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Prize winners. Science fiction, fantasy. Literary fiction. Children's Fiction. Educational literature. Female gifts Male gifts Children gifts Inspirational gifts Self-development gifts Exceptional gifts 6. Gift cards 7. Collections of gifts 0. Friedrich Nietzsche, Duncan Large. Old price: Shipping and Charges. Ecce Homo is an autobiography like no other. Deliberately provocative, Nietzsche subverts the conventions of the genre and pushes his philosophical positions to combative extremes, constructing a genius-hero whose life is a chronicle of incessant self-overcoming.
Written in , a few weeks before his descent into madness, the book sub-titled 'How To Become What You Are' passes under review all Nietzsche's previous works so that we, his 'posthumous' readers, can finally understand him aright, on his own terms. He reaches final reckonings with his many enemies - Richard Wagner, German nationalism, 'modern men' in general - and above all Christianity, proclaiming himself the Antichrist.
Ecce Homo is the summation of an extraordinary philosophical career, a last great testament to Nietzsche's will. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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Double-spread art nouveau title page illustrated by Henry Van de Velde. Copies were so expensive that it was dubbed the "bank director's edition" Schaberg, The Nietzsche Canon, p. First edition of Nietzsche's apologia, written as a pre-emptive defense against his interpreters, though not published for almost twenty years after it was written, due to the machinations and the fears of his sister. I do not want to be a holy man; sooner even a buffoon. But what matters Zarathustra!
You are my believers - but what matter all believers! You had not yet sought yourselves, and you found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all faith amounts to so little. Original grey suede boards with embossed circular title on the front cover gilt and again in gilt on the spine. The spine with some darkening to bottom. Light wear to boards. Number 70 of on Japanese velin. Small 4to, vellum spine and gray paper-covered boards. Gilt-lettered spine and oval gilt title device on front cover.
Covers somewhat bowed priced accordingly ; vellum spine darkened with some soil; gilt device and lettering bright. One of regular copies also on japan paper of Nietzsche's autobiography. Printed by Friedrich Richter in brown and black with title page and ornaments printed in lighter brown in contrast to the black of the letterpress. With it I have given humanity the greatest gift it has ever been given.
Above all you have to hear properly the tone that comes out of this mouth, this halcyon tone, if you are not to be pitifully unjust towards the meaning of its Foreword 5 wisdom. The like of this reaches only the most select; it is a peerless privilege to be a listener here; no one is at liberty to have ears for Zarathustra Is Zarathustra with all that not a seducer?
Alone I go now, my disciples! You too must go away now, and alone! Go away from me and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he has deceived you. The man of understanding must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends. One repays a teacher poorly if one always remains only a student. And why would you not pluck at my wreath?
The Project Gutenberg eBook of Ecce Homo, by Friedrich Nietzsche.
You revere me: but what if your reverence should some day collapse? Be careful lest a statue fall and kill you!
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But what does Zarathustra matter! You are my believers, but what do any believers matter! You had not yet sought yourselves: then you found me. Thus do all believers; that is why all belief is worth so little. How should I not be grateful to my whole life? And so I tell myself my life. In the same year as his life declined, mine declined, too: in the thirty-sixth year of my life I reached the nadir of my vitality—I was still alive, but could not see three steps ahead of me. At that point—it was — I resigned my professorship in Basle, lived through the summer like a shadow in St Moritz and the following winter, the least sunny of my life, as a shadow in Naumburg.
Without a doubt I was an expert in shadows in those days My blood runs slowly. No one has ever managed to detect a fever in me. Even the eye complaint, at times verging dangerously on blindness, just a consequence, not causal: so that with every increase in vitality the eyesight has picked up again, too. I have spelt it out forwards and backwards.
That energy to achieve absolute isolation and release from routine circumstances, the pressure on myself forcing me not to let myself be taken care of, waited on, doctored with any longer—they betray an absolute instinctual certainty about what, above all, was required at that stage. I took myself in hand, I made myself healthy again: the prerequisite for this—as every physiologist will concede—is that one is basically healthy.
A typically morbid being cannot become healthy, still less make itself healthy; for a typical healthy person, conversely, being ill can even be an energetic stimulant to living, to living more. This, indeed, is how that long period of illness appears to me now: it was as if I discovered life anew, myself included; I tasted all the good things, even the small ones, as no other could easily taste them—I turned my will to health, to life, into my philosophy And basically how do you tell if someone has turned out well!
