Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten).

The Wanderer and his Shadow, the second supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1880.

  

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Artists' Affectation of Scientific Method.  Schiller, like other German artists, fancied that if a man had intellect he was entitled to improvise even with the pen on all difficult subjects.  So there we see his prose essays — in every way a model of how not to attack scientific questions of aesthetics and ethics, and a danger for young readers who, in their admiration for Schiller the poet, have not the courage to think meanly of Schiller the thinker and author.  (The temptation to traverse for once the forbidden paths, and to have his say in science as well, is easy and pardonable in the artist.  For even the ablest artist from time to time finds his handicraft and his workshop unendurable. This temptation is so strong that it makes the artist show all the world what no one wishes to see, that his little chamber of thought is cramped and untidy.  This temptation is so strong that it makes the artist show all the world what no one wishes to see, that his little chamber of thought is cramped and untidy.  Why not, indeed?  He does not live there.  He proceeds to show that the storeroom of his knowledge is partly empty, partly filled with lumber.  Why not, indeed?  This condition does not really become the artist child badly.  In particular, the artist shows that for the very easiest exercises of scientific method, which are accessible even to beginners, his joints are too stiff and untrained!  Even of that he need not really be ashamed!  On the other hand, he often develops no mean art in imitating all the mistakes, vices, and base pedantries that are practised in the scientific community, in the belief that these belong to the appearance of the thing, if not to the thing itself This is the very point that is so amusing in artists' writing, that the artist involuntarily acts as his vocation demands: he parodies the scientific and inartistic natures.  Towards science he should show no attitude but that of parody, in so far as he is an artist and only an artist.  
 

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