Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 6

first occurred to me in August 1881. I made a note of the
thought on a sheet of paper, with the postscript: 6,000 feet beyond
men and time! That day I happened to be wandering through the woods
alongside of the lake of Silvaplana, and I halted beside a huge,
pyramidal and towering rock not far from Surlei. It was then that the
thought struck me. Looking back now, I find that exactly two months
previous to this inspiration, I had had an omen of its coming in the
form of a sudden and decisive alteration in my tastes--more particularly
in music. It would even be possible to consider all 'Zarathustra' as a
musical composition. At all events, a very necessary condition in its
production was a renaissance in myself of the art of hearing. In a small
mountain resort (Recoaro) near Vicenza, where I spent the spring of
1881, I and my friend and Maestro, Peter Gast--also one who had been
born again--discovered that the phoenix music that hovered over us, wore
lighter and brighter plumes than it had done theretofore."

During the month of August 1881 my brother resolved to reveal the
teaching of the Eternal Recurrence, in dithyrambic and psalmodic form,
through the mouth of Zarathustra. Among the notes of this period, we
found a page on which is written the first definite plan of "Thus Spake



Beneath this is written:--

"Zarathustra born on lake Urmi; left his home in his thirtieth year,
went into the province of Aria, and, during ten years of solitude in the
mountains, composed the Zend-Avesta."

"The sun of knowledge stands once more at midday; and the serpent
of eternity lies coiled in its light--: It is YOUR time, ye midday

In that summer of 1881, my brother, after many years of steadily
declining health, began at last to rally, and it is to this first gush
of the recovery of his once splendid bodily condition that we owe not
only "The Gay Science", which in its mood may be regarded as a prelude
to "Zarathustra", but also "Zarathustra" itself. Just as he was
beginning to recuperate his health, however, an unkind destiny brought
him a number of most painful personal experiences. His friends caused
him many disappointments, which were the more bitter to him, inasmuch as
he regarded friendship as such a sacred institution; and for the first
time in his life he realised the whole horror of that loneliness to
which, perhaps, all greatness is condemned. But to be forsaken is
something very different from deliberately choosing blessed

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Text Comparison with Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book for All and None

Page 8
I fear that on one occasion, to avoid bad smells as much as possible, I actually inquired at the Palazzo del Quirinale whether they could not provide a quiet room for a philosopher.
Page 9
He says in a letter to me: "You can have no idea of the vehemence of such composition," and in "Ecce Homo" (autumn 1888) he describes as follows with passionate enthusiasm the incomparable mood in which he created Zarathustra:-- "--Has any one at the end of the nineteenth century any distinct notion of what poets of a stronger age understood by the word inspiration? If not, I will describe it.
Page 48
But one day will the solitude weary thee; one day will thy pride yield, and thy courage quail.
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Unexhausted and undiscovered is still man and man's world.
Page 63
Strangers, however, and the poor, may pluck for themselves the fruit from my tree: thus doth it cause less shame.
Page 70
And like a wind will I one day blow amongst them, and with my spirit, take the breath from their spirit: thus willeth my future.
Page 95
But more frightful even, and more heart-strangling was it, when it again became silent and still all around, and I alone sat in that malignant silence.
Page 99
Oh, where is there deliverance from the flux of things and from the 'existence' of penalty?" Thus did madness preach.
Page 115
The day cometh: so let us part!-- Thus spake Zarathustra.
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This condition continued for seven days; his animals, however, did not leave him day nor night, except that the eagle flew forth to fetch food.
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--"Dost thou still hear nothing?" continued the soothsayer: "doth it not rush and roar out of the depth?"--Zarathustra was silent once more and listened: then heard he a long, long cry, which the abysses threw to one another and passed on; for none of them wished to retain it: so evil did it sound.
Page 192
I, however, rejoice in great sin as my great CONSOLATION.
Page 194
Where your entire love is, namely, with your child, there is also your entire virtue! Your work, your will is YOUR "neighbour": let no false values impose upon you! 12.
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THAT do I take as the best sign: they become thankful.
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HAPPINESS? I strive after my WORK! Well! The lion hath come, my children are nigh, Zarathustra hath grown ripe, mine hour hath come:-- This is MY morning, MY day beginneth: ARISE NOW, ARISE, THOU GREAT NOONTIDE!"-- Thus spake Zarathustra and left his cave, glowing and strong, like a morning sun coming out of gloomy mountains.
Page 237
"And verily, it is no commandment for to-day and to-morrow to LEARN to love oneself.
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In this discourse, Nietzsche wishes to give his followers a warning.