Friedrich Nietzsche · 78 pages
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“Without forgetting it is quite impossible to live at all.”
“Happiness: being able to forget or, to express in a more learned fashion.”
“Human existence basically is──a never to be completed imperfect tense.”
“One who cannot leave himself behind on the threshold of the moment and forget the past, who cannot stand on a single point, like a goddess of victory, without fear or giddiness, will never know what happiness is; and, worse still, will never do anything that makes others happy.”
“The beast lives unhistorically; for it 'goes into' the present, like a number, without leaving any curious remainder.”
“The crowd of influences streaming on the young soul is so great, the clods of barbarism and violence flung at him so strange and overwhelming, that an assumed stupidity is his only refuge.”
“There is something the child sees that he does not see; something the child hears that he does not hear; and this something is the most important thing of all. Because he does not understand it, his understanding is more childish than the child's and more simple than simplicity itself; in spite of the many clever wrinkles on his parchment face, and the masterly play of his fingers in unravelling the knots.”
“What a school of politeness is such a contemplation of the past! To take everything objectively, to be angry at nothing, to love nothing, to understand everything-- makes one gentle and pliable.”
“... a thing can only live through a pious illusion.”
“The great works are produced in such an ecstasy of love that they must always be unworthy of it, however great their worth otherwise.”
“The power of gradually losing all feeling of strangeness or astonishment, and finally being pleased at anything, is called the historical sense or historical culture.”
“We suffer from the malady of words, and have no trust in any feeling that is not stamped with its special word.”
“And that discovery would betray the closely guarded secret of modern culture to the laughter of the world. For we moderns have nothing of our own. We only become worth notice by filling ourselves to overflowing with foreign customs, arts, philosophies, religions and sciences: we are wandering encyclopaedias, as an ancient Greek who had strayed into our time would probably call us. But the only value of an encyclopaedia lies in the inside, in the contents, not in what is written outside, in the binding or the wrapper. And so the whole of modern culture is essentially internal; the bookbinder prints something like this on the cover: “Manual of internal culture for external barbarians.” The opposition of inner and outer makes the outer side still more barbarous, as it would naturally be, when the outward growth of a rude people merely developed its primitive inner needs. For what means has nature of repressing too great a luxuriance from without? Only one,—to be affected by it as little as possible, to set it aside and stamp it out at the first opportunity. And so we have the custom of no longer taking real things seriously, we get the feeble personality on which the real and the permanent make so little impression. Men become at last more careless and accommodating in external matters, and the [Pg 34] considerable cleft between substance and form is widened; until they have no longer any feeling for barbarism, if only their memories be kept continually titillated, and there flow a constant stream of new things to be known, that can be neatly packed up in the cupboards of their memory.”
“The visible action is not the self-manifestation of the inward life, but only a weak and crude attempt of a single thread to make a show of representing the whole.”
“The progress of science has been amazingly rapid in the last decade; but consider the savants, those exhausted hens. They are certainly not “harmonious” natures: they can merely cackle more than before, because they lay eggs oftener: but the eggs are always smaller, [Pg 64] though their books are bigger. The natural result of it all is the favourite “popularising” of science (or rather its feminising and infantising), the villainous habit of cutting the cloth of science to fit the figure of the “general public.”
“As if it were the task of every time to be just to everything before it! Ages and generations have never the right to be the judges of all previous ages and generations: only to the rarest men in them can that difficult mission fall. Who compels you to judge? If it is your wish—you must prove first that you are capable of justice. As judges, you must stand higher than that which is to be judged: as it is, you have only come later. The guests that come last to the table should rightly take the last places: and will you take the first? Then do some great and mighty deed: the place may be prepared for you then, even though you do come last.”
“A thing can only live through a pious illusion.”
“We stop too often at knowing the good without doing it, because we also know the better but cannot do it.”
“Человек же, напротив, должен всячески упираться против громадной, все увеличивающейся тяжести прошлого; последняя или пригибает его вниз, или отклоняет его в сторону, она затрудняет его движение, как невидимая и темная ноша, от которой он для виду готов иногда отречься, как это он слишком охотно и делает в обществе равных себе, чтобы возбудить в них зависть. Поэтому-то”
“Obediently, I squash into a corner with a glass of cider. A chalkboard menu declares that the special of the day is stargazy pie. I gulp my drink, envisaging withered fish heads gazing plaintively at the ceiling. In the end, I'm presented with a cheese and pickle sandwich the size of my head and a pile of crisps.”
“So that the Universe felt love,
by which, as somebelieve,
the world has many times been turned to chaos.
And at that moment this ancient rock,
here and elsewhere, fell broken into pieces.”
“This is the terrible thing about learning everything from books—sometimes you don’t know how to say the words. You know the ideas, but you cannot discuss them with people with any confidence. And so you stay silent. It is the curse of the autodidact. Or “autodidiact,” as I said, on the same shameful day. Oh, that was a conversation that went so wrong.”
“The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing, someone else does. —ANONYMOUS”
“He’d tried to explain it to her, how accidents happen but we really are safe. But there was, already, the sense that nothing he said touched what was really bothering her, which was the realization that you can’t stop bad things from happening to other people, other things. And that would be hard forever. He’d never quite gotten used to it himself.”
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