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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CREATED PEOPLE.  When one says that the dramatist (and the artist in general) creates real characters, this is a beautiful illusion and exaggeration, in whose existence and dissemination art celebrates one of its unintentional, almost superfluous triumphs.  In fact, we don't understand much about real, living people, and generalize very superficially when we attribute to them this character or that; the poet is reflecting this, our very incomplete view of man, when he turns into people (in this sense "creates") those sketches which are just as superficial as our knowledge of people.  There is much deception in these characters created by artists; they are by no means examples of nature incarnate, but rather, like painted people, rather too thin; they cannot stand up to close examination.  Moreover, it is quite false to say that whereas the character of the average living man often contradicts itself, that created by a dramatist is the original model which nature had in mind.  A real man is something completely necessary (even in those so-called contradictions), but we do not always recognize this necessity.  The invented man, the phantasm, claims to signify something necessary, but only for those who would also understand a real person only in terms of a rough, unnatural simplification, so that a few prominent, often recurring traits, with a great deal of light on them and a great deal of shadow and semidarkness about, completely satisfy their demands.  They are ready to treat the phantasm as a real, necessary person, because in the case of a real person they are accustomed to taking a phantasm, a silhouette, a deliberate abbreviation as the whole.  That the painter and sculptor express at all the "idea" of man is nothing but a vain fantasy and deception of the senses; one is being tyrannized by the eye when one says such a thing, since, of the human body itself, the eye sees only the surface, the skin; the inner body, however, is as much part of the idea.  Plastic art wants to make characters visible on the skin; the spoken arts use the word for the same purpose, portraying character in sound.  Art proceeds from man's natural ignorance about his interior (in body and character): it is not for physicists and philosophers.  
 

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