Zarathustra:" for he had learned from him something of the
expression and modulation of language, and perhaps liked also to borrow
from the store of his wisdom. And the fool talked thus to Zarathustra:
O Zarathustra, here is the great city: here hast thou nothing to seek
and everything to lose.
Why wouldst thou wade through this mire? Have pity upon thy foot! Spit
rather on the gate of the city, and--turn back!
Here is the hell for anchorites' thoughts: here are great thoughts
seethed alive and boiled small.
Here do all great sentiments decay: here may only rattle-boned
Smellest thou not already the shambles and cookshops of the spirit?
Steameth not this city with the fumes of slaughtered spirit?
Seest thou not the souls hanging like limp dirty rags?--And they make
newspapers also out of these rags!
Hearest thou not how spirit hath here become a verbal game? Loathsome
verbal swill doth it vomit forth!--And they make newspapers also out of
this verbal swill.
They hound one another, and know not whither! They inflame one another,
and know not why! They tinkle with their pinchbeck, they jingle with
They are cold, and seek warmth from distilled waters: they are inflamed,
and seek coolness from frozen spirits; they are all sick and sore
through public opinion.
All lusts and vices are here at home; but here there are also the
virtuous; there is much appointable appointed virtue:--
Much appointable virtue with scribe-fingers, and hardy sitting-flesh and
waiting-flesh, blessed with small breast-stars, and padded, haunchless
There is here also much piety, and much faithful spittle-licking and
spittle-backing, before the God of Hosts.
"From on high," drippeth the star, and the gracious spittle; for the
high, longeth every starless bosom.
The moon hath its court, and the court hath its moon-calves: unto all,
however, that cometh from the court do the mendicant people pray, and
all appointable mendicant virtues.
"I serve, thou servest, we serve"--so prayeth all appointable virtue
to the prince: that the merited star may at last stick on the slender
But the moon still revolveth around all that is earthly: so revolveth
also the prince around what is earthliest of all--that, however, is the
gold of the shopman.
The God of the Hosts of war is not the God of the golden bar; the prince
proposeth, but the shopman--disposeth!
By all that is luminous and strong and good in thee, O Zarathustra! Spit
on this city of shopmen and return back!
Here floweth all blood putridly and tepidly and frothily through all
veins: spit on the great city, which is the great slum where all the
scum frotheth together!
Spit on the
Strength, robustness, lively dispositions, and a cheerful outlook on life, were among the qualities which every one was pleased to observe in them.Page 5
He did not, however, forget to discriminate among them, but tested and criticised the currents of thought he encountered, and selected accordingly.Page 6
It can easily be imagined how the first reading of Schopenhauer's _The World as Will and Idea_ worked upon this man, still stinging from the bitterest experiences and disappointments.Page 13
WEIMAR, _September_ 1905.Page 18
_ What should I call it? As a philologist and man of words I baptised it, not without some liberty--for who could be sure of the proper name of the Antichrist?--with the name of a Greek god: I called it _Dionysian.Page 19
Thereupon the other symbolic powers, those of music, in rhythmics, dynamics, and harmony, suddenly become impetuous.Page 35
knowledge of the Dionyso-Apollonian genius and his art-work, or at least an anticipatory understanding of the mystery of the aforesaid union.Page 52
The most sorrowful figure of the Greek stage, the hapless _Ådipus,_ was understood by Sophocles as the noble man, who in spite of his wisdom was destined to error and misery, but nevertheless through his extraordinary sufferings ultimately exerted a magical, wholesome influence on all around him, which continues effective even after his death.Page 53
Ådipus, the murderer of his father, the husband of his mother, Ådipus, the interpreter of the riddle of the Sphinx! What does the mysterious triad of these deeds of destiny tell us? There is a primitive popular belief, especially in Persia, that a wise Magian can be born only of incest: which we have forthwith to interpret to ourselves with reference to the riddle-solving and mother-marrying Ådipus, to the effect that when the boundary of the present and future, the rigid law of individuation and, in general, the intrinsic spell of nature, are broken by prophetic and magical powers, an extraordinary counter-naturalness--as, in this case, incest--must have preceded as a cause; for how else could one force nature to surrender her secrets but by victoriously opposing her, _i.Page 67
_ supreme law of which reads about as follows: "to be beautiful everything must be intelligible," as the parallel to the Socratic proposition, "only the knowing is one virtuous.Page 68
But nevertheless Euripides thought he observed that during these first scenes the spectator was in a strange state of anxiety to make out the problem of the previous history, so that the poetic beauties and pathos of the exposition were lost to him.Page 74
The _Apollonian_ tendency has chrysalised in the logical schematism; just as something analogous in the case of Euripides (and moreover a translation of the _Dionysian_ into the naturalistic emotion) was forced upon our attention.Page 78
If we now look at Socrates in the light of this thought, he appears to us as the first who could not only live, but--what is far more--also die under the guidance of this instinct of science: and hence the picture of the _dying, Socrates_, as the man delivered from the fear of death by knowledge and argument, is the escutcheon, above the entrance to science which reminds every one of its mission, namely, to make existence appear to be comprehensible, and therefore to be justified: for which purpose, if arguments do not suffice, _myth_ also must be used, which I just now designated even as the necessary consequence, yea, as the end of science.Page 79
To a person thus minded the Platonic Socrates then appears as the teacher of an entirely new form of "Greek cheerfulness" and felicity of existence, which seeks to discharge itself in actions, and will find its discharge for the most part in maieutic and pedagogic influences on noble youths, with a view to the ultimate production of genius.Page 81
Dionysus, and recognise in them the living and conspicuous representatives of _two_ worlds of art which differ in their intrinsic essence and in their highest aims.Page 87
The unerring instinct of Aristophanes surely did the proper thing when it comprised Socrates himself, the tragedy of Euripides, and the music of the new Dithyrambic poets in the same feeling of hatred, and perceived in all three phenomena the symptoms of a degenerate culture.Page 88
As regards the former, it hardly matters about the text set to it: the heroes and choruses of Euripides are already dissolute enough when once they begin to sing; to what pass must things have come with his brazen successors? The new un-Dionysian spirit,.Page 108
it is,--the assiduous veiling during the performance of tragedy of the intrinsically Dionysian effect: which, however, is so powerful, that it finally forces the Apollonian drama itself into a sphere where it begins to talk with Dionysian wisdom, and even denies itself and its Apollonian conspicuousness.Page 118
Let no one believe that the German spirit has for ever lost its mythical home when it still understands so obviously the voices of the birds which tell of that home.