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With apologies - a brief step sideways to improve the view…
As part of the conclusion to my recent article about the Irish Green Party, I used two aphorisms from Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘Human, All Too Human’ - to provide, I hoped, some insight into why it may have behaved as it did in government. This source (for those of you not fully immersed in the book-list) was written at the time of Nietzsche’s dismissal of both ‘Wagnerism’ and romanticism and contains the first bracing hints of what would inevitably become the ‘mature’ philosophy; turbulent, complex. From Marion Faber’s introduction to the 2004 Penguin edition;
“’Human, All Too Human’ is not only a break with Nietzsche’s philosophical past: this pivotal work also reveals the beginnings of several of the concepts that are crucial to his later philosophy. His notion of the will to power (Hello, Minister Gormley) is here in embryo, as is his transcendence of conventional Christian morality.”
The insight here is always piercing, sometimes shocking and the style is clear, concise and, as you’ll see below, readable and often beautiful (with acknowledgement to the translator);
“586. The hour-hand of life.
Life consists of rare, isolated moments of the greatest significance, and of innumerably many intervals, during which at best the silhouettes of those moments hover about us. Love, springtime, every beautiful melody, mountains, the moon, the sea – all these speak completely to the heart but once, if in fact they ever do get a chance to speak completely. For many men do not have those moments at all, and are themselves intervals and intermissions in the symphony of real life.”
And from Albert Camus;
“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”
For those of us whose hearts were once filled by a monument. Is it any wonder that we are prepared to fight for our selves, or for what could become yours?