Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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The Germans as Artists.

When once a German actually experiences passion (and not only, as is usual, the mere inclination to it), he then behaves just as he must do in passion, and does not think further of his behaviour.  The truth is, however, that he then behaves very awkwardly and uglily, and as if destitute of rhythm and melody ; so that onlookers are pained or moved thereby, but nothing more unless he elevate himself to the sublimity and enrapturedness of which certain passions are capable.  Then even the German becomes beautiful.  The consciousness of the height at which beauty begins to shed its charm even over Germans, forces German artists to the height and the super height, and to the extravagances of passion : they have an actual, profound longing, therefore, to get beyond, or at least to look beyond the ugliness and awkwardness into a better, easier, more southern, more sunny world.  And thus their convulsions are often merely indications that they would like to dance : these poor bears in whom hidden nymphs and satyrs, and sometimes still higher divinities, carry on their game!  
 

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