We Philologists, Volume 8

We Philologists, Volume 8

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We Philologists, Volume 8 by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Published:

1911

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We Philologists, Volume 8

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Translated by J.M. Kennedy

Book Excerpt

is it really copied? I think it is the description of the philologist: it is better to be a day-labourer than to have such an anæmic recollection of the past.--[1]

15

The attitude of the philologist towards antiquity is apologetic, or else dictated by the view that what our own age values can likewise be found in antiquity. The right attitude to take up, however, is the reverse one, viz., to start with an insight into our modern topsyturviness, and to look back from antiquity to it--and many things about antiquity which have hitherto displeased us will then be seen to have been most profound necessities.

We must make it clear to ourselves that we are acting in an absurd manner when we try to defend or to beautify antiquity: who are we!

16

We are under a false impression when we say that there is always some caste which governs a nation's culture, and that therefore savants are necessary; for savants only possess knowledge concerning culture (and even this only

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