Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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Previous Section   148. POETS AS THE LlGHTENERS OF LIFE   Next Section

POETS AS THE LlGHTENERS OF LIFE.  Poets, inasmuch as they desire to lighten the life of man, either divert his gaze from the wearisome present, or assist the present to acquire new colours by means of a life which they cause to shine out of the past.  To be able to do this, they must in many respects themselves be beings who are turned towards the past, so that they can be used as bridges to far distant times and ideas, to dying or dead religions and cultures.  Actually they are always and of necessity epigoni.  There are, however, certain drawbacks to their means of lightening lite, they appease and heal only temporarily, only for the moment; they even prevent men from labouring towards a genuine improvement in their conditions, inasmuch as they remove and apply palliatives to precisely that passion of discontent that induces to action.  
 

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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