Sunday, July 1, 2007

Gay Science

"New Struggles.-- After Buddha was dead, his shadow was still shown for centuries in a cave--a tremendous, gruesome shadow. God is dead: but given the way men are, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown.--And we--we still have to vanquish his shadow, too." (108)

"A dangerous resolve.-- The Christian resolve to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad." (130)

"Incense.-- Buddha said: 'do not flatter your benefactor.' This saying should be repeated in a Christian church--right away it clears the air of everything Christian." (163)

"Need.-- A need is considered the cause of the origin: in truth, it is often merely an effect of what did originate." (205)

"Against mediators.-- Those who wish to be mediators between two resolute thinkers are marked as mediocre: they lack eyes to see the unparalleled; seeing things as similar and making them the same is the mark of weak eyes." (228) *blush*

"What is the seal of attained freedom?-- No longer being ashamed in front of oneself." (275)

These are a few aphorisms Walter Kaufman selected from _The Gay Science_, by way of further illuminating the text of _On the Genealogy of Morals_. I'm doing exactly what I'm not allowed (by Kaufman) to do: quoting them out of context. I disagree with him: I think they do hold valuable meaning even when excised from their surrounding text. Undoubtedly this meaning is other than it was intended, but the intended meaning is always already lost, whether one is "in context" or not. After all, by what arrogance could I ever claim to be in Nietzsche's contexts? At any rate, these are fun little bits, particularly when one considers their own genealogy, both before and after.

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