Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 34

there is always, also, some
method in madness.

And to me also, who appreciate life, the butterflies, and soap-bubbles,
and whatever is like them amongst us, seem most to enjoy happiness.

To see these light, foolish, pretty, lively little sprites flit
about--that moveth Zarathustra to tears and songs.

I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance.

And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound,
solemn: he was the spirit of gravity--through him all things fall.

Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit
of gravity!

I learned to walk; since then have I let myself run. I learned to fly;
since then I do not need pushing in order to move from a spot.

Now am I light, now do I fly; now do I see myself under myself. Now
there danceth a God in me.--

Thus spake Zarathustra.


Zarathustra's eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him. And as
he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town called
"The Pied Cow," behold, there found he the youth sitting leaning against
a tree, and gazing with wearied look into the valley. Zarathustra
thereupon laid hold of the tree beside which the youth sat, and spake

"If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to
do so.

But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it listeth.
We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands."

Thereupon the youth arose disconcerted, and said: "I hear Zarathustra,
and just now was I thinking of him!" Zarathustra answered:

"Why art thou frightened on that account?--But it is the same with man
as with the tree.

The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more
vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and
deep--into the evil."

"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth. "How is it possible that thou
hast discovered my soul?"

Zarathustra smiled, and said: "Many a soul one will never discover,
unless one first invent it."

"Yea, into the evil!" cried the youth once more.

"Thou saidst the truth, Zarathustra. I trust myself no longer since I
sought to rise into the height, and nobody trusteth me any longer; how
doth that happen?

I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday. I often overleap
the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps pardons me.

When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaketh unto me; the
frost of solitude maketh me tremble. What do I

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

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No one else have I found to-day strong enough for this.
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His gestures bespeak enchantment.
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In the Greeks the "will" desired to contemplate itself in the transfiguration of the genius and the world of art; in order to glorify themselves, its creatures had to feel themselves worthy of glory; they had to behold themselves again in a higher sphere, without this consummate world of contemplation acting as an imperative or reproach.
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Homer, the aged dreamer sunk in himself, the type of the Apollonian naïve artist, beholds now with astonishment the impassioned genius of the warlike votary of the muses, Archilochus, violently tossed to and fro on the billows of existence: and modern æsthetics could only add by way of interpretation, that here the "objective" artist is confronted by the first "subjective" artist.
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Indeed, one might also furnish historical proofs, that every period which is highly productive in popular songs has been most violently stirred by Dionysian currents, which we must always regard as the substratum and prerequisite of the popular song.
Page 43
But the tradition.
Page 44
It is indeed an "ideal" domain, as Schiller rightly perceived, upon--which the Greek satyric chorus, the chorus of primitive tragedy, was wont to walk, a domain raised far above the actual path of mortals.
Page 46
these states.
Page 48
By reason of a strange defeat in our capacities, we modern men are apt to represent to ourselves the æsthetic proto-phenomenon as too complex and abstract.
Page 49
Here we have something different from the rhapsodist, who does not blend with his pictures, but only sees them, like the painter, with contemplative eye outside of him; here we actually have a surrender of the individual by his entering into another nature.
Page 74
the prototype of the _novel_ which must be designated as the infinitely evolved Æsopian fable, in which poetry holds the same rank with reference to dialectic philosophy as this same philosophy held for many centuries with reference to theology: namely, the rank of _ancilla.
Page 94
half of the music.
Page 98
What a spectacle, when our æsthetes, with a net of "beauty" peculiar to themselves, now pursue and clutch at the genius of music romping about before.
Page 99
them with incomprehensible life, and in so doing display activities which are not to be judged by the standard of eternal beauty any more than by the standard of the sublime.
Page 105
the veins of the world, would he not collapse all at once? Could he endure, in the wretched fragile tenement of the human individual, to hear the re-echo of countless cries of joy and sorrow from the "vast void of cosmic night," without flying irresistibly towards his primitive home at the sound of this pastoral dance-song of metaphysics? But if, nevertheless, such a work can be heard as a whole, without a renunciation of individual existence, if such a creation could be created without demolishing its creator--where are we to get the solution of this contradiction? Here there interpose between our highest musical excitement and the music in question the tragic myth and the tragic hero--in reality only as symbols of the most universal facts, of which music alone can speak directly.
Page 111
On the other hand, many a one more nobly and delicately endowed by nature, though he may have gradually become a critical barbarian in the manner described, could tell of the unexpected as well as totally unintelligible effect which a successful performance of _Lohengrin,_ for example, exerted on him: except that perhaps every warning and interpreting hand was lacking to guide him; so that the incomprehensibly heterogeneous and altogether incomparable sensation which then affected him also remained isolated and became extinct, like a mysterious star after a brief brilliancy.
Page 119
service of malignant dwarfs.