Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Previous Section   299. What one should Learn from Artists   Next Section

What one should Learn from Artists.  What means have we for making things beautiful, attractive, and desirable, when they are not so?  And I suppose they are never so in themselves!  We have here something to learn from physicians, when, for example, they dilute what is bitter, or put wine and sugar into their mixing bowl; but we have still more to learn from artists, who in fact, are continually concerned in devising such inventions and artifices.  To withdraw from things until one no longer sees much of them, until one has even to see things into them, in order to see them at all or to view them from the side, and as in a frame or to place them so that they partly disguise themselves and only permit of perspective views or to look at them through coloured glasses, or in the light of the sunset or to furnish them with a surface or skin which is not fully transparent: we should learn all this from artists, and moreover be wiser than they.  For this fine power of theirs usually ceases with them where art ceases and life begins; we, however, want to be the poets of our lives, and first of all in the smallest and most commonplace matters.  
 

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