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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PLAYING WITH LIFE.  The lightness and looseness of the Homeric imagination was necessary to soothe and temporarily suspend the Greeks' inordinately passionate heart and oversharp mind.  When their reason speaks, how bitter and horrible life then appears!  They do not deceive themselves, but they deliberately play over life with lies.  Simonides advised his countrymen to take life as a game; they were all too familiar with seriousness in the form of pain (indeed, man's misery is the theme that the gods so love to hear sung about), and they knew that only through art could even misery become a pleasure.  As punishment for this insight, however, they were so plagued by the wish to invent tales that in everyday life it became hard for them to keep free of falsehood and deceit, just as all poetic people have this delight in lying, and, what is more, an innocence in it.  That must sometimes have driven their neighboring nations to despair.  
 

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