By Friedrich Nietzsche
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Extra info for Ecce homo ;&, The Antichrist : how one becomes what one is : a curse on Christianity
The Poles are not called the French among the Slavs for nothing. A charming Russian lady would not mistake for a moment where I belong. I cannot be solemn, the best I can do is appear embarrassed. My old master, Ritschl, even maintained that I conceived my very philological treatises like a Parisian romancier — absurdly exciting. I cannot do otherwise. So help me God. Amen. — We all know, some of us even know it from experience, what a long-ears is. Well then, I dare to assent that I have the smallest ears.
Therein a great prudence, perhaps the highest prudence, comes to be expressed: where nosce te ipsum would be the recipe for disaster, forgetting oneself, misunderstanding oneself, reducing oneself, narrowing oneself, mediocratizing oneself becomes good sense itself. In moral terms: neighborly love, living for others and other things can be a protective measure for the maintenance of the most vigorous selfhood. This is the exceptional case in which I take the side of the “selfless” drives, as opposed to my own rule and conviction: here they labor in the service of selfishness, of self-discipline.
The latter, for example, dealt with my Zarathustra as a higher exercise in style, with the wish that later on I might try to provide some content as well; Dr. Widmann expressed his respect for the courage with which I strove to abolish all decent feelings. I try to find an explanation all the more. — In the end, no one can “hear” more out of things, books included, than he already knows. Whatever one has no access to through experience one has no ears for. Now let us imagine an extreme case: that a book speaks of nothing but events which lie entirely outside the possibility of a frequent or even rare experience — that it is the first utterance for a new range of experiences.