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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The Faust Idea.  A little sempstress is seduced and plunged into despair: a great scholar of all the four Faculties is the evil doer.  That cannot have happened in the ordinary course, surely?  No, certainly not!  Without the aid of the devil incarnate, the great scholar would never have achieved the deed.  Is this really destined to be the greatest German "tragic idea” as one hears it said among Germans?  — But for Goethe even this idea was too terrible.  His kind heart could not avoid placing the little sempstress, "the good soul that forgot itself but once” near to the saints, after her involuntary death.  Even the great scholar, "the good man" with "the dark impulse” is brought into heaven in the nick of time, by a trick which is played upon the devil at the decisive moment.  In heaven the lovers find themselves again.  Goethe once said that his nature was too conciliatory for really tragic subjects.  

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