Thursday, March 15, 2012

Apologies to Nietzche

I made it through 'Birth of a Tragedy.' I learned that Nietzche took 114 pages to explain the Ancient Greek grunge scene. It wasn't easy, but I'm glad I did.

Now I'm reading Seventy-five Aphorisms, and guess what? He really is a genius, and I'm feeling pretty sheepish.

Here's some of what I've learned:

Reader's Bad Manners--A reader is doubly guilty of bad manners against the author when he praises his second book at the expense of the first(or vice versa) and then asks the author to be grateful for that.

The Worst Readers--The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the rest.

The Sharpest Criticism--One criticizes a person, a book, most sharply when one pictures their ideal.

Ouch. I guess I deserved that. He's right, though. It was rude of me to judge him on what was his first work. Especially since I'm probably going to be a victim of my own line of thinking.

I take back what I said last post and will finish reading the basic writings of Nietzche with an open mind. Having said that, I end this post with my current favorite quote from Germany's beloved philosopher.

Opinions and Fish--Possessing opinions is like possessing fish, assuming one has a fish pond. One has to go fishing and needs some luck--then one has one's own fish, one's own opinions. I am speaking of live opinion's, of live fish. Others are satisfied if they own a cabinet of fossils--and in their heads, "convictions".


  1. Interesting. And ambitious!

    I especially like the "Worst Readers" description. Seems like you could replace "readers" with many other nouns...politicians, church members, parents...I suppose we could just put "humans" and be done with it.

    1. You are absolutely right MJ! And I think Nietzche would agree. He doesn't seem to like people much.