Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 82

the step-mother's plot to
conceal his genius from him was foiled. And now he could turn a
fearless eye towards the question, "What is the real worth of life?"
without having any more to weigh a bloodless and chaotic age of doubt
and hypocrisy. He knew that there was something higher and purer to
be won on this earth than the life of his time, and a man does bitter
wrong to existence who only knows it and criticises it in this
hateful form. Genius, itself the highest product of life, is now
summoned to justify life, if it can: the noble creative soul must
answer the question:--"Dost thou in thy heart say 'Yea!' unto this
existence? Is it enough for thee? Wilt thou be its advocate and its
redeemer? One true 'Yea!' from thy lips, and the sorely accused life
shall go free." How shall he answer? In the words of Empedocles.


The last hint may well remain obscure for a time: I have something
more easy to explain, namely how Schopenhauer can help us to educate
ourselves _in opposition_ to our age, since we have the advantage of
really knowing our age, through him;--if it be an advantage! It may
be no longer possible in a couple of hundred years. I sometimes amuse
myself with the idea that men may soon grow tired of books and their
authors, and the savant of to-morrow come to leave directions in his
will that his body be burned in the midst of his books, including of
course his own writings. And in the gradual clearing of the forests,
might not our libraries be very reasonably used for straw and
brushwood? Most books are born from the smoke and vapour of the
brain: and to vapour and smoke may they well return. For having no
fire within themselves, they shall be visited with fire. And possibly
to a later century our own may count as the "Dark age," because our
productions heated the furnace hotter and more continuously than ever
before. We are anyhow happy that we can learn to know our time; and
if there be any sense in busying ourselves with our time at all, we
may as well do it as thoroughly as we can, so that no one may have
any doubt about it. The possibility of this we owe to Schopenhauer.

Our happiness would of course be infinitely greater, if our inquiry
showed that nothing so hopeful and splendid as our present epoch had
ever existed. There are simple people in some corner of the earth
to-day--perhaps in Germany--who are disposed to

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Text Comparison with Thoughts out of Season, Part I David Strauss, the Confessor and the Writer - Richard Wagner in Bayreuth.

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Both Disraeli.
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He did not see that in fighting Liberalism and Nonconformity.
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And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it and let us eat and be merry!" AMEN.
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Therein lies the humour which poor Hölderlin lacked and the need of which ultimately wrecked him.
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This confession surprises us somewhat for the moment.
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As to Mozart, what Aristotle says of Plato ought really to be applied here: "Insignificant people ought not to be permitted even to praise him.
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Let us first hear his confession: "It is certainly an unpleasant and a thankless task to tell the world those truths which it is least desirous of hearing.
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But ye take as much pains as the famishing and breadless; and, with that eagerness and lack of discernment which characterises the starving, ye even snatch the dishes from the sideboard of science.
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gaze of the struggling man of culture--if they ever possessed it--that gaze which condemns even the scurry we speak of as a barbarous state of affairs? That is why these few are forced to live in an almost perpetual contradiction.
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The language of these journals gradually stamps itself on his brain, by means of its steady drip, drip, drip of similar phrases and similar words.
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Now try and recall Rienzi, the Flying Dutchman and Senta, Tannhäuser and Elizabeth, Lohengrin and Elsa, Tristan and Marke, Hans Sachs, Woden and Brunhilda,--all these characters are correlated by a secret current of ennobling and broadening morality which flows through them and becomes ever purer and clearer as it progresses.
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Life grew ever more and more complicated for him; but the means and artifices that he discovered in his art as a dramatist became evermore resourceful and daring.
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in mind that the soul of music now wishes to acquire a body, that, by means of you all, it would find its way to visibleness in movements, deeds, institutions, and customs!" There are some men who understand this summons, and their number will increase; they have also understood, for the first time, what it means to found the State upon music.
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" Wagner's ability, his taste and his aspirations--all of which have ever been as closely related as key to lock--grew and attained to freedom together; but there was a time when it was not so.
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Modern art.
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It also robbed them of the greatest and purest things which their deepest needs led them to create, and through which they meekly expressed the genuine and unique art within their soul: their myths, songs, dances, and their discoveries in the department of language, in order to distil therefrom a voluptuous antidote against the fatigue and boredom of its existence--modern art.
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If art mean only the faculty of communicating to others what one has oneself experienced, and if every work of art confutes itself which does not succeed in making itself understood, then Wagner's greatness as an artist would certainly lie in the almost demoniacal power of his nature to communicate with others, to express itself in all languages at once, and to make known its most intimate and personal experience with the greatest amount of distinctness possible.
Page 124
Language withdrew itself from the length and breadth of rhetoric into the strong confines of the speech of the feelings, and although the actor spoke much less about all he did and felt in the performance, his innermost sentiments, which the ordinary playwright had hitherto ignored for fear of being undramatic, was now able to drive the spectators to passionate sympathy, while the accompanying language of gestures could be restricted to the most delicate modulations.
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Whenever a soul only half capable of comprehending him opened itself to him, he never failed to implant his seed in it.
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Others, more particularly the earlier ones, including "Opera and Drama," excite and agitate one; their rhythm is so uneven that, as prose they are bewildering.