Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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Notes on "Thus Spake Zarathustra" by Anthony M. Ludovici.




INTRODUCTION BY MRS FORSTER-NIETZSCHE.

HOW ZARATHUSTRA CAME INTO BEING.

"Zarathustra" is my brother's most personal work; it is the history of
his most individual experiences, of his friendships, ideals, raptures,
bitterest disappointments and sorrows. Above it all, however, there
soars, transfiguring it, the image of his greatest hopes and remotest
aims. My brother had the figure of Zarathustra in his mind from his very
earliest youth: he once told me that even as a child he had dreamt of
him. At different periods in his life, he would call this haunter of his
dreams by different names; "but in the end," he declares in a note on
the subject, "I had to do a PERSIAN the honour of identifying him with
this creature of my fancy. Persians were the first to take a broad and
comprehensive view of history. Every series of evolutions, according
to them, was presided over by a prophet; and every prophet had his
'Hazar,'--his dynasty of a thousand years."

All Zarathustra's views, as also his personality, were early conceptions
of my brother's mind. Whoever reads his posthumously published writings
for the years 1869-82 with care, will constantly meet with passages
suggestive of Zarathustra's thoughts and doctrines. For instance, the
ideal of the Superman is put forth quite clearly in all his writings
during the years 1873-75; and in "We Philologists", the following
remarkable observations occur:--

"How can one praise and glorify a nation as a whole?--Even among the
Greeks, it was the INDIVIDUALS that counted."

"The Greeks are interesting and extremely important because they reared
such a vast number of great individuals. How was this possible? The
question is one which ought to be studied.

"I am interested only in the relations of a people to the rearing of
the individual man, and among the Greeks the conditions were unusually
favourable for the development of the individual; not by any means owing
to the goodness of the people, but because of the struggles of their
evil instincts.

"WITH THE HELP OF FAVOURABLE MEASURES GREAT INDIVIDUALS MIGHT BE REARED
WHO WOULD BE BOTH DIFFERENT FROM AND HIGHER THAN THOSE WHO HERETOFORE
HAVE OWED THEIR EXISTENCE TO MERE CHANCE. Here we may still be hopeful:
in the rearing of exceptional men."

The notion of rearing the Superman is only a new form of an ideal
Nietzsche already had in his youth, that "THE OBJECT OF MANKIND SHOULD
LIE IN ITS HIGHEST INDIVIDUALS" (or, as he writes in "Schopenhauer as
Educator": "Mankind ought constantly to be striving to produce great
men--this and nothing else is its duty.") But the ideals he

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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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And yet it was necessary to find translators with such a mind, and not be satisfied, as the French are and must be, with a free though elegant version of Nietzsche.
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.
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fool.
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For the mind of Germany is seeking; and ye hate it because it is seeking, and because it will not accept your word, when ye declare that ye have found what it is seeking.
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There was a time, long, long ago, when the Philistine was only tolerated as something that did not speak, and about which no one spoke; then a period ensued during which his roughness was smoothed, during which he was found amusing, and people talked about him.
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Result of the dispute: "We demand the same piety for our Cosmos that the devout of old demanded for his God"; or, briefly, "He loves me.
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" This judgment of Strauss's concerning Kant did not strike me as being more modest than the one concerning Schopenhauer.
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But it is just at the point where the natural scientist resigns that Strauss, to put it in his own words, "reacts religiously," and leaves the scientific and scholarly standpoint in order to proceed along less honest lines of his.
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436 et seq.
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In striving after this state of bliss, he often seems to waver between two alternatives--either to mimic the brave and dialectical petulance of Lessing, or to affect the manner of the faun-like and free-spirited man of antiquity that Voltaire was.
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The greater part of a German's daily reading matter is undoubtedly sought either in the pages of newspapers, periodicals, or reviews.
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It were strange if what a man did best and most liked to do could not be traced in the general outline of his life, and in the case of those who are remarkably endowed there is all the more reason for supposing that their life will present not only the counterpart of their character, as in the case of every one else, but that it will present above all the counterpart of their intellect and their most individual tastes.
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Page 102
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the dithyrambic quality of his movements speaks just as eloquently of quivering comprehension and of powerful penetration as of the approach of love and self-renunciation.
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It were perhaps possible for a philosopher to present us with its exact equivalent in pure thought, and to purge it of all pictures drawn from life, and of all living actions, in which case we should be in possession of the same thing portrayed in two completely different forms--the one for the people, and the other for the very reverse of the people; that is to say, men of theory.
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Even that which is good in art is superfluous and detrimental when it proceeds from the imitation of what is best.
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Nobody any longer dares to predict where Wagner's influence may not unexpectedly break out.
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Or how do the following propositions strike our ears?--That passion is better than stoicism or hypocrisy; that straightforwardness, even in evil, is better than losing oneself in trying to observe traditional morality; that the free man is just as able to be good as evil, but that the unemancipated man is a disgrace to nature, and has no share in heavenly or earthly bliss; finally, that all who wish to be free must become so through themselves, and that freedom falls to nobody's lot as a gift from Heaven.