You're a cunty cunt cunt.
You can't rely on Nietzsche.
– Rose Miller
Well, I thought they were funny. But then I've been drinking a lot.
Professor: 'Doctor, I know you're under a lot of strain, but don't you think you should get a grip?'
Professor: 'Are you from outer space?'
Doctor: 'No. I'm from what you might call inner time.'
Doctor: 'You know what they say about hyperspace?'
Doctor: ' They say it's a theoretical absurdity, and that's something I've always wanted to be lost in.'
The Adam Art Gallery opened on 21 September 1999. To mark this occasion and to celebrate our first ten years, we have invited eight artists to spend ten days working directly on the walls of the gallery.
156 – Who is most influential – When a human being resists his whole age and stops it at the gate to demand an accounting, this must have influence. Whether that is what he desires is immaterial; that he can do it is what matters.
158 An inconvenient trait – To find everything profound – that is an inconvenient trait. It makes one strain one's eyes all the time, and in the end one finds more than one might have wished.
166 Always in our company – Whatever in nature and in history is of my own kind, speaks to me, spurs me on, and comforts me; the rest I do not hear or forget right away. We are always in our own company.
172 Spoiling the taste – A: 'You keep spoiling the taste; that is what everyone says.' B: 'Certainly. I spoil the taste of this party for everyone – and no party forgives that.'
173 Being profound and seeming profound – Those who know they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.
174 Apart – Parliamentarianism – that is, public permission to choose between five basic political opinions – flatters and wins the favour of all those who would seem independent and individual, as if they fought for their opinions. Ultimately, however, it is indifferent whether the herd is commanded to have one opinion or permitted to have five. Whoever deviates from the five political opinions and stands apart will always have the whole herd against him.
I am a beautiful monster
who shares his secret with the wind.
What I love most in others
I am a beautiful monster;
I have the sin of virtue for support.
My pollen stains the roses
from New York to Paris.
I am a beautiful monster
whose face conceals his countenance.
My senses have only one thought:
a frame without a picture!**
I am a beautiful monster
with a velodrome for a bed;
populate my dreams.
I am a beautiful monster
who sleeps with himself.
There are only seven in the world
and I want to be the biggest.
240 At the sea – I would not build a house for myself, and I count it as part of my good fortune that I do not own a house. But if I had to, then I should build it as some of the Romans did – right into the sea. I should not mind sharing a few secrets with this beautiful monster.
242 Suum cuique [To each their own] – However great the greed of my desire for knowledge may be, I still cannot take anything out of things that did not belong to me before; what belongs to others remains behind. How is it possible for a human being to be a thief or robber?
88 Being serious about truth – Being serious about truth: what very different ideas people associate with these words! The very same views and types of proof and scrutiny that a thinker may consider a frivolity in himself to which he has succumbed on this or that occasion to his shame – these very same views may give an artist who views them and lives with them for a while the feeling that he has now become deeply serious about truth and that it is admirable how he, although an artist, has at the same time a deep appetite for the opposite of mere appearance. Thus it can happen that a man's emphatic seriousness shows how superficial and modest his spirit has been all along when playing with knowledge. – And does not everything that we take seriously betray us? It always shows what has weight for us and what does not.
90 Lights and shadows – Books and drafts mean something quite different for different thinkers. One collects in a book the lights that he has been able to steal and carry home swiftly out of the rays of some insight that suddenly dawned on him, while another thinker offers us nothing but shadows – images in black and grey of what had built up in his soul the day before.
93 – But why do you write? – A: I am not one of those who think with an inky pen in their hand, much less one of those who in front of an open inkwell abandon themselves to their passion while they sit in a chair and stare at the paper. I am annoyed by and ashamed of my writing; writing is for me a pressing and embarrassing need, and to speak of it even in a parable disgusts me.
B: But why, then, do you write? – A: Well, my friend, to be quite frank: so far, I have not discovered any other way of getting rid of my thoughts. – B: And why do you want to get rid of them? – A: Why I want to? Do I want to? I must. – B: Enough! Enough!
Only the individual matters to me. The artist in particular matters as an individual not as a group.
57 To the realists – You sober people who feel well armed against passion and fantasies and would like to turn your emptiness into a matter of pride and an ornament: you call yourselves realists and hint that the world really is the way it appears to you ... That mountain there! That cloud there! What is 'real' in that? Subtract the phantasm and and every human contribution from it, my sober friends! If you can! If you can forget your descent, your past, your training – all your humanity and animality. There is no 'reality' for us – not for you either, my sober friends. We are not nearly as different as you think, and perhaps our good will to transcend our intoxication is as respectable as your faith that you are altogether incapable of intoxication.
58 Only as creators! – This has given me the greatest trouble and still does: to realise that what things are called is incomparably more important than what they are. The reputation, name, and appearance, the usual measure and weight of a thing, what it counts for – originally almost always wrong and arbitrary, thrown over things like a dress and altogether foreign to their nature and even to their skin – all this grows from generation unto generation, merely because people believe in it, until it gradually grows to be a part of the thing and turns into its very body. What at first was appearance becomes in the end, almost invariably, the essence and is effective as such. How foolish it would be to suppose that one only needs to point out this origin and this misty shroud of delusion in order to destroy the world that counts for real, so-called 'reality'. We can destroy only as creators. – But let us not forget this either: it is enough to create new names and estimations and probabilities in order to create in the long run new 'things'.
