Thus spoke Zarathustra

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Avatar, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Hi ya all,
    because I have vitnessed many people being interested in Nietzsche I thought of making a whole thread to him, or to be more particular-> his most famous work of art- Thus spoke Zarathustra.
    It was like a bible written for himself.

    I choose to take one chapter for the start. It's called "The Flies in the Market-Place". Why exactly this... Well recent happenings in middle east , Israel and the worlds reaction to it. How we see politicians (especially Bush) dance before the public and say speeches against the terrorism, just to look good in the eyes of their voters. But it is not the world, it's just a stage for performers. What really matters is.....or it doesn't really matter what happens out of view?

    Read this extract, talk about it, tear it apart - whatever.
    of course I'd like to hear everyones thoughts about it and the problems discussed there.

    ..The Flies in the Market-Place..
    FLEE, my friend, into thy solitude! I see thee deafened with the noise of the great men, and stung all over with the stings of the little ones.

    Admirably do forest and rock know how to be silent with thee. Resemble again the tree which thou lovest, the broad-branched one- silently and attentively it o'erhangeth the sea.

    Where solitude endeth, there beginneth the market-place; and where the market-place beginneth, there beginneth also the noise of the great actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.

    In the world even the best things are worthless without those who represent them: those representers, the people call great men.

    Little, do the people understand what is great—that is to say, the creating agency. But they have a taste for all representers and actors of great things.

    Around the devisers of new values revolveth the world:—invisibly it revolveth. But around the actors revolve the people and the glory: such is the course of things.

    Spirit, hath the actor, but little conscience of the spirit. He believeth always in that wherewith he maketh believe most strongly—in himself!

    Tomorrow he hath a new belief, and the day after, one still newer. Sharp perceptions hath he, like the people, and changeable humours.

    To upset—that meaneth with him to prove. To drive mad—that meaneth with him to convince. And blood is counted by him as the best of all arguments.

    A truth which only glideth into fine ears, he calleth falsehood and trumpery. Verily, he believeth only in gods that make a great noise in the world!

    Full of clattering buffoons is the market-place,—and the people glory in their great men! These are for them the masters of the hour.

    But the hour presseth them; so they press thee. And also from thee they want Yea or Nay. Alas! thou wouldst set thy chair betwixt For and Against?

    On account of those absolute and impatient ones, be not jealous, thou lover of truth! Never yet did truth cling to the arm of an absolute one.

    On account of those abrupt ones, return into thy security: only in the market-place is one assailed by Yea? or Nay?

    Slow is the experience of all deep fountains: long have they to wait until they know what hath fallen into their depths.

    Away from the market-place and from fame taketh place all that is great: away from the market-place and from fame have ever dwelt the devisers of new values.

    Flee, my friend, into thy solitude: I see thee stung all over by the poisonous flies. Flee thither, where a rough, strong breeze bloweth!

    Flee into thy solitude! Thou hast lived too closely to the small and the pitiable. Flee from their invisible vengeance! Towards thee they have nothing but vengeance.

    Raise no longer an arm against them! Innumerable are they, and it is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.

    Innumerable are the small and pitiable ones; and of many a proud structure, rain-drops and weeds have been the ruin.

    Thou art not stone; but already hast thou become hollow by the numerous drops. Thou wilt yet break and burst by the numerous drops.

    Exhausted I see thee, by poisonous flies; bleeding I see thee, and torn at a hundred spots; and thy pride will not even upbraid.

    Blood they would have from thee in all innocence; blood their bloodless souls crave for—and they sting, therefore, in all innocence.

    But thou, profound one, thou sufferest too profoundly even from small wounds; and ere thou hadst recovered, the same poison-worm crawled over thy hand.

    Too proud art thou to kill these sweet-tooths. But take care lest it be thy fate to suffer all their poisonous injustice!

    They buzz around thee also with their praise: obtrusiveness is their praise. They want to be close to thy skin and thy blood.

    They flatter thee, as one flattereth a God or devil; they whimper before thee, as before a God or devil; What doth it come to! Flatterers are they, and whimperers, and nothing more.

    Often, also, do they show themselves to thee as amiable ones. But that hath ever been the prudence of the cowardly. Yea! the cowardly are wise!

    They think much about thee with their circumscribed souls—thou art always suspected by them! Whatever is much thought about is at last thought suspicious.

    They punish thee for all thy virtues. They pardon thee in their inmost hearts only—for thine errors.

    Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest: "Blameless are they for their small existence." But their circumscribed souls think: "Blamable is all great existence."

    Even when thou art gentle towards them, they still feel themselves despised by thee; and they repay thy beneficence with secret maleficence.

    Thy silent pride is always counter to their taste; they rejoice if once thou be humble enough to be frivolous.

    What we recognise in a man, we also irritate in him. Therefore be on your guard against the small ones!

    In thy presence they feel themselves small, and their baseness gleameth and gloweth against thee in invisible vengeance.

    Sawest thou not how often they became dumb when thou approachedst them, and how their energy left them like the smoke of an extinguishing fire?

    Yea, my friend, the bad conscience art thou of thy neighbours; for they are unworthy of thee. Therefore they hate thee, and would fain suck thy blood.

    Thy neighbours will always be poisonous flies; what is great in thee—that itself must make them more poisonous, and always more fly-like.

