everything still"--: but CONTRARY thereto,
preacheth the thawing wind!
The thawing wind, a bullock, which is no ploughing bullock--a furious
bullock, a destroyer, which with angry horns breaketh the ice! The ice
O my brethren, is not everything AT PRESENT IN FLUX? Have not all
railings and gangways fallen into the water? Who would still HOLD ON to
"good" and "evil"?
"Woe to us! Hail to us! The thawing wind bloweth!"--Thus preach, my
brethren, through all the streets!
There is an old illusion--it is called good and evil. Around soothsayers
and astrologers hath hitherto revolved the orbit of this illusion.
Once did one BELIEVE in soothsayers and astrologers; and THEREFORE did
one believe, "Everything is fate: thou shalt, for thou must!"
Then again did one distrust all soothsayers and astrologers; and
THEREFORE did one believe, "Everything is freedom: thou canst, for thou
O my brethren, concerning the stars and the future there hath hitherto
been only illusion, and not knowledge; and THEREFORE concerning good and
evil there hath hitherto been only illusion and not knowledge!
"Thou shalt not rob! Thou shalt not slay!"--such precepts were once
called holy; before them did one bow the knee and the head, and take off
But I ask you: Where have there ever been better robbers and slayers in
the world than such holy precepts?
Is there not even in all life--robbing and slaying? And for such
precepts to be called holy, was not TRUTH itself thereby--slain?
--Or was it a sermon of death that called holy what contradicted and
dissuaded from life?--O my brethren, break up, break up for me the old
It is my sympathy with all the past that I see it is abandoned,--
--Abandoned to the favour, the spirit and the madness of every
generation that cometh, and reinterpreteth all that hath been as its
A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with approval and
disapproval could strain and constrain all the past, until it became for
him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald, and a cock-crowing.
This however is the other danger, and mine other sympathy:--he who is
of the populace, his thoughts go back to his grandfather,--with his
grandfather, however, doth time cease.
Thus is all the past abandoned: for it might some day happen for the
populace to become master, and drown all time in shallow waters.
Therefore, O my brethren, a NEW NOBILITY is needed, which shall be the
adversary of all populace and potentate rule, and shall inscribe anew
the word "noble" on new tables.
For many noble ones are needed, and many kinds of noble ones, FOR A NEW
But if in England and America Nietzsche's attack on Wagner's art may still seem a little incomprehensible, let it be remembered that the Continent has long known that Nietzsche was actually in the right Every year thousands are now added to the large party abroad who have ceased from believing in the great musical revolutionary of the seventies; that he was one with the French Romanticists and rebels has long since been acknowledged a fact in select circles, both in France and Germany, and if we still have Wagner with us in England, if we still consider Nietzsche as a heretic, when he declares that "Wagner was a musician for unmusical people," it is only because we are more removed than we imagine, from all the great movements, intellectual and otherwise, which take place on the Continent.Page 14
_--And how lavishly he varies his _leitmotif_! What rare and melancholy modulations! If it were not for Wagner, who would teach us that innocence has a preference for saving interesting sinners? (the case in "TannhÃ¤user").Page 25
But we others who, in books as in music, desire above all to find _substance,_ and who are scarcely satisfied with the mere representation of a banquet, are much worse off.Page 28
"--What does Elsa stand for? But without a doubt, Elsa is "the unconscious _mind of the people_" (--"when I realised this, I naturally became a thorough revolutionist"--).Page 30
He is especially the musician of a species of dissatisfied women.Page 44
Wagner's appropriation of old sagas and songs, in which scholarly prejudice taught us _to_ see something German _par excellence_--now we laugh at it all,.Page 46
WHERE WAGNER IS AT HOME.Page 49
Feuerbach's words "healthy sensuality" struck Wagner in the thirties and forties very much as they struck many other Germans--they called themselves the young Germans--that is to say, as words of salvation.Page 56
All _greatness_ is creative the moment we realise it.Page 60
Just listen to the second act of the "GÃ¶tterdÃ¤mmerung," without the drama.Page 63
Even at this early period of his life Nietzsche was convinced that Christianity was the real danger to culture; and not merely modern Christianity, but also the Alexandrian culture, the last gasp of Greek antiquity, which had helped to bring Christianity about.Page 64
Classical teachers here may not be rated so high as they are in Germany; but their influence would appear to be equally powerful, and their theories of education and of classical antiquity equally chaotic.Page 66
6 My words of consolation apply particularly to the single tyrannised individual out of a hundred: such exceptional ones should simply treat all the unenlightened majorities as their subordinates; and they should in the same way take advantage of the prejudice, which is still widespread, in favour of classical instruction--they need many helpers.Page 71
Effect of antiquity on the non-philologist likewise nothing.Page 74
Purity of form.Page 82
" In Winckelmann's youth there were no philological studies apart from the ordinary bread-winning branches of the science--people read and explained the ancients in order to prepare themselves for the better interpretation of the Bible and the Corpus Juris.Page 91
A merely fantastic person, of course, has no claim either: one must possess Greek imagination and also a certain amount of Greek piety.Page 105
All consolation comes from art.