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- Thoughts out of Season (Part One) - 1/29 -


Thoughts Out Of Season - Part One by Friedrich Nietzsche

THE COMPLETE WORKS

OF

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

The First Complete and Authorised English Translation

EDITED BY

DR. OSCAR LEVY

VOLUME ONE

THOUGHTS OUT OF SEASON

PART ONE _________________________________________________________________

Of the First Impression of One Thousand Copies this is

No. 1

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

THOUGHTS OUT OF SEASON

PART I

DAVID STRAUSS, THE CONFESSOR AND THE WRITER

RICHARD WAGNER IN BAYREUTH

TRANSLATED BY

ANTHONY M. LUDOVICI _________________________________________________________________

CONTENTS.

EDITORIAL NOTE

NIETZSCHE IN ENGLAND (BY THE EDITOR)

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE TO DAVID STRAUSS AND RICHARD WAGNER IN REUTH

DAVID STRAUSS, THE CONFESSOR AND THE WRITER

RICHARD WAGNER IN BAYREUTH _________________________________________________________________

EDITORIAL NOTE. _______

THE Editor begs to call attention to some of the difficulties he had to encounter in preparing this edition of the complete works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Not being English himself, he had to rely upon the help of collaborators, who were somewhat slow in coming forward. They were also few in number; for, in addition to an exact knowledge of the German language, there was also required sympathy and a certain enthusiasm for the startling ideas of the original, as well as a considerable feeling for poetry, and that highest form of it, religious poetry.

Such a combination--a biblical mind, yet one open to new thoughts--was not easily found. And yet it was necessary to find translators with such a mind, and not be satisfied, as the French are and must be, with a free though elegant version of Nietzsche. What is impossible and unnecessary in French--a faithful and powerful rendering of the psalmistic grandeur of Nietzsche --is possible and necessary in English, which is a rougher tongue of the Teutonic stamp, and moreover, like German, a tongue influenced and formed by an excellent version of the Bible. The English would never be satisfied, as Bible-ignorant France is, with a Nietzsche l'Eau de Cologne--they would require the natural, strong, real Teacher, and would prefer his outspoken words to the finely-chiselled sentences of the raconteur. It may indeed be safely predicted that once the English people have recovered from the first shock of Nietzsche's thoughts, their biblical training will enable them, more than any other nation, to appreciate the deep piety underlying Nietzsche's Cause.

As this Cause is a somewhat holy one to the Editor himself, he is ready to listen to any suggestions as to improvements of style or sense coming from qualified sources. The Editor, during a recent visit to Mrs. Foerster-Nietzsche at Weimar, acquired the rights of translation by pointing out to her that in this way her brother's works would not fall into the hands of an ordinary publisher and his staff of translators: he has not, therefore, entered into any engagement with publishers, not even with the present one, which could hinder his task, bind him down to any text found faulty, or make him consent to omissions or the falsification or "sugaring" of the original text to further the sale of the books. He is therefore in a position to give every attention to a work which he considers as of no less importance for the country of his residence than for the country of his birth, as well as for the rest of Europe.

It is the consciousness of the importance of this work which makes the Editor anxious to point out several difficulties to the younger student of Nietzsche. The first is, of course, not to begin reading Nietzsche at too early an age. While fully admitting that others may be more gifted than himself, the Editor begs to state that he began to study Nietzsche at the age of twenty-six, and would not have been able to endure the weight of such teaching before that time. Secondly, the Editor wishes to dissuade the student from beginning the study of Nietzsche by reading first of all his most complicated works. Not having been properly prepared for them, he will find the Zarathustra abstruse, the Ecce Homo conceited, and the Antichrist violent. He should rather begin with the little pamphlet on Education, the Thoughts out of Season, Beyond Good and Evil, or the Genealogy of Morals. Thirdly, the Editor wishes to remind students of Nietzsche's own advice to them, namely: to read him slowly, to think over what they have read, and not to accept too readily a teaching which they have only half understood. By a too ready acceptance of Nietzsche it has come to pass that his enemies are, as a rule, a far superior body of men to those who call themselves his eager and enthusiastic followers. Surely it is not every one who is chosen to combat a religion or a morality of two thousand years' standing, first within and then without himself; and whoever feels inclined to do so ought at least to allow his attention to be drawn to the magnitude of his task. _________________________________________________________________

NIETZSCHE IN ENGLAND:

AN INTRODUCTORY ESSAY BY THE EDITOR.

DEAR ENGLISHMEN,--In one of my former writings I have made the remark that the world would have seen neither the great Jewish prophets nor the great German thinkers, if the people from among whom these eminent men sprang had not been on the whole such a misguided, and, in their misguidedness, such a tough and stubborn race. The arrow that is to fly far must be discharged from a well distended bow: if, therefore, anything is necessary for greatness, it is a fierce and tenacious opposition, an opposition either of open contempt, or of malicious irony, or of sly silence, or of gross stupidity, an opposition regardless of the wounds it inflicts and of the precious lives it sacrifices, an opposition that nobody would dare to attack who was not prepared, like the Spartan of old, to return either with his shield or on it.

An opposition so devoid of pity is not as a rule found amongst you, dear and fair-minded Englishmen, which may account for the fact that you have neither produced the greatest prophets nor the greatest thinkers in this world. You would never have crucified Christ, as did the Jews, or driven Nietzsche into madness, as did the Germans--you would have made Nietzsche, on account of his literary faculties, Minister of State in a Whig Ministry, you would have invited Jesus Christ to your country houses, where he would have been worshipped by all the ladies on account of his long hair and interesting looks, and tolerated by all men as an amusing, if somewhat romantic, foreigner. I know that the current opinion is to the contrary, and that your country is constantly accused, even by yourselves, of its insularity; but I, for my part, have found an almost feminine receptivity amongst you in my endeavour to bring you into contact with some ideas of my native country--a receptivity which, however, has also this in common with that of the female mind, that evidently nothing sticks deeply, but is quickly wiped out by what any other lecturer, or writer, or politician has to tell you. I was prepared for indifference--I was not prepared for receptivity and that benign lady's smile, behind which ladies, like all people who are only clever, usually hide their inward contempt for the foolishness of mere men! I was prepared for abuse, and even a good fight--I was not prepared for an extremely faint-hearted criticism; I did not expect that some of my opponents would be so utterly inexperienced in that most necessary work of literary execution. No, no: give me the Germans or the Jews for executioners: they can do the hanging properly, while the English hangman is like the Russian, to whom, when the rope broke, the half-hanged revolutionary said: "What a country, where they cannot hang a man properly!" What a country, where they do not hang philosophers properly--which would be the proper thing to do to them--but smile at them, drink tea with them, discuss with them, and ask them to contribute to their newspapers!

To get to the root of the matter: in spite of many encouraging signs, remarks and criticisms, adverse or benevolent, I do not think I have been very successful in my crusade for that European thought which began with Goethe and has found so fine a development in Nietzsche. True, I have made many a convert, but amongst them are very undesirable ones, as, for instance, some enterprising publishers, who used to be the toughest disbelievers in England, but who have now come to understand the "value" of the new gospel--but as neither this gospel is exactly Christian, nor I, the importer of it, I am not allowed to count my success by the conversion of publishers and sinners, but have to judge it by the more spiritual standard of the quality of the converted. In this respect, I am sorry to say, my success has been a very poor one.

As an eager missionary, I have naturally asked myself the reason of my failure. Why is there no male audience in England willing to listen to a manly and daring philosophy? Why are there no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no hearts to feel, no brains to understand? Why is my


Thoughts out of Season (Part One) - 1/29

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