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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In the Night.  So soon as night begins to fall our sensations concerning everyday matters are altered.  There is the wind, prowling as if on forbidden paths, whispering as if in search of something, fretting because he cannot find it.  There is the lamplight, with its dim red glow, its weary look, unwillingly fighting against night, a sullen slave to wakeful man.  There are the breathings of the sleeper, with their terrible rhythm, to which an ever recurring care seems to blow the trumpet melody — we do not hear it, but when the sleeper's bosom heaves we feel our heart strings tighten; and when the breath sinks and almost dies away into a deathly stillness, we say to ourselves, "Rest awhile, poor troubled spirit!  "All living creatures bear so great a burden that we wish them an eternal rest; night invites to death.  If human beings were deprived of the sun and resisted night by means of moonlight and oil lamps, what a philosophy would cast its veil over them!  We already see only too plainly how a shadow is thrown over the spiritual and intellectual nature of man by that moiety of darkness and sunlessness that envelops life.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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