Human, All Too Human


The talent for friendship. Among men who have a particular gift for friendship, two types stand out. The one man is in a continual state of ascent, and finds an exactly appropriate friend for each phase of his development. The series of friends that he acquires in this way is only rarely interconnected, and sometimes discordant and contradictory, quite in accordance with the fact that the later phases in his development invalidate or compromise the earlier phases. Such a man may jokingly be called a ladder.
The other type is represented by the man who exercises his powers of attraction on very different characters and talents, thereby winning a whole circle of friends; and these come into friendly contact with one another through him, despite all their diversity. Such a man can be called a circle; for in him, that intimate connection of so many different temperaments and natures must somehow be prefigured.
In many people, incidentally, the gift of having good friends is much greater than the gift of being a good friend.

Friedrich NietzscheHuman, All Too Human: Section Six: Man in Society - Aphorism #36855611 years, 6 months ago 


Tactics in conversation. After a conversation with someone, one is best disposed towards his partner in conversation if he had the opportunity to display to him his own wit and amiability in its full splendor. Clever men who want to gain someone's favor use this during a conversation, giving the other person the best opportunities for a good joke and the like. One could imagine an amusing conversation between two very clever people, both of whom want to gain the other's favor and therefore toss the good conversational opportunities back and forth, neither one accepting them-so that the conversation as a whole would proceed without wit or amiability because each one was offering the other the opportunity to demonstrate wit and amiability.

Friedrich NietzscheHuman, All Too Human: Section Six: Man in Society - Aphorism #36955111 years, 6 months ago 


Releasing ill humor. The man who fails at something prefers to attribute the failure to the bad will of another rather than to chance. His injured sensibility is relieved by imagining a person, not a thing, as the reason for his failure. For one can avenge oneself on people, but one must choke down the injuries of coincidence. Therefore, when a prince fails at something, his court habitually points out to him a single person as the alleged cause, and sacrifices this person in the interest of all the courtiers; for the prince's ill humor would otherwise be released on them all, since he can, of course, take no vengeance on Dame Fortune herself.

Friedrich NietzscheHuman, All Too Human: Section Six: Man in Society - Aphorism #37048311 years, 6 months ago 


Assuming the colors of the environment. Why are likes and dislikes so contagious that one can scarcely live in proximity to a person of strong sensibilities without being filled like a vessel with his pros and cons? First, it is very hard to withhold judgment entirely, and sometimes it is virtually intolerable for our vanity. It can look like poverty of thought and feeling, fearfulness, unmanliness; and so we are persuaded at least to take a side, perhaps against the direction of our environment if our pride likes this posture better. Usually, however (this is the second point), we are not even aware of the transition from indifference to liking or disliking, but gradually grow used to the sentiments of our environment; and because sympathetic agreement and mutual understanding are so pleasant, we soon wear all its insignias and party colors.

Friedrich NietzscheHuman, All Too Human: Section Six: Man in Society - Aphorism #37148311 years, 6 months ago 


Irony. Irony is appropriate only as a pedagogical tool, used by a teacher interacting with pupils of whatever sort; its purpose is humiliation, shame, but the salubrious kind that awakens good intentions and bids us offer, as to a doctor, honor and gratitude to the one who treated us so. The ironic man pretends to be ignorant, and, in fact, does it so well that the pupils conversing with him are fooled and become bold in their conviction about their better knowledge, exposing themselves in all kinds of ways; they lose caution and reveal themselves as they are--until the rays of the torch that they held up to their teacher's face are suddenly reflected back on them, humiliating them.
Where there is no relation as between teacher and pupil, irony is impolite, a base emotion. All ironic writers are counting on that silly category of men who want to feel, along with the author, superior to all other men, and regard the author as the spokesman for their arrogance.
Incidentally, the habit of irony, like that of sarcasm, ruins the character; eventually it lends the quality of a gloating superiority; finally, one is like a snapping dog, who, besides biting, has also learned to laugh.

Friedrich NietzscheHuman, All Too Human: Section Six: Man in Society - Aphorism #37258811 years, 6 months ago