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Georg Brandes

My first experiences of academic friendship made me smile in after years when I looked back on them. But my circle of acquaintances had gradually grown so large that it was only natural new friendships should grow out of it.
Georg Brandes friendship
Being gifted needs courage.
Georg Brandes courage
Among the delights of Summer were picnics to the woods.
Georg Brandes light
Poor is the power of the lead that becomes bullets compared to the power of the hot metal that becomes types.
Georg Brandes power
But I did not find any positive inspiration in my studies until I approached my nineteenth year.
Georg Brandes inspiration
I was a town child, it is true, but that did not prevent me enjoying open-air life, with plants and animals.
Georg Brandes life
It was jolly in the country. A cow and little pigs to play with and milk warm from the cow.
Georg Brandes war
Just about this time, when in imagination I was so great a warrior, I had good use in real life for more strength, as I was no longer taken to school by the nurse, but instead had myself to protect my brother, two years my junior.
Georg Brandes life
My father, though, could run very much faster. It was impossible to compete with him on the grass. But it was astonishing how slow old people were. Some of them could not run up a hill and called it trying to climb stairs.
Georg Brandes people
Six hours a day I lived under school discipline in active intercourse with people none of whom were known to those at home, and the other hours of the twenty-four I spent at home, or with relatives of the people at home, none of whom were known to anybody at school.
Georg Brandes people
I encountered among my comrades the most varied human traits, from frankness to reserve, from goodness, uprightness and kindness, to brutality and baseness.
Georg Brandes kindness
A love for humanity came over me, and watered and fertilised the fields of my inner world which had been lying fallow, and this love of humanity vented itself in a vast compassion.
Georg Brandes love
I was not afraid of what I did not like. To overcome dislike of a thing often satisfied one's feeling of honour.
Georg Brandes feeling
I was always hearing that I was pale and thin and small.
Georg Brandes
The Danish glee: the national version of cheerfulness.
Georg Brandes
The stream of time sweeps away errors, and leaves the truth for the inheritance of humanity.
Georg Brandes truth
When I was a little boy I did not, of course, trouble much about my appearance.
Georg Brandes trouble
But my doubt would not be overcome. Kierkegaard had declared that it was only to the consciousness of sin that Christianity was not horror or madness. For me it was sometimes both.
Georg Brandes time
Any feeling that I was enriching my mind from those surrounding me was unfortunately rare with me.
Georg Brandes mind
He who does not understand a joke, he does not understand Danish.
Georg Brandes
Birth was something that came quite unexpectedly, and afterwards there was one child more in the house.
Georg Brandes war
I admired in others the strength that I lacked myself.
Georg Brandes strength
I became an ardent, but never a specially good, dancer.
Georg Brandes good
I came into the world two months too soon, I was in such a hurry.
Georg Brandes world
I did not know what it was to be happy for a whole day at a time, scarcely for an hour.
