Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is; Revised Edition (Penguin Classics)
Friedrich Nietzsche, R. J. Hollingdale
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In late 1888, only weeks before his final collapse into madness, Nietzsche (1844-1900) set out to compose his autobiography, and Ecce Homo remains one of the most intriguing yet bizarre examples of the genre ever written. In this extraordinary work Nietzsche traces his life, work and development as a philosopher, examines the heroes he has identified with, struggled against and then overcome - Schopenhauer, Wagner, Socrates, Christ - and predicts the cataclysmic impact of his 'forthcoming revelation of all values'. Both self-celebrating and self-mocking, penetrating and strange, Ecce Homo gives the final, definitive expression to Nietzsche's main beliefs and is in every way his last testament.
coeur’ and other forms of ‘neighbour love’… It is really only a small number of older Frenchmen to whom I return again and again: I believe only in French culture and consider everything in Europe that calls itself ‘culture’ a misunderstanding, not to speak of German culture… The few instances of high culture I have encountered in Germany have all been of French origin, above all Frau Cosima Wagner, by far the first voice I have heard in questions of taste. − That I do not read Pascal but love
distinction one has to have earned. But he who is related to me through loftiness of will experiences when he reads me real ecstasies of learning: for I come from heights no bird has ever soared to, I know abysses into which no foot has ever yet strayed. I have been told it is impossible to put a book of mine down – I even disturb the night’s rest… There is altogether no prouder and at the same time more exquisite kind of book than my books – they attain here and there the highest thing that can
with these books – consequently they see the same as beneath them, the beautiful consistency of all ‘beautiful souls’. The horned cattle among my acquaintances, mere Germans if I may say so, give me to understand they are not always of my opinion, though they are sometimes… I have heard this said even of Zarathustra… Any ‘feminism’ in a person, or in a man, likewise closes the gates on me: one will never be able to enter this labyrinth of daring knowledge. One must never have spared oneself,
shallow-pates and muddle-heads. Alludes to the American origin of the Baconian movement, with the implication that Nietzsche does not derive his own views from it. 9. nosce te ipsum: know thyself. 10. amor fati: love of (one’s) fate. Why I Write Such Good Books 1. ‘non legor, non legar’: I am not read, I will not be read. Dr V. Widmann (1842–1911), minor Swiss poet. Karl Spitteler (1845–1924), major Swiss writer, Nobel Prize-winner for literature in 1919. ‘Kreuzzeitung’: an extreme
(1853) which enjoyed in Germany the same order of popularity as Browning’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin did in England; but Nietzsche may perhaps be referring to Viktor Nessler’s opera based on it (1884), which was also very successful. cunning: listiger, a pun on Liszt. 2. Vischer: Ernst Theodor Vischer (1807–87), aesthetician. Why I am a Destiny 2. and he who wants to be… the creative good. Quoted, with slight alterations, from Zarathustra, Part Two: ‘Of Self-Overcoming’. 3. Zarathustra.