20 August 2009

Last Nietzsche quote for the night

41 Against remorse – A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions – as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all. To be annoyed or feel remorse because something goes wrong – that he leaves to those who act because they have received orders and who have to reckon with a beating when his lordship is not satisfied with the result.

42 Work and boredom – Looking for work in order to be paid: in civilised countries today almost all men are at one in doing that. For all of them work is a means and not an end in itself. Hence they are not very refined in their choice of work, if only it pays well. But there are, if only rarely, men who would rather perish than work without any pleasure in their work. They are choosy, hard to satisfy, and do not care for ample rewards, if the work itself is not the reward of rewards. Artists and contemplative men of all kinds belong to this rare breed, as do men of leisure who spend their lives hunting, travelling, or in love affairs and adventures. All of these desire work and misery if only it is associated with pleasure, and the hardest, most difficult if necessary. Otherwise, their idleness is resolute, even if it spells impoverishment, dishonour, and danger to life and limb.

This and today's other Nietzsche quotes (including the poems) are from The gay science (which is not about homosexuality but rather about Nietzsche's approach to philosophy). Yes, just in case you couldn't tell, I'm very much enjoying reading it.

On the advice of the translator, I'm reading it in its entirety from start to finish, as opposed to just dipping in here and there, as I've done with other Nietzsche books (Thus spake Zarathustra and Human, all too human) or reading secondary sources. After this, I plan to read Human, all too human properly.

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