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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

98                     MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

ker that has eaten into man's marrow. Christianity's altruistic
morality - 'love thy neighbour7 - is the morality of the helpless;
it has ever been the foe of the strong, the lonely. No instinct is in
itself moral, the same instinct can develop (e.g.) into cowardice or
humility - and submission to morality is not moral. It may be
called forth by slavishness or despair! The morality of the slave
is not the morality of the strong man. Morality, in its quality of
obedience to prevailing laws, is genetic nonsense; free man is
genetically immoral. They were the strong, evil spirits that led
man upwards. Morality is nothing more than the instinct of the
herd. There must be a new adjustment of the table of values (eine
Ummrtung alkr Werte). But for that a new man is needed who can
stand like a giant among pygmies. The driving force in history is
the will to power (der Wille ^ur Macbt, der Machtmlle\ not, as in
Schopenhauer's system, the will to live) in individuals as in nations.
Also sprach Zarathustra (1883-85) brings into relief the ideal
figure of the great lonely man who breaks down all old values and
replaces them by new, shows the steps that lead up to the super-
man. In Also sprach Zarathustra we are told that men are not equal
and never will be, and the ideal to strive for is that of the superman
- the incarnation of the Machtmlk^ the man who stands beyond
good and evil. Also sprach Zarathustra is the most popular of
Nietzsche's books, probably because Zarathustra, the old man of
the mountains, is a vivid idealization of Nietzsche himself, and at
the same time a prose-poem with oracular utterances that sing
themselves into the memory. The chanted texts have the pitiless
fierceness and the violent images of the Hebrew prophets :

Das I^eben ist ein Born dtr TLust; aber wo das Gesindel mittrinkt, da
sind die Brunnen vergiftet.

Alkm ILeinlichen bin ich hold; aber ich mag die grinsenden Mauler
nicht sehn und den Durst der Unreinen.

Sie warfen ihr Auge hinab in den Brunnen: nun glan^t mir ihr
,   mdriges Lacheln herauf aus dem ~E>runnen.

Das heilige Wasser haben sie vergiftet mit ihrer "L.usternheit; und als
sie ihre schmut^igen Traume "Lust nannten, vergifteten sie amh noch die
Worte.

Through all history, runs the main thread of Nietzsche's argument,
there has been a bitter contrast between two contrary ideas of
morality, between the morality of the rulers and the ruled, the