No psychologist or soothsayer will have a moment's difficulty in discovering at which place in the development sketched out above the present book belongs (or is placed). But where are there psychologists today? In France, certainly; perhaps in Russia; surely not in Germany. There are sufficient reasons for which the present?day Germans could esteem it an honor to be such; bad enough for a person who is constituted and has become un?German in this respect! This German book, which has known how to find its readers in a wide circle of countries and peoples (it has been on the road for approximately ten years), which must understand some kind of music and flute playing to seduce even unreceptive foreign ears to listen--precisely in Germany has this book been read most negligently, heard most poorly. What is the cause? "It demands too much," has been the reply, "it addresses itself to men who do not know the hardship of crude obligations; it demands fine, cosseted senses; it needs superfluity, superfluity of time, of bright heavens and hearts, of otium12 in the boldest sense--all good things which we Germans of today do not have and therefore cannot give." After such a polite answer, my philosophy counsels me to be silent and inquire no further, especially since in certain cases, as the saying suggests, one remains a philosopher only by--being silent.13

12. leisure
13. A reference to the medieval Latin distich: "o si tacuisses/ Philosophusmansisses."

Nice, Spring, 1886.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Human, All Too Human
Preface - Aphorism # 8

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