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   611. ENNUI AND PLAY   Next Section

ENNUI AND PLAY.  Necessity compels us to work, with the product of which the necessity is appeased; the ever new awakening of necessity, however, accustoms us to work.  But in the intervals in which necessity is appeased and asleep, as it were, we are attacked by ennui.  What is this?  In a word it is the habituation to work, which now makes itself felt as a new and additional necessity; it will be all the stronger the more a person has been accustomed to work, perhaps, even, the more a person has suffered from necessities.  In order to escape ennui, a man either works beyond the extent of his former necessities, or he invents play, that is to say, work that is only intended to appease the general necessity for work.  He who has become satiated with play, and has no new necessities impelling him to work, is sometime attacked by the longing for a third state, which is related to play as gliding is to dancing, a< dancing is to walking, a blessed, tranquil movement; it is the artists' and philosophers' vision of happiness.  
 

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