Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 63

of us: he must organise the chaos in
himself by "thinking himself back" to his true needs. He will want
all his honesty, all the sturdiness and sincerity in his character to
help him to revolt against second-hand thought, second-hand learning,
second-hand action. And he will begin then to understand that culture
can be something more than a "decoration of life"--a concealment and
disfiguring of it, in other words; for all adornment hides what is
adorned. And thus the Greek idea, as against the Roman, will be
discovered in him, the idea of culture as a new and finer nature,
without distinction of inner and outer, without convention or
disguise, as a unity of thought and will, life and appearance. He
will learn too, from his own experience, that it was by a greater
force of moral character that the Greeks were victorious, and that
everything which makes for sincerity is a further step towards true
culture, however this sincerity may harm the ideals of education that
are reverenced at the time, or even have power to shatter a whole
system of merely decorative culture.



When the traveller, who had seen many countries and nations and
continents, was asked what common attribute he had found everywhere
existing among men, he answered, "They have a tendency to sloth."
Many may think that the fuller truth would have been, "They are all
timid." They hide themselves behind "manners" and "opinions." At
bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only
once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a
marvellously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever
be put together a second time. He knows this, but hides it like an
evil conscience;--and why? From fear of his neighbour, who looks for
the latest conventionalities in him, and is wrapped up in them
himself. But what is it that forces the man to fear his neighbour, to
think and act with his herd, and not seek his own joy? Shyness
perhaps, in a few rare cases, but in the majority it is idleness, the
"taking things easily," in a word the "tendency to sloth," of which
the traveller spoke. He was right; men are more slothful than timid,
and their greatest fear is of the burdens that an uncompromising
honesty and nakedness of speech and action would lay on them. It is
only the artists who hate this lazy wandering in borrowed manners and
ill-fitting opinions, and discover the secret of the evil conscience,
the truth that each human being is a unique marvel. They show us,

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

Page 10
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} What is the first and last thing that a philosopher demands.
Page 11
" There is no help for.
Page 15
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} That it is possible to draw yet other lessons from the works above mentioned,--I am much more ready to prove than to dispute.
Page 17
He tilts irreverently at old god-heads.
Page 18
And in Saint Petersburg! Where things are divined, which even Paris has no idea of.
Page 20
Let us irritate nerves, let us strike them dead: let us handle thunder and lightning,--that is what overthrows.
Page 32
(12) Does anybody remember a very curious occurrence in which, quite unexpectedly towards the end, this old feeling once more manifested itself? It happened at Wagner's funeral.
Page 34
{~HORIZONTAL ELLIPSIS~} Never was there a greater Master in heavy hieratic perfumes--Never on earth has there been such a connoisseur of paltry infinities, of all that thrills, of extravagant excesses, of all the feminism from out the vocabulary of happiness! My friends, do but drink the philtres of this art! Nowhere will ye find a more pleasant method of enervating your spirit, of forgetting your manliness in the shade of a rosebush.
Page 36
I know only one musician who to-day would be able to compose an overture as an organic whole: and nobody else knows him.
Page 37
Nothing, however, can cure music as a whole of its chief fault, of its fate, which is to be the expression of general physiological contradiction,--which is, in fact, to be modern.
Page 40
I believe that artists very often do not know what they are best able to do.
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and negation,--in him evil, purposelessness and ugliness, seem just as allowable as they are in nature--because of his bursting plenitude of creative and rejuvenating powers, which are able to convert every desert into a luxurious land of plenty.
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--who could be more incapable of understanding anything about Wagner than the Kaiser, for instance?--To everybody familiar with the movement of European culture, this fact, however, is certain, that French romanticism and Richard Wagner are most intimately related.
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suspicion_ as well, a man returns as though born again, he has a new skin, he is more susceptible, more full of wickedness; he has a finer taste for joyfulness; he has a more sensitive tongue for all good things; his senses are more cheerful; he has acquired a second, more dangerous, innocence in gladness; he is more childish too, and a hundred times more cunning than ever he had been before.
Page 55
The real Wagner, Bayreuth as it actually is, was only like a bad, final proof, pulled on inferior paper from the engraving which was my creation.
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It plunged into the cult of excess, of passion, of ecstasy, and of the blackest and most austere conception of the world.
Page 58
Wagner admitted all this to himself often enough when in private communion with his soul.
Page 61
In regard to Wagner's rejection of form, we are reminded of Goethe's remark in conversation with Eckermann: "there is no great art in being brilliant if one respects nothing.
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" Wagner is not the only culprit here, the whole world does the same,--even the philologists who ought to know better.