Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 175

a rock, all at once the
landscape changed, and Zarathustra entered into a realm of death. Here
bristled aloft black and red cliffs, without any grass, tree, or bird's
voice. For it was a valley which all animals avoided, even the beasts of
prey, except that a species of ugly, thick, green serpent came here to
die when they became old. Therefore the shepherds called this valley:
"Serpent-death."

Zarathustra, however, became absorbed in dark recollections, for it
seemed to him as if he had once before stood in this valley. And much
heaviness settled on his mind, so that he walked slowly and always more
slowly, and at last stood still. Then, however, when he opened his eyes,
he saw something sitting by the wayside shaped like a man, and hardly
like a man, something nondescript. And all at once there came over
Zarathustra a great shame, because he had gazed on such a thing.
Blushing up to the very roots of his white hair, he turned aside his
glance, and raised his foot that he might leave this ill-starred place.
Then, however, became the dead wilderness vocal: for from the ground a
noise welled up, gurgling and rattling, as water gurgleth and rattleth
at night through stopped-up water-pipes; and at last it turned into
human voice and human speech:--it sounded thus:

"Zarathustra! Zarathustra! Read my riddle! Say, say! WHAT IS THE REVENGE
ON THE WITNESS?

I entice thee back; here is smooth ice! See to it, see to it, that thy
pride doth not here break its legs!

Thou thinkest thyself wise, thou proud Zarathustra! Read then the
riddle, thou hard nut-cracker,--the riddle that I am! Say then: who am
_I_!"

--When however Zarathustra had heard these words,--what think ye then
took place in his soul? PITY OVERCAME HIM; and he sank down all at
once, like an oak that hath long withstood many tree-fellers,--heavily,
suddenly, to the terror even of those who meant to fell it. But
immediately he got up again from the ground, and his countenance became
stern.

"I know thee well," said he, with a brazen voice, "THOU ART THE MURDERER
OF GOD! Let me go.

Thou couldst not ENDURE him who beheld THEE,--who ever beheld thee
through and through, thou ugliest man. Thou tookest revenge on this
witness!"

Thus spake Zarathustra and was about to go; but the nondescript grasped
at a corner of his garment and began anew to gurgle and seek for words.
"Stay," said he at last--

--"Stay! Do not pass by! I have divined what axe it was that struck thee
to the ground: hail to thee, O Zarathustra, that thou art

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Text Comparison with Homer and Classical Philology

Page 0
, J.
Page 1
Science has this in common with art, that the most ordinary, everyday thing appears to it as something entirely new and attractive, as if metamorphosed by witchcraft and now seen for the first time.
Page 2
of classical philology derived from this theory.
Page 3
Let us talk as we will about the unattainability of this goal, and even designate the goal itself as an illogical pretension--the aspiration for it is very real; and I should like to try to make it clear by an example that the most significant steps of classical philology never lead away from the ideal antiquity, but to it; and that, just when people are speaking unwarrantably of the overthrow of sacred shrines, new and more worthy altars are being erected.
Page 4
When historical criticism has confidently seized upon this method of evaporating apparently concrete personalities, it is permissible to point to the first experiment as an important event in the history of sciences, without considering whether it was successful in this instance or not.
Page 5
If we descend backwards from this zenith, step by step, we find a guide to the understanding of the Homeric problem in the person of Aristotle.
Page 6
The difficulty of answering this question, however, is increased when we seek a reply in another direction, from the standpoint of the poems themselves which have come down to us.
Page 7
to have become active; the happiest people, in the happiest period of its existence, in the highest activity of fantasy and formative power, was said to have created those immeasurable poems.
Page 8
All these schools of thought start from the assumption that the problem of the present form of these epics can be solved from the standpoint of an aesthetic judgment--but we must await the decision as to the authorised line of demarcation between the man of genius and the poetical soul of the people.
Page 9
The difference between them is not in the way they originate, but it is their diffusion and propagation, in short, _tradition_.
Page 10
Homer as the composer of the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ is not a historical tradition, but an _aesthetic judgment_.
Page 11
From the time of Pisistratus onwards, however, with the surprisingly rapid development of the Greek feeling for beauty, the differences in the aesthetic value of those epics continued to be felt more and more: the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ arose from the depths of the flood and have remained on the surface ever since.
Page 12
The _Iliad_ is not a garland, but a bunch of flowers.
Page 13
Up to this point, gentlemen, I think I have been able to put before you the fundamental philosophical and aesthetic characteristics of the problem of the personality of Homer, keeping all minor details rigorously at a distance, on the supposition that the primary form of this widespread and honeycombed mountain known as the Homeric question can be most clearly observed by looking down at it from a far-off height.
Page 14
It is time to close; yet before I do so a few words of a personal character must be added, justified, I hope, by the occasion of this lecture.
Page 15
great homogeneous views alone remain.