He guesses correctly what will heal harm, he exploits strokes of bad luck to his advantage; what does not kill him makes him stronger. He is always in his kind of company, whether he is dealing with books, people, or landscapes: he honours by choosing, by granting admission, by trusting. He reacts to every kind of stimulus slowly, with the slowness which years of caution and a willed pride have cultivated in him—he examines the stimulus as it approaches and has no intention of going to meet it. There is but one instance where I acknowledge an equal—I confess it with profound gratitude.
Frau Cosima Wagner is by far the noblest of natures; and so as not to say a word too little, I say that Richard Wagner was the man who was by far the most closely related to me All the prevailing notions about degrees of relatedness are the most outrageous kind of physiological nonsense. At this moment, as I am writing this, the postman brings me a Dionysus head I have never even taken against myself—however unchristian that may seem.
I am always a match for a chance occurrence; I need to be unprepared to be master of myself. I hold it against the compassionate that they easily lose sight of shame, reverence, sensitivity to distances, that in a trice compassion smells of plebs and looks for all the world like bad manners—that compassionate hands may even wreak utter destruction as they plunge into a great destiny, an isolation among wounds, a right to a heavy burden of guilt. My kind of retaliation consists in sending something clever to chase after stupidity as quickly as possible: that way you may just catch it up.
Metaphorically speaking: I send a pot of preserves to get rid of a sour story It seems to me, furthermore, that even the rudest word, the rudest letter is more good-natured, more honourable than silence. The silent are all dyspeptic. If a god came to earth, he should do nothing but wrong: assuming not the punishment but the guilt—that would be divine. The problem is not exactly simple: you need to have experienced it from a position of strength and from one of weakness. If anything at all needs to be counted against being ill, being weak, then it is the fact that in that state the true healing instinct, in other words the instinct for defence and weapons in man, is worn down.
Being ill is a kind of resentment itself. Not taking, taking on, taking in anything at all any more—no longer reacting at all The great good sense about this fatalism which is not always just courage unto death , what makes it life-preserving amidst the most lifethreatening of circumstances, is the reduction of the metabolism, the slowing of its rate, a kind of will to hibernation. Take this 14 Ecce Homo I 6 logic a few steps further and you have the fakir sleeping in a tomb for weeks on end Since you would exhaust yourself too quickly if you reacted at all, you no longer react in any way: such is the logic.
And nothing burns you up faster than the emotions of resentment. For the invalid, resentment is the absolute forbidden—his evil: unfortunately his most natural inclination, too. Attacking is one of my instincts.
Being able to be an enemy, being an enemy—these require a strong nature, perhaps; in any case every strong nature presupposes them. If you despise, you cannot wage war; if you command, if you look down on something, you do not need to wage war. First: I attack only causes that are victorious—on occasion, I wait till they are victorious. Second: I attack causes only when there are no allies to be found, when I am standing alone—when I am compromising myself alone I have never made a move in public that was not compromising: this is my criterion for right action.
Third: I never attack people—I make use of a person only as a kind of strong magnifying glass with which one can make visible some general but insidious and quite intangible exigency. Fourth: I attack things only when all personal disagreement is ruled out, 16 Ecce Homo I 8 when there is no background of bad experiences.
On the contrary, attacking is for me a proof of benevolence, even of gratitude. When I wage war on Christianity, I am entitled to do so because I have not experienced any fatalities or hindrances from that quarter—the most earnest Christians have always been favourably disposed towards me. I have an instinct for cleanliness that is utterly uncanny in its sensitivity, which means that I can physiologically detect—smell— the proximity or what am I saying?
If my observations were correct, natures like this which are unconducive to my cleanliness feel the circumspection of my disgust on their part, too: it does not make them smell any more pleasant As has always been my custom—extreme honesty with myself is the prerequisite of my existence; impure conditions are the death of me—I am constantly swimming and bathing and splashing in water, as it were, in some perfectly transparent and sparkling element. This makes dealing with people quite a trial of my patience; my humaneness consists not in sympathizing with someone, but in putting up with the fact that I sympathize with them My humaneness is a constant self-overcoming.
