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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JOY IN NONSENSE.  How can men take joy in nonsense?  They do so, wherever there is laughter-in fact, one can almost say that wherever there is happiness there is joy in nonsense.  It gives us pleasure to turn experience into its opposite, to turn purposefulness into purposelessness, necessity into arbitrariness, in such a way that the process does no harm and is performed simply out of high spirits.  For it frees us momentarily from the forces of necessity, purposefulness, and experience, in which we usually see our merciless masters.  We can laugh and play when the expected (which usually frightens us and makes us tense) is discharged without doing harm.  It is the slaves' joy at the Saturnalia.  
 

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All works are unique editions by Lexido of public domain texts provided by kind permission of Project Gutenberg

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