Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 246

however, there want
I also to be honest--namely, severe, rigorous, restricted, cruel, and
inexorable." Zarathustra greatly respecting this man, invites him too to
the cave, and then vanishes in answer to another cry for help.

Chapter LXV. The Magician.

The Magician is of course an artist, and Nietzsche's intimate knowledge
of perhaps the greatest artist of his age rendered the selection of
Wagner, as the type in this discourse, almost inevitable. Most readers
will be acquainted with the facts relating to Nietzsche's and Wagner's
friendship and ultimate separation. As a boy and a youth Nietzsche had
shown such a remarkable gift for music that it had been a question at
one time whether he should not perhaps give up everything else in order
to develop this gift, but he became a scholar notwithstanding, although
he never entirely gave up composing, and playing the piano. While
still in his teens, he became acquainted with Wagner's music and
grew passionately fond of it. Long before he met Wagner he must have
idealised him in his mind to an extent which only a profoundly artistic
nature could have been capable of. Nietzsche always had high ideals for
humanity. If one were asked whether, throughout his many changes, there
was yet one aim, one direction, and one hope to which he held fast,
one would be forced to reply in the affirmative and declare that aim,
direction, and hope to have been "the elevation of the type man."
Now, when Nietzsche met Wagner he was actually casting about for an
incarnation of his dreams for the German people, and we have only to
remember his youth (he was twenty-one when he was introduced to Wagner),
his love of Wagner's music, and the undoubted power of the great
musician's personality, in order to realise how very uncritical his
attitude must have been in the first flood of his enthusiasm. Again,
when the friendship ripened, we cannot well imagine Nietzsche, the
younger man, being anything less than intoxicated by his senior's
attention and love, and we are therefore not surprised to find him
pressing Wagner forward as the great Reformer and Saviour of mankind.
"Wagner in Bayreuth" (English Edition, 1909) gives us the best proof
of Nietzsche's infatuation, and although signs are not wanting in this
essay which show how clearly and even cruelly he was sub-consciously
"taking stock" of his friend--even then, the work is a record of what
great love and admiration can do in the way of endowing the object
of one's affection with all the qualities and ideals that a fertile
imagination can conceive.

When the blow came it was therefore

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Text Comparison with Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

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