Quotations From FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE


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  • For both parties, the most disagreeable way of responding to a polemic is to be angry and keep silent: for the aggressor usually takes the silence as a sign of disdain.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 2, p. 245, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980); Human, All-Too-Human, p. 180, trans. by Marion Faber and Stephen Lehmann, Lincoln, Nebraska, University of Nebraska Press (1984). Human, All-Too-Human, "Man in Society," aphorism 326, "Keeping Silent," (1878).

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  • Man ... cannot learn to forget, but hangs on the past: however far or fast he runs, that chain runs with him.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher. The Use and Abuse of History, sect. 1 (1874).
  • For it is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 1, p. 47, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). The Birth of Tragedy, section 5 (1872). A parenthetical remark repeated with minor changes in section 24 (1:152) and in Nietzsche's 1886 "Attempt at a Self-Criticism," section 5 (1:17).

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  • Among women.—"The truth? Oh, you don't really know what 'the truth' is! Isn't it an assault on all our pudeurs?"
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 6, p. 61, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Twilight of the Idols, "Maxims and Arrows," section 16 (prepared for publication 1888, published 1889).

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  • Towards gnats and fleas we should show no pity. We would do right to hang petty thieves, petty calumniators, and slanderers.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 10, p. 192, selection 5[1], number 39, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Unpublished fragments dating to November 1882February 1883. Originally meant to be attributed to Zarathustra in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
  • To redeem man's past and to remodel all "it was" until the will says: "But thus I willed it! Thus shall I will it!"Mthis I called redemption, and this alone I taught them to call redemption.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 4, p. 249, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Zarathustra, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Third Part, "On Old and New Tablets," section 3 (1884).

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  • The consequences of our actions grab us by the scruff of our necks, quite indifferent to our claim that we have "gotten better" in the meantime.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 5, p. 103, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Beyond Good and Evil, "Fourth Part: Maxims and Interludes," section 179 (1886).
  • Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth as a raven which is inspired by the smell of carrion?
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher. "The Problem of Socrates," aph. 1, Twilight of the Idols (1889).

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  • The higher we rise up, the smaller we appear to those who are unable to fly.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 3, p. 331, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Dawn, "Fifth Book," aphorism 574, "Don't Forget!" (1881).

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  • Nobody dies of fatal truths these days: there are too many antidotes.
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 2, p. 323, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). Human, All-Too-Human, "Man Alone With Himself," aphorism 516, "Truth," (1878).
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