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.
Let chance overflow
Faithful to nature and incomplete!
In the end I write what pleases me
But what pleases me???
That which I think I know how to do!
If I was allowed to choose freely
I wouldn't choose anything
Perhaps a little spot for myself
in the midst of happiness
and for me still
and more willingly before its door
My quill scrawls
Who then reads what I write?
But you are from above
for you live even above praise
Predestined to your orbit
you acknowledge only a single law
60 Higher men
He should be praised for climbing; yet
The other men comes always from a height
And lives where praise can never get–
Beyond your sight.
63 Star morals
Called a star's orbit to pursue,
What is the darkness, star, to you?
Roll on in bliss, traverse this age–
Its misery far from you and strange.
Let farthest world your light secure.
Pity is sin you must abjure.
But one command is yours: be pure!
7 Vademecum – Vadetecum*
Lured by my style and tendency,
you follow and come after me?
Follow your own self faithfully–
take time – and thus you follow me.
There is much I drop and spill:
I am full of scorn, you think.
If your beaker is too full,
There is much you drop and spill
Without scorning what you drink.
14 The good man
Better a whole-hearted feud
Than a friendship that is glued.
18 Narrow souls
Narrow souls I cannot abide;
There's almost no good or evil inside.
24 Medicine for pessimists
Nothing tastes good to you, my friend?
I'm tired of your belly-aching.
You spit, rage, slander without end;
My patience and my heart are breaking.
I have a remedy; just follow
My good advice and rest assured:
A toad is what you need to swallow,
And your dyspepsia will be cured.
33 The solitary
I hate to follow and I hate to lead.
Obey? Oh no! And govern? No indeed!
Only who dreads himself inspires dread.
And only those inspiring dread can lead.
Even to lead myself is not my speed.
I love to lose myself for a good while.
Like animals in forests and the sea,
To sit and think on some solitary isle,
And lure myself back home from far away,
Seducing myself to come back to me.
What you want is fame?
Then note the price:
To honour you must sacrifice.
55 Realistic painters
'True to nature, all the truth: that's art.'
This hallowed notion is a threadbare fable.
Infinite is nature's smallest part.
They paint what happens to delight their heart.
And what delights them? What to paint they're able.
57 Choosy taste
If it depended on my choice,
I think it might be great
To have a place in Paradise;
Better yet – outside the gate.
59 The pen is stubborn
The pen is stubborn, sputters – hell!
Am I condemned to scrawl?
Boldly I dip it in the well,
My writing flows, and all
I try succeeds. Of course, the spatter
Of this tormented night
Is quite illegible. No matter:
Who reads the stuff I write?
How repulsive pleasure is now, that crude, musty, brown pleasure as it is understood by those who like pleasure, our 'educated' people, our rich people, and our rulers! How maliciously we listen now to the big county-fair boom-boom with which the 'educated' person and city dweller today permits art, books, and music to rape him and provide 'spiritual pleasures' – with the aid of spirituous liquors!
How the theatrical scream of passion now hurts our ears, how strange to our taste the whole romantic uproar and tumult of the senses have become, which the educated mob loves, and all its aspirations after the elevated, inflated, and exaggerated! No, if we convalescents still need art, it is another kind of art – a mocking, light, fleeting, divinely untroubled, divinely artificial art that, like a pure flame, licks into unclouded skies. Above all, an art for artists, for artists only!
We know better afterward what above all is needed for this: cheerfulness, any cheerfulness, my friends – also as artists: let me prove it. There are a few things we now know too well, we knowing ones: oh, how we now learn to forget well, and to be good at not knowing, as artists!
Today, with art being practically driven out by machinelike competence and gimmicks, with the course of the world no longer influenced by humanitarian ideas derived from art, , with art and artists limited to a small professional in-group, with art being judged quantitatively and pluralistically (namely, according to mass success), people may understand what we were saying.
In an age in which base jokesters are the idols of the nation and earn millions of dollars, the cultural worker should devote himself to laziness, indifference, or some sort of practical work. Since 'intellectuality' is not only not appreciated but totally misunderstood, one has to be careful not to let one's artistic work play into those whose guilt feelings make them look for aesthetic decorations. Art is not meant for people who believe that manufacturing shoes is more important than writing good books or painting.
One must be enough of a dadaist to be able to take a dadaist attitude to one's own dadaism ... Dada is the great parallel to the relativist philosophies of this era; dada is a state of mind independent of schools and theories, involving the personality without raping it. You cannot pinpoint the principles of dada. The question: 'What is dada?' is undadaistic and sophomoric in the same sense as it would be in regard to a work of art or a phenomenon of life. You cannot comprehend dada, you have to experience it. Dada is immediate and self-evident. A person is a dadaist simply by living ... Anyone living for this day lives forever. This means that anyone who has lived the best of his time has lived for all time. Take, and give yourself over. Live and die.
I write to infuriate my colleagues ... With such intellectual readers as mine, I am obliged ... to say that I consider a man intelligent only when his intelligence has a temperament, since a really intelligent man resembles millions of really intelligent men. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, a man of subtlety or refinement is nearly always nothing but an idiot.
'Creativity' may well be one of those words that must be abandoned as irredeemable at the growing garbage dump destroyed by advertising and politics. The list of such words is long, but it includes nearly every word used by politicians, professional inspirational speakers, preachers, and degreed poets, with the possible exception of conjunctions and some adverbs.