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Thus Spoke Nietzsche

"Our highest insights must--and should--sound like stupidities and sometimes like crimes when they are heard without permission by those who are not predisposed and predestined for them....

"What serves the higher type of men as nourishment or delectation must almost be poison for a very different and inferior type. The virtues of the common man might perhaps signify vices and weaknesses in a philosopher. It could be possible that a man of a high type, when degenerating and perishing, might only at that point acquire qualities that would require those in the lower sphere into which he had sunk to begin to venerate him like a saint. There are books that have opposite values for soul and health, depending on whether the lower soul, the lower vitality, or the higher and more vigorous ones turn to them: in the former case, these books are dangerous and lead to crumbling and disintegration; in the latter, heralds' cries that call the bravest to their courage. Books for all the world are always foul-smelling books: the smell of petty people clings to them. Where the people eat and drink, even where they venerate, it usually stinks."

--Beyond Good and Evil, sec. 30 (Kaufmann translation, with some tinkering).

September 23, 2004 in Nietzsche etc. | Permalink