Do you want to hear the words Zarathustra uses to speak of deliverance from disgust? Yet what happened to me? How did I redeem myself from disgust? Who rejuvenated my eye? Did my disgust itself create wings for me and water-divining powers? Here in the heights the fount of pleasure wells up for me! And there is a life at which no rabble drinks too! Almost too violently you stream for me, spring of pleasure! And still must I learn to approach you more moderately: all too violently does my heart still stream toward you: —my heart, upon which my summer burns, short, hot, heavy-hearted, over-blissful: how my summer-heart craves your coolness!
Gone the hesitant sorrow of my spring! Summer have I become entirely, and summer-midday— —a summer in the highest heights, with cold springs and blissful stillness: oh come, my friends, that the stillness might become even more blissful! For these are our heights and our home: too high and boldly we live here for all unclean creatures and their thirst. Just cast your clear eyes into the fount of my pleasure, you friends! How could that make it turbid! It shall laugh back to you with its own clarity. In the tree called Future we build our nests; eagles shall bring to us lonely ones victuals in their beaks!
Verily, no victuals that the unclean might share with us! To their bodies our happiness would be an ice-cave, and to their spirits too! And like strong winds we would live above them, neighbours to eagles, neighbours to snow, neighbours to the sun: thus do strong winds always live. Verily, a strong wind is Zarathustra to all low-lying lands; and this counsel does he give to his enemies and to all that spits and spews: beware of spitting into the wind! Why am I generally so clever? I have never thought about questions that are not real ones—I have not squandered myself. Likewise I have no reliable criterion for what a pang of conscience is: from what one hears about it, a pang of conscience seems to me unworthy of respect.
I would not want to abandon an action after the event; I would prefer to leave the bad outcome, the consequences out of the question of value altogether. Cherishing something that goes wrong all the more because it went wrong—that is more my kind of morality. I am too curious, too dubious, too high-spirited to content myself with a rough-and-ready answer. God is a roughand-ready answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers—basically even just a rough-and-ready prohibition on us: you shall not think! They say that was a turning point in this regard—.
If you add on top of all this the positively swinish way older Germans—but by no means just the older ones—need to wash everything down, then you can also understand where the German spirit comes from—from distressed intestines. The German spirit is a case of indigestion—it can never be done with anything. The best cooking is the Piedmontese. I may have grasped this rather late, but I have actually been experiencing it since childhood. Perhaps the Naumburg wine bears its share of the blame for this harsh judgement.
Even when I was a boy this was my form of bravery. Water does the job. I prefer places which give you the opportunity everywhere to draw water from running fountains Nice, Turin, Sils ; a little glass follows me around like a dog. A few more hints from my morality. A big meal is easier to digest than one that is too small. You must know the size of your stomach. A little, but strong; tea is very harmful and makes you feel sickly all day if it is just slightly too weak. Everyone has his own level here, often between the tightest and most delicate limits.
All prejudices emanate from the bowels. No one is at liberty to live everywhere, and anyone who has to perform great tasks that call for all his strength has indeed a very limited choice in this respect. Make a list for yourself of the places where intelligent people are and have been, where wit, cunning, malice made people happy, where genius was almost obliged to make its home: all of them have outstandingly dry air.
Paris, the Provence, Florence, Jerusalem, Athens—these names prove something: genius depends on dry air, on clear skies—in other words on rapid metabolism, on the possibility of supplying oneself with great, even enormous quantities of strength time and again. I can recall a case where, merely for want of instinctual subtlety in matters climatic, an eminent and freely disposed spirit became constricted, crabbed, a specialist and sourpuss. Naumburg, Schulpforta, Thuringia in general, Leipzig, Basle—so many hapless haunts for my physiology.
Illness was what made me see reason. Here, too, the limits on what a spirit is allowed, in other words what is useful to it, become tighter and tighter the more sui generis it is. In my case all reading is a relaxation: hence it is one of those things that release me from myself, that let me stroll among alien sciences and souls—that I stop taking seriously. For reading is a release from my seriousness. When I am deep in hard work there are no books to be seen 24 Ecce Homo II 3 around me: I would take care not to let anyone near me speak or even think. And that is what reading is You have to avoid chance occurrences, external stimuli as much as possible; a kind of self-immurement is one of the foremost instinctual ruses of spiritual pregnancy.
