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   177. WHAT ALL ART WANTS TO DO AND CANNOT   Next Section

What all Art wants to Do and Cannot.  The last and hardest task of the artist is the presentment of what remains the same, reposes in itself, is lofty and simple and free from the bizarre.  Hence the noblest forms of moral perfection are rejected as inartistic by weaker artists, because the sight of these fruits is too painful for their ambition.  The fruit gleams at them from the topmost branches of art, but they lack the ladder, the courage, the grip to venture so high.  In himself a Phidias is quite possible as a poet, but, if modern strength be taken into consideration, almost solely in the sense that to God nothing is impossible.  The desire for a poetical Claude Lorrain is already an immodesty at present, however earnestly one man's heart may yearn for such a consummation.  The presentment of the highest man, the most simple and at the same time the most complete, has hitherto been beyond the scope of all artists.  Perhaps, however, the Greeks, in the ideal of Athene, saw farther than any men did before or after their time.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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