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   274. A PORTION OF OUR EGO AS AN ARTISTIC OBJECT   Next Section

A PORTION OF OUR EGO AS AN ARTISTIC OBJECT.  It is a sign of superior culture consciously to retain and present a true picture of certain phases of development which commoner men live through almost thoughtlessly and then efface from the tablets of their souls: this is a higher species of the painter's art which only the few understand.  For this it is necessary to isolate those phases artificially.  Historical studies form the qualification for this painting, for they constantly incite us in regard to a portion of history, a people, or a human life, to imagine for ourselves a quite distinct horizon of thoughts, a certain strength of feelings, the prominence of this or the obscurity of that.  Herein consists the historic sense, that out of given instances we can quickly reconstruct such systems of thoughts and feelings, just as we can mentally reconstruct a temple out of a few pillars and remains of walls accidentally left standing.  The next result is that we understand our fellowmen as belonging to distinct systems and representatives of different cultures that is, as necessary, but as changeable; and, again, that we can separate portions of our own development and put them down independently.  
 

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