Shall I allow an alien thought to climb secretly over the wall? After the periods of work and fruitfulness comes the period of relaxation: out you come, you pleasant, intellectually stimulating books I have been shying away from! I have to go back half a year to catch myself with a book in my hand. What was it, though? Otherwise I resort almost always to the same books—basically a small number, of those books which have proved themselves for me in particular.
It is perhaps not my nature to read much and widely: reading-rooms make me ill. It is also not my nature to love much or widely. The few cases of advanced education I discovered in Germany were all of French extraction, above all Frau Cosima Wagner, by far the foremost voice in questions of taste that I have heard Just between ourselves, I even prefer this generation to their great teachers, every last one of whom has been ruined by German philosophy: Mr Taine, for example, by Hegel, to whom he owes his misunderstanding of great people and periods. Everywhere Germany extends it ruins culture.
Perhaps I am even a little envious of Stendhal? I seek in vain across all the realms of millennia for a music that is as sweet and passionate. He possessed that divine malice without which I am incapable of conceiving perfection— I measure the value of people and races according to how necessary it is for them to conceive of god and satyr as inseparable.
Some day people will say that Heine and I were by far the foremost artists of the German language—incalculably 26 Ecce Homo II 4 far beyond everything mere Germans have done with it. Once I have cast a glance at my Zarathustra, I walk up and down the room for half an hour, overpowered by unbearable cramps brought on by sobbing. But you need to be profound, abyss, philosopher to feel that way We are all afraid of the truth And the devil take you, my dear critics!
II 5 Why I Am So Clever 27 5 Now that I am speaking of the relaxations in my life, I need to say a word to express my gratitude for what has been by far my most profound and cordial relaxation. Without a shadow of doubt this was my intimate association with Richard Wagner. I do not know what experiences others have had with Wagner: never a cloud passed across our skies. Well then! Wagner was a revolutionary—he escaped from the Germans No one in Germany has any idea of the immense ambition that lives in the soul of a Parisian artist. Germans are good-natured—Wagner was not in the least good-natured What have I never forgiven Wagner?
For I was condemned to live among Germans. To escape from unbearable pressure you need hashish. Well then, I needed Wagner.
That it should be cheerful and profound, like an October afternoon. That it should be independent, lively, tender, a sweet little woman of treachery and grace I shall never grant that a German could know what music is. I would not know how to do without Rossini, still less my musical south, the music of my Venetian maestro Pietro Gasti. I can make no distinction between tears and music; I do not know how to imagine happiness, the south, without a shudder of timidity. By the bridge stood I Lately in the dusky night. From afar came singing: In golden drops it welled up Across the quivering expanse.
My soul, a stringed instrument, Sang to itself, invisibly touched, A barcarole in secret accompaniment, Quivering in mottled bliss. The current term for this instinct of self-defence is taste. The sense in this is that expenditure on defence, even small amounts, when it becomes the rule, a habit, entails an extraordinary and utterly needless impoverishment. Our great expenditures are the most frequent little amounts. Would it not mean I would have to become a hedgehog? If he does not skim, he does not think. He responds to a stimulus —an idea he has read when he thinks—he ends up just reacting.
The instinct for self-defence has been worn down in him; otherwise he would defend himself against books. And with this I touch on the master-stroke in the art of self-preservation—of egoism For if you assume that your task, your destiny, the fate of your task lies considerably beyond the average measure, then no danger would be greater than facing up to yourself with this task.
Becoming what you are presupposes that you have not the slightest inkling what you are. Beware even every great phrase, every great pose! The task of revaluing values required perhaps more capacities than have ever dwelt together in one individual, above all contradictory capacities, too, without them being allowed to disturb or destroy one another. Its higher concern was so pronounced that I never even suspected what was growing within me—that all my abilities would one day suddenly spring forth ripe, in their ultimate perfection. I lack any memory of ever having exerted myself—there is no trace of a struggle evident in my life, I am the opposite of a heroic nature.
Even now, I look towards my future—a distant future! But this is how I have always lived. I have never wished for anything. Someone who can say after forty-four years that he has never striven for honours, for women, for money! Thus one day, for example, I was a university professor—never for one moment had I thought of anything like this, as I was only just He possessed that agreeable corruption that distinguishes us Thuringians and makes even a German likeable—even to reach the truth we still prefer the roundabout routes.
