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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Previous Section   241. HOW THE THINKER MAKES USE OF A CONVERSATION   Next Section

How THE Thinker Makes Use of a Conversation.  Without being eavesdroppers, we can hear a good deal if we are able to see well, and at the same time to let ourselves occasionally get out of our own sight.  But people do not know how to make use of a conversation.  They pay far too much attention to what they want to say and reply, whereas the true listener is often contented to make a provisional answer and to say something merely as a payment on account of politeness, but on the other hand, with his memory lurking in ambush, carries away with him all that the other said, together with his tones and gestures in speaking.  In ordinary conversation everyone thinks he is the leader, just as if two ships, sailing side by side and giving each other a slight push here and there, were each firmly convinced that the other ship was following or even being towed.  

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