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   178. ART AND RESTORATION   Next Section

Art and Restoration.  The retrograde movements in history, the so-called periods of restoration, which try to revive intellectual and social conditions that existed before those immediately preceding, — and seem really to succeed in giving them a brief resurrection, — have the charm of sentimental recollection, ardent longing for what is almost lost, hasty embracing of a transitory happiness.  It is on account of this strange trend towards seriousness that in such transient and almost dreamy periods art and poetry find a natural soil, just as the tenderest and rarest plants grow on mountain-slopes of steep declivity.  Thus many a good artist is unwittingly impelled to a "restoration" way of thinking in politics and society, for which, on his own account, he prepares a quiet little corner and garden.  Here he collects about himself the human remains of the historical epoch that appeals to him and plays his lyre to many who are dead, half-dead, and weary to death, perhaps with the above-mentioned result of a brief resurrection.  
 

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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