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   27. EXPLANATION OF MALICIOUS JOY   Next Section

Explanation of Malicious Joy.  Malicious joy arises when a man consciously finds himself in evil plight and feels anxiety or remorse or pain.  The misfortune that overtakes B.  makes him equal to A.  , and A.  is reconciled and no longer envious.  If A.  is prosperous, he still hoards up in his memory B.  's misfortune as a capital, so as to throw it in the scale as a counter weight when he himself suffers adversity.  In this case too he feels "malicious joy" {Schadenfreude).  The sentiment of equality thus applies its standard to the domain of luck and chance.  Malicious joy is the commonest expression of victory and restoration of equality, even in a higher state of civilisation.  This emotion has only been in existence since the time when man learnt to look upon another as his equal — in other words, since the foundation of society.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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