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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The Journey to Hades.  I too have been in the underworld, even as Odysseus, and I shall often be there again.  Not sheep alone have I sacrificed, that I might be able to converse with a few dead souls, but not even my own blood have I spared.  There were four pairs who responded to me in my sacrifice: Epicurus and Montaigne, Goethe and Spinoza, Plato and Rousseau, Pascal and Schopenhauer.  With them I have to come to terms.  When I have long wandered alone, I will let them prove me right or wrong; to them will I listen, if they prove each other right or wrong.  In all that I say, conclude, or think out for myself and others, I fasten my eyes on those eight and see their eyes fastened on mine.  May the living forgive me if I look upon them at times as shadows, so pale and fretful, so restless and, alas, so eager for life.  Those eight, on the other hand, seem to me so living that I feel as if even now, after their death, they could never become weary of life.  But eternal vigour of life is the important point: what matters "eternal life” or indeed life at all?  

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