We Philologists Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Volume 8

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 8

would shrink from it horror
stricken. This glorification, then, is spurious; gold-paper.


23

The false enthusiasm for antiquity in which many philologists live. When
antiquity suddenly comes upon us in our youth, it appears to us to be
composed of innumerable trivialities; in particular we believe ourselves
to be above its ethics. And Homer and Walter Scott--who carries off the
palm? Let us be honest! If this enthusiasm were really felt, people
could scarcely seek their life's calling in it. I mean that what we can
obtain from the Greeks only begins to dawn upon us in later years: only
after we have undergone many experiences, and thought a great deal.


24

People in general think that philology is at an end--while I believe
that it has not yet begun.

The greatest events in philology are the appearance of Goethe,
Schopenhauer, and Wagner; standing on their shoulders we look far into
the distance. The fifth and sixth centuries have still to be discovered.


25

Where do we see the effect of antiquity? Not in language, not in the
imitation of something or other, and not in perversity and waywardness,
to which uses the French have turned it. Our museums are gradually
becoming filled up: I always experience a sensation of disgust when I
see naked statues in the Greek style in the presence of this thoughtless
philistinism which would fain devour everything.


PLANS AND THOUGHTS RELATING TO A WORK ON PHILOLOGY

(1875)


26

Of all sciences philology at present is the most favoured . its progress
having been furthered for centuries by the greatest number of scholars
in every nation who have had charge of the noblest pupils. Philology has
thus had one of the best of all opportunities to be propagated from
generation to generation, and to make itself respected. How has it
acquired this power?

Calculations of the different prejudices in its favour.

How then if these were to be frankly recognised as prejudices? Would not
philology be superfluous if we reckoned up the interests of a position
in life or the earning of a livelihood? What if the truth were told
about antiquity, and its qualifications for training people to live in
the present?

In order that the questions set forth above may be answered let us
consider the training of the philologist, his genesis: he no longer
comes into being where these interests are lacking.

If the world in general came to know what an unseasonable thing for us
antiquity really is, philologists would no longer be called in as the
educators of our youth.

Effect of antiquity on the non-philologist likewise nothing. If they
showed themselves to be imperative and contradictory,

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