Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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To the Realists.

You sober beings, who feel yourselves armed against passion and fantasy, and would gladly make a pride and an ornament out of your emptiness, you call yourselves realists, and give to understand that the world is actually constituted as it appears to you ; before you alone reality stands unveiled, and you yourselves would perhaps be the best part of it, oh, you dear images of Sais!  But are not you also in your unveiled condition still extremely passionate and dusky beings compared with the fish, and still all too like an enamoured artist?  And what is " reality " to an enamoured artist!  you still carry about with you the valuations of things which had their origin in the passions and infatuations of earlier centuries!  There is still a secret and ineffaceable drunkenness embodied in your sobriety!  Your love of "reality," for example oh, that is an old, primitive " love "!  In every feeling, in every sense impression, there is a portion of this old love: and similarly also some kind of fantasy, prejudice, irrationality, ignorance, fear, and whatever else has become mingled and woven into it.  There is that mountain!  There is that cloud!  What is "real" in them?  Remove the phantasm and the whole human element from it, you sober ones!  Yes, if you could do that!  If you could forget your origin, your past, your preparatory schooling, your whole history as man and beast!  There is no "reality" for us nor for you either, you sober ones, we are far from being so alien to one another as you suppose ; and perhaps our good will to get beyond drunkenness is just as respectable as your belief that you are altogether incapable of drunkenness.  
 

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