study of Newton: he finds a "troubled
feeling of his own error" at the base--or rather on the height--of
his being, just as if he was conscious at times of having a deeper
insight into things, that vanished the moment after. This gave him a
certain ironical view of his own nature. And one finds that the
greater and more developed "historical men" are conscious of all the
superstition and absurdity in the belief

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Text Comparison with The Case Of Wagner, Nietzsche Contra Wagner, and Selected Aphorisms.

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He saw that he had endowed Wagner with a good deal that was more his own than Wagner's.
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78 _et seq.
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As such he is bound to be worshipped and adored in spite of all egotistical and theatrical autobiographies.
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But, to repeat what I have already said, these abnormal symptoms are not in the least incompatible with Wagner's music, they are rather its very cause, the root from which it springs.
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Its gaiety is African; fate hangs over it, its happiness is short, sudden, without reprieve.
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This is its proper place.
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_This Siegfried does.
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And he knows what he has to make an effect upon!--In this he is as unhesitating as Schiller was, as any theatrical man must be; he has also the latter's contempt for the world which he brings to its knees before him.
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--Wagner was in need of literature, in order to persuade the whole world to take his music seriously, profoundly, "because it _meant_ an infinity of things", all his life he was the commentator of the "Idea.
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The title of this essay is: "What Wagner has cost us.
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" Much more dangerous than all this, however, is the corruption of ideas.
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He is much too little of a personality, too little of a central figure.
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{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Brahms is _not_ an actor.
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think that all music is the music of the "marble statue"?--that all music should, so to speak, spring out of the wall and shake the listener to his very bowels?{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Only thus could music have any effect! But on whom would the effect be made? Upon something on which a noble artist ought never to deign to act,--upon the mob, upon the immature! upon the blases! upon the diseased! upon idiots! upon _Wagnerites_!{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} A Music Without A Future.
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-- How I Got Rid Of Wagner.
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The intellectual loathing and haughtiness of every man who has suffered deeply--the extent to which a man can suffer, almost determines the order of rank--the chilling uncertainty with which he is thoroughly imbued and coloured, that by virtue of his suffering he _knows more_ than the shrewdest and wisest can ever know, that he has been familiar with, and "at home" in many distant terrible worlds of which "_you_ know nothing!"--this silent intellectual haughtiness, this pride of the elect of knowledge, of the "initiated," of the almost sacrificed, finds all forms of disguise necessary to protect itself from contact with gushing and sympathising hands, and in general from all that is not its equal in suffering.
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(_Summer 1878.
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This is the principal reason of one's _opposition_ to it, and not baser motives; something to which we are not driven by any personal need, and which we do not _require_, we cannot esteem so highly.
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