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   221. EXCEPTIONAL GREEKS   Next Section

Exceptional Greeks.  In Greece, deep, thorough, serious minds were the exception.  The national instinct tended rather to regard the serious and thorough as a kind of grimace.  To borrow forms from a foreign source, not to create but to transform into the fairest shapes — that is Greek.  To imitate, not for utility but for artistic illusion, ever and anon to gain the mastery over forced seriousness, to arrange, beautify, simplify— that is the continual task from Homer to the Sophists of the third and fourth centuries of our era, who are all outward show, pompous speech, declamatory gestures, and address themselves to shallow souls that care only for appearance, sound, and effect.  And now let us estimate the greatness of those exceptional Greeks, who created science!  Whoever tells of them, tells the most heroic story of the human mind!  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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