Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Basic Writings of Nietzsche" translated by Walter Kaufmann

Why Nietzsche inspires me:

1. He is a philosopher but he is also a writer; in fact, the two in him are indistinguishable.

2. He loves what is noble, instead of what is good; he hates what is contemptible, instead of what is evil.

3. He is a psychologist.

4. He is a historian.

5. He stares into the abyss, and sends art over it. Against absurdity, pessimism, asceticism, he opposes the will to power, the will to recreate values.

6. He values sex for its own sake, as a force for life.

7. He is a prophet.


From Ecce Homo:

On taste:

In all these matters--in the choice of nutrition, of place and climate, of recreation--an instinct of self-preservation issues its commandments, and it gains its most unambiguous expression as an instinct of self-defense. Not to see many things, not to hear many things, not to permit many things to come close--first imperative of prudence, first proof that one is no mere accident but a necessity. The usual word for this instinct of self-defense is taste. It commands us not only to say No when Yes would be "selfless" but also to say No as rarely as possible. To detach oneself, to separate oneself from anything that would make it necessary to keep saying No. The reason in this is that when defensive expenditures, be they ever so small, become the rule and a habit, they entail an extraordinary and entirely superfluous impoverishment. Our great expenses are composed of the most frequent small ones.


On greatness:

My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fait: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it--all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary--but love it.


On sex:

. . . The preaching of chastity amounts to a public incitement to antinature. Every kind of contempt for sex, every impurification of it by means of the concept 'impure,' is the crime par excellence against life--is the real sin against the holy spirit of life.


On his present situation:

Here every word is experienced, is deep, is inward; what is most painful is not lacking: there are words in it that are virtually bloodthirsty. But a wind of the great freedom blows over everything; even wounds do not have the effect of objections.


On inspiration:

The body is inspired; let us keep the "soul" out of it.--Often one could have seen me dance; in those days I could walk in the mountains for seven or eight hours without a trace of weariness. I slept well, I laughed much--my vigor and patience were perfect.

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