    Flee, my friend, into thy solitude—and thither, where a rough strong breeze bloweth. It is not thy lot to be a fly-flap.—

    Thus spoke Zarathustra.
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  3. ndrs The Anti-Cthulhu Registered Senior Member

    I am in the middle of reading this myself.
    Since I know German (decently) and know English (as a second lang), I'm reading it in both at the same time.
    I am curious, has anybody notice that English translation is quite crap? I'll provide you with quotes if you are interested.
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  5. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    yes it is. I like my Latvian version best. It is a direct year 1935 translation from german by two of our that time poets. I don't like the language in english version
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  7. ndrs The Anti-Cthulhu Registered Senior Member

    I found some parts in the English version (I lost them now) where it couldn't be understood unless you read it in German.
    Anyway, I am the only one who feels that going into a solitude would be nice for a while... Escape all the crap for a while.. Unfortunately it is impossible here in the deforestated and over-populated England... Maybe Scotland, but getting there would be expensive (75$).
    I remember there was a crazy guy in Lithuania, who lived in the forest for 6months each year. Well the forest he lived in was very nice - two lakes besides a forest. Of course impressive... But then Lithuania has 30% forestation, England has 7%...
  8. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    we have one guy. He was a archeologist proffessor. 9 years ago he became so obsessed with researching our countries ancient pagan rituals , practices, holy places, tht he now lives in the forest since that time. in a holy pagan place called Kokali. he still researches pagan traditions, digs up ground and looks for stoneage arrtifacts. he lives from small summer jobs he does in summers and atumns. helps in different ariculture jobs. as well as does lectures in open nature for the tourists who find him. he has made an authentic ~9th century house for himself in the forest.

    he's not mad, he's just very in tht. he lives in another time. I think tht I'll visit him this or next summer.

    oh and we have a 40% of forest coverage

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  9. ndrs The Anti-Cthulhu Registered Senior Member

    But, do you have lots of lakes?

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    Anyway, I like this line:
    Because thou art gentle and of upright character, thou sayest: "Blameless are they for their small existence."

    Could say that for a few people...

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  10. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    yes, it has a deep thought in it. Like - you are so "advanced" tht you watch on all the others - crowd - from a heigh. They are miserable in their small everyday jobs, working not being aware of the world they live in. You can't even ask them to undertand , you can't ask anything out of them because they are worth nothing.
    Say it about a few people? No, I could say it about a lot of people. They live to work, their knowledge about new advancments in physics is below any rate. They know nothing and care nothing about humanity's progress. Give them flashy effects and cheap food and they'll be happy.

    I also find these lines true
    Just look at Bush. He's so dumb. A complete idiot. easyer to controll I quess, but I can bet all I have tht he IS controlled. a tool in someones hand. it's so visable.

    and we have 2500 lakes. it's not bad for 64 000 sq kilometres. yeah I know you have smthing about 3000 , but your country is also bigger.
  11. fadingCaptain are you a robot? Valued Senior Member

    Ah, I need to go back and re-read this work, it has been awhile. I wish I could read German

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    Question: Obviously, nietzsche uses the character zarathustra in this work as a character to voice his philosophy. When zarathustra speaks, nietzsche speaks. My question is -
    what is the connection to him using the name 'zarathustra' and the eastern philosophy/religion (zoroastrian) of the actual man that was named zarathustra? Did nietzsche respect his teachings? Why not invent a new name?
  12. tallest Registered Member

    I'd often wondered just how well-translated the works of Nietzsche (and others) were, and this thread seems to bear out that there are discrepancies.

    Once again I am left cursing the British teachers' strikes of the early 80's that have left me without a second language.
  13. _Ubermark_ Registered Member

    Collection of Nietzsche Quotes (English)

    I have only read Nietzsche in English, and found I much prefer the work of Kaufmann to that of Hollingdale. Some of this may be attributable to having read Kaufman first, but I definitely prefer Kaufmann's "overman" to Hollingdale's "superman". There are a few cases in which I find Hollingdale does a better job with an aphorism, but for the most part I have been happy with Kaufmann. Of course I can't compare it to the German, but for the work has not only coherence and consistency, but poetry and style as well. Perhaps there is some greater experience to be had in the German, but I like Kaufmann's English. (There is a Thomas Common translation available on line which was apparently constructed with the ideal of producing King James English. It seems horribly clumsy.)

    I have heard it argued that Kaufmann is guilty of softening Nietzsche's stance on several issues to make him more acceptable, but I only hear this from people whose "Nietzschean Philosophy" strikes me as mean-spirited. Either this means I've bought into the softer version, or that their mean-spiritedness makes them want to sharpen the edges. I perfer the latter interpretation.

    Some time ago I put together a collection of Nietzsche quotes which is, to the best of my knowledge, the most comprehensive and organized on the world wide web.

    The organizational scheme represents what I find to be the important themes in Nietzsche's work. My website also bears a slogan which is my own but expresses what I think is the kernel of his work:

    To the extent that man is a brute,
    he needs a morality that restrains him.
    To the extent that man is not a brute,
    his morality should be a plan of action
    toward his dreams of greatness.

    Regarding the matter of Nietzsche's relation to the marketplace, and to politics, my sense of his work is that Nietzsche leaves the managment of society to the herd and its leaders, and assumes that his work and that of other higher men will go on outside this arena, rightly opposed by the society as a whole. I believe there are a number of things in his work which justify the opposite interpretation-- that he advises the higher men to "take over" or wants to set up an aristocratic political order. I dismiss these as "if everything were as it should be" musings and go back to my belief that he expected to stay outside. (The people who favor the political activist interpretation seem to be the same ones that find Kaufmann too soft.)

    And I love this little quote:

    "I love the forest. It is bad to live in cities: there too many are in heat. Is it not better to fall into the hands of a murderer than into the dreams of a woman in heat? And behold these men: their eyes say it—they know of nothing better on earth than to lie with a woman. Mud is at the bottom of their souls; and woe if their mud also has spirit!" (TSZ, On Chastity)

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