Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 220

the beginner ought to undertake to read. The
author himself refers to it as the deepest work ever offered to the
German public, and elsewhere speaks of his other writings as being
necessary for the understanding of it. But when it is remembered that
in Zarathustra we not only have the history of his most intimate
experiences, friendships, feuds, disappointments, triumphs and the like,
but that the very form in which they are narrated is one which tends
rather to obscure than to throw light upon them, the difficulties which
meet the reader who starts quite unprepared will be seen to be really
formidable.

Zarathustra, then,--this shadowy, allegorical personality, speaking in
allegories and parables, and at times not even refraining from relating
his own dreams--is a figure we can understand but very imperfectly if we
have no knowledge of his creator and counterpart, Friedrich Nietzsche;
and it were therefore well, previous to our study of the more abstruse
parts of this book, if we were to turn to some authoritative book on
Nietzsche's life and works and to read all that is there said on the
subject. Those who can read German will find an excellent guide, in this
respect, in Frau Foerster-Nietzsche's exhaustive and highly interesting
biography of her brother: "Das Leben Friedrich Nietzsche's" (published
by Naumann); while the works of Deussen, Raoul Richter, and Baroness
Isabelle von Unger-Sternberg, will be found to throw useful and
necessary light upon many questions which it would be difficult for a
sister to touch upon.

In regard to the actual philosophical views expounded in this work,
there is an excellent way of clearing up any difficulties they may
present, and that is by an appeal to Nietzsche's other works. Again and
again, of course, he will be found to express himself so clearly that
all reference to his other writings may be dispensed with; but where
this is not the case, the advice he himself gives is after all the best
to be followed here, viz.:--to regard such works as: "Joyful Science",
"Beyond Good and Evil", "The Genealogy of Morals", "The Twilight of
the Idols", "The Antichrist", "The Will to Power", etc., etc., as the
necessary preparation for "Thus Spake Zarathustra".

These directions, though they are by no means simple to carry out, seem
at least to possess the quality of definiteness and straightforwardness.
"Follow them and all will be clear," I seem to imply. But I regret to
say that this is not really the case. For my experience tells me that
even after the above directions have been followed with the greatest
possible zeal, the student will still halt

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of safety! 60.
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same time represent the doctrine of instinctive morality, draw this conclusion: "Granted that utility has been honoured at all times as the highest divinity, where then in all the world has poetry come from?--this rhythmising of speech which thwarts rather than furthers plainness of communication, and which, nevertheless, has sprung up everywhere on the earth, and still springs up, as a mockery of all useful purpose! The wildly beautiful irrationality of poetry refutes you, ye utilitarians! The wish _to get rid of_ utility in some way--that is precisely what has elevated man, that is what has inspired him to morality and art!" Well, I must here speak for once to please the utilitarians,--they are so seldom in the right that it is pitiful! In the old times which called poetry into being, people had still utility in view with respect to it, and a very important utility--at the time when rhythm was introduced into speech, that force which arranges all the particles of the sentence anew, commands the choosing of the words, recolours the thought, and makes it more obscure, more foreign, and more distant: to be sure a _superstitious utility!_ It was intended that a human entreaty should be more profoundly impressed upon the Gods by virtue of rhythm, after it had been observed that men could remember a verse better than an unmetrical speech.
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_The Good and the Beautiful.
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_The Conceit of Artists.
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Let us allow him his intellectual humours and spasms, let us in fairness rather consider what strange nutriments and necessaries an art like his _is entitled to,_ in order to be able to live and grow! It is of no account that he is often wrong as a thinker; justice and patience are not _his_ affair.
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To write in the chancery style, that was to write in court and government style,--that was regarded as something select, compared with the language of the city in which a person lived.
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_--To find everything deep is an inconvenient peculiarity: it makes one constantly strain one's eyes, so that in the end one always finds more than one wishes.
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_--Fathers and sons are much more considerate of one another than mothers and daughters.
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_Genoa,_ January 1882.
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To withdraw from things until one no longer sees much of them, until one has even to see things into them, _in order to see them at all_--or to view them from the side, and as in a frame--or to place them so that they partly disguise themselves and only permit of perspective views--or to look at them through coloured glasses, or in the light of the sunset--or to.
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Yes, life is a woman! 340.
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The error of the more subtle amongst them is that they discover and criticise the probably foolish opinions of a people about its own morality, or the opinions of mankind about human morality generally (they treat accordingly of its origin, its religious sanctions, the superstition of free will, and such matters), and they think that just by so doing they have criticised the morality itself.
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What? Wisdom a means of concealment of the philosopher from--intellect?-- 360.
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_ What is Romanticism? Every art and every philosophy may be regarded as a healing and helping appliance in the service of growing, struggling life: they always presuppose suffering and sufferers.
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We "preserve" nothing, nor would we return to any past age; we are not at all "liberal," we do not labour for "progress," we do not need first to stop our ears to the song of the market-place and the sirens of the future--their song of "equal rights," "free society," "no longer either lords or slaves," does not allure us! We do not by any means think it desirable that the kingdom of righteousness and peace should be established on earth (because under any circumstances it would be the kingdom of the profoundest mediocrity and Chinaism); we rejoice in all men, who like ourselves love danger, war and adventure, who do not make compromises, nor let themselves be captured, conciliated and stunted; we count ourselves among the conquerors; we ponder over the need of a new order of things, even of a new slavery--for every strengthening and elevation of the type "man" also involves a new form of slavery.
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my own case,--I do not desire that either my ignorance, or the vivacity of my temperament, should prevent me being understood by _you,_ my friends: I certainly do not desire that my vivacity should have that effect, however much it may impel me to arrive quickly at an object, in order to arrive at it at all.