Answer: these little things—nourishment, place, climate, relaxation, the whole casuistry of egoism—are incomparably more important than anything that has been considered important hitherto. This is precisely where one must start relearning. Our contemporary culture is ambivalent to the highest degree I want to be the opposite of this: it is my privilege to have the highest sensitivity for all the signs of healthy instincts.
Ecce Homo: How to Become What You Are
The pathos of posturing has no part in greatness; anyone who needs postures at all is false. Beware of all picturesque people! I never felt more agreeable about eating, I never slept better. The slightest constraint, a gloomy expression, some harsh tone in the throat— these are all objections to a person, so how much more do they count against his work!
You must have no nerves At an absurdly young age, when I was 7, I already knew that no human word would ever get through to me: did anyone ever see me distressed at this? Not just enduring what is necessary, still less concealing it—all idealism is hypocrisy in the face of what is necessary—but loving it I myself am not yet timely; some are born posthumously.
An essay by Dr V. All the more reason to attempt an explanation. If you have no access to something from experience, you will have no ear for it. In this case simply nothing will be heard, with the acoustic illusion that where nothing is heard nothing is there, either Ultimately this is my average experience and, if you will, the originality of my experience. Not for nothing are the Poles called the French among the Slavs.
Thinking in a German way, feeling in a German way—I can do anything, but that is beyond me I can do no other. God help me! Well then, I make so bold as to assert that I have the tiniest ears. This is of no little interest to the little women—it seems to me that they feel better understood by me?
I am the anti-ass par excellence and hence a world-historic monster—I am, in Greek, and not only in Greek, the Antichrist They simply can no longer stand other books, least of all philosophy books. It is an unparalleled distinction to step into this noble and delicate world—for which you must not on any account be a German; ultimately it is a distinction you need to have earned.
Not only the poverty of a soul but its cramped air rules you out, and all the more so anything cowardly, unclean, secretly vengeful in the intestines: one word from me drives out all the bad instincts. I have heard this said even about Zarathustra You must never have spared yourself, you must have become accustomed to harshness to feel high-spirited and cheerful among nothing but harsh truths.
Who are the only people he wants to tell his riddle to? Communicating a state, an inner tension of pathos through signs, including the tempo of these signs—that is the point of every III 5 Why I Write Such Good Books 41 style; and considering that in my case the multiplicity of inner states is extraordinary, in my case there are many stylistic possibilities—altogether the most multifarious art of style anyone has ever had at their disposal. Every style is good that really communicates an inner state, that makes no mistake with signs, with the tempo of signs, with gestures—all laws governing the rhetorical period are an art of gesture.
Here my instinct is infallible. Always assuming that there are ears—that there are those who are capable and worthy of such a pathos, that those to whom one may communicate oneself are not lacking. And till then there will be no one to understand the art that has been squandered here: no one has ever had more new, unprecedented artistic means to squander—means really created only for this purpose.
That such a thing was possible in German, of all languages, remained to be proven: I myself would have denied it beforehand in the harshest possible terms. Before me, people did not know what can be done with the German language—what can be done with language tout court. There are no egoistic or unegoistic actions: both concepts are psychological absurdities.
You have to be sure of yourself, you have to be standing bravely on your own two feet, otherwise you simply cannot love. May I venture the supposition, by the by, that I know the little women? That is an aspect of my Dionysian dowry. Who knows? Ah, what dangerous, insidious, subterranean little predators! And so pleasant with it! A little woman running after her revenge would run down fate itself. The struggle for equal rights is even a symptom of illness: every doctor knows that. Love—war in its means, at bottom the deadly hatred of the sexes.
You get her pregnant. Woman needs children, man is always just a means: thus spoke Zarathustra. The genius of the heart, that teaches the foolish and over-hasty hand to hesitate and to grasp more daintily; that guesses the hidden and forgotten treasure, the drop of kindness and sweet spirituality lying under thick, turbid ice and is a divining rod for every speck of gold that has long lain buried in some dungeon of great mud and sand It owed its impact and even its fascination to what was wrong with it—its tactical use of Wagnerism, as if that were a symptom of ascent.
Tragedy is precisely the proof that the Greeks were no pessimists: Schopenhauer was wrong about this, as he was wrong about everything. With these two things, how high had I leapt above the pitiful blockhead-chatter of optimism versus pessimism!