Friedrich Nietzsche, Miscellaneous Maxims and opinions (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche).

Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions, the first supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1879.  A second supplement, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten) followed in 1880.

  

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Previous Section   176. THE MOUTHPIECE OF THE GODS   Next Section

The Mouthpiece of the Gods.  The poet expresses the universal higher opinions of the nation, he is its mouthpiece and flute; but by virtue of metre and all other artistic means he so expresses them that the nation regards them as something quite new and wonderful, and believes in all seriousness that he is the mouthpiece of the Gods.  Yes, under the clouds of creation the poet himself forgets whence he derives all his intellectual wisdom — from father and mother, from teachers and books of all kinds, from the street and particularly from the priest.  He is deceived by his own art, and really believes, in a naive period, that a God is speaking through him, that he is creating in a state of religious inspiration.  As a matter of fact, he is only saying what he has learnt, a medley of popular wisdom and popular foolishness.  Hence, so far as a poet is really vox populi he is held to be vox dei.  
 

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