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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THE INCREASING SEVERITY OF THE WORLD.  The higher culture an individual attains, the less field there is left for mockery and scorn.  Voltaire thanked Heaven from his heart for the invention of marriage and the Church, by which it had so well provided for our cheer.  But he and his time, and before him the sixteenth century, had exhausted their ridicule on this theme; everything that is now made fun of on this theme is out of date, and above all too cheap to tempt a purchaser.  Causes are now inquired after; ours is an age of seriousness.  Who cares now to discern, laughingly, the difference between reality and pretentious sham, between that which man is and that which he wishes to represent; the feeling of this contrast has quite a different effect if we seek reasons.  The more thoroughly any one understands life, the less he will mock, though finally, perhaps, he will mock at the "thoroughness of his understanding”.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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