4 Quotes from Nietzsche


In this sense the Dionysian man has similarities to Hamlet. Both have had a real glimpse into the essence of things. They have understood, and it now disgusts them to act, for their actions can change nothing in the eternal nature of things. They perceive as ridiculous or humiliating the fact that it is expected of them that they should set right a world turned upside down. The knowledge kills action, for action requires a state of being in which we are covered with the veil of illusion. That is what Hamlet has to teach us, not that really venal wisdom about John−a−Dreams, who cannot move himself to act because of too much reflection, too many possibilities, so to speak. It’s not a case of reflection. No! The true knowledge, the glimpse into the cruel truth overcomes the driving motive to act, both in Hamlet as well as in the Dionysian man. ­­­– The Birth of Tragedy


­­­The criminal’s lawyers are rarely artistic enough to use the beautiful horror of the deed to the advantage of the doer. – Beyond Good and Evil



France is still the seat of the most spiritual and sophisticated culture in Europe today, and the preeminent school of taste: …There is, in addition, a third claim to superiority: at the core of the French there is a half-successful synthesis of north and south which lets them conceive many things and do many others that will never occur to an Englishman. Using a temperament that is turned periodically towards and away from the south, and whose Provencial and Ligurian blood bubbles over from time to time, the French fortify themselves against the awful northern gray on gray, the sunless concept-ghostliness and anemia, – our German disease of the taste, against whose excess people at the moment are strongly resolved to prescribe blood and iron: I mean “great politics” (following a dangerous medical practice that teaches me to wait and wait but not, so far, to hope –). And in France there is still a predisposition to understand and accommodate those rarer and rarely satisfied people who are too far-ranging to find satisfaction in any fatherlandishness, and know how to love the south in the north and the north in the south, – the born Mediterraneans, the “good Europeans.” – It was for them that Bizet made music, this last genius to have seen a new beauty and seduction, – who discovered a piece of the southernness of music. – Beyond Good and Evil


In a hermit’s writings, you can always hear something of the echo of the desert, something of the whisper and the timid sideways glance of solitude. A new and more dangerous type of silence, of concealment, rings out in his strongest words, even in his cries. Anyone who has sat alone with his soul in intimate dispute and dialogue, year in, and year out, day and night, anyone who has become a cave bear or treasure hunter or treasure guard and dragon in his cave (which might be a labyrinth but also a gold mine): his very concepts will come to acquire their own twilight color, the smell of depth just as much as of mildew, something uncommunicative and reluctant that blows a chill on everything going past. The hermit does not believe that a philosopher – given that a philosopher was always a hermit first – has ever expressed his actual and final opinions in books: don’t people write books precisely to keep what they hide to themselves? In fact, he will doubt whether a philosopher could even have “final and actual” opinions, whether for a philosopher every cave does not have, must not have, an even deeper cave behind it – a more extensive, stranger, richer world above the surface, an abyss behind every ground, under every “groundwork.” Every philosophy is a foreground philosophy – that is a hermit’s judgment: “There is something arbitrary in his stopping here, looking back, looking around, in his not digging any deeper here, and putting his spade away – there is also something suspicious about it.” Every philosophy conceals a philosophy too: every opinion is also a hiding place, every word is also a mask. – Beyond Good and Evil


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