Georg Brandes time
He maintains that culture shows itself above all else in a unity of artistic style running through every expression of a nations life. On the other hand, the fact of having learnt much and knowing much is, as he points out, neither a necessary means to culture nor a sign of culture; it accords remarkably well with barbarism, that is to say, with want of style or a motley hotchpotch of styles.On Friedrich Nietzsches views on culture, p. 6
Georg Brandes life
Nietzsche says that as soon as he had read a single page of Schopenhauer, he knew he would read every page of him and pay heed to every word, even to the errors he might find. Every intellectual aspirant will be able to name men whom he has read in this way.p. 10
Georg Brandes hope
We need only think of the number of talented men who sooner or later make their apologies and concessions to philistinism, so as to be permitted to exist.p. 11
Georg Brandes men
When does a state of culture prevail? When the men of a community are steadily working for the production of single great men. From this highest aim all the others follow. And what state is farthest removed from a state of culture? That in which men energetically and with united forces resist the appearance of great men, partly by preventing the cultivation of the soil required for the growth of genius, partly by obstinately opposing everything in the shape of genius that appears amongst them. Such a state is more remote from culture than that of sheer barbarism.p. 12
Georg Brandes art
Forgetfulness, the unhistorical, isthe atmosphere, in which alone life can come into being. In order to understand it, let us imagine a youth who is seized with a passion for a woman, or a man who is swayed by a passion for his work. In both cases what lies behind them has ceased to exist and yet this state the most unhistorical that can be imagined is that in which every action, every great deed is conceived and accomplished.p. 16
Georg Brandes life
The historian is looked upon as objective when he measures the past by the popular opinions of his own time, as subjective when he does not take these opinions for models. That man is thought best fitted to depict a period of the past, who is not in the least affected by that period. But only he who has a share in building up the future can grasp what the past has been, and only when transformed into a work of art can history arouse or even sustain instincts.pp. 18-19
Georg Brandes time
Why you exist, says Nietzsche with Søren Kierkegaard, nobody in the world can tell you in advance; but since you do exist, try to give your existence a meaning by setting up for yourself as lofty and noble a goal as you can.p. 19
Georg Brandes world
The masses are only to be regarded as one of three things: either as copies of great personalities, bad copies, clumsily produced in a poor material, or as foils to the great, or finally as their toolsp. 20
Georg Brandes poor
What has set the mass in motion for any length of time is then called great. It is given the name of a historical power. When, for example, the vulgar mob has appropriated or adapted to its needs some religious idea, has defended it stubbornly and dragged it along for centuries, then the originator of that idea is called great. There is the testimony of thousands of years for it, we are told. But this is Nietzsche’s and Kierkegaard’s idea the noblest and highest does not affect the masses at all, either at the moment or later. Therefore the historical success of a religion, its toughness and persistence, witness against its founder’s greatness rather than for it.p. 20
Georg Brandes religion
But what of the voice and judgment of conscience? The difficulty is that we have a conscience behind our conscience, an intellectual one behind the moral.We can see quite well that our opinions of what is noble and good, our moral valuations, are powerful levers where action is concerned; but we must begin by refining these opinions and independently creating for ourselves new tables of values.pp. 25-26
Georg Brandes science
Instead of trying to educate the human race, they should imitate the pedagogues of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, who concentrated their efforts on the education of a single person.p. 26
Georg Brandes education
Since fresh examples and proofs could always be found of the alleged relation between guilt and punishment: if you behave in such and such a way, it will go badly with you. Now, as it generally does go badly, the allegation was constantly confirmed; and thus popular morality, a pseudo- science on a level with popular medicine, continually gained ground.p. 26 cf. Daybreak, § 11
Georg Brandes science
In opposition to the aristocratic valuation good = noble, beautiful, happy, favoured by the gods the slave morality then is this: The wretched alone are the good; those who suffer and are heavy laden, the sick and the ugly, they are the only pious ones. On the other hand, you, ye noble and rich, are to all eternity the evil, the cruel, the insatiate, the ungodly, and after death the damned. Whereas noble morality was the manifestation of great self-esteem, a continual yea-saying, slave morality is a continual Nay, a Thou shall not, a negation. To the noble valuation good bad bad = worthless corresponds the antithesis of slave morality, good evil. And who are the evil in this morality of the oppressed? Precisely the same who in the other morality were the good.pp. 30-31
Georg Brandes god
For long ages, too, no notice whatever was taken of the criminal’s “sin”; he was regarded as harmful, not guilty, and looked upon as a piece of destiny; and the criminal on his side took his punishment as a piece of destiny which had overtaken him, and bore it with the same fatalismIn general we may say that punishment tames the man, but does not make him “better.”pp. 38-39
Georg Brandes men
What has here happened is that the instinct of cruelty, which has turned inwards, has become self-torture, and all man’s animal instincts have been reinterpreted as guilt towards God. Every Nay man utters to his nature, to his real being, he flings out as a Yea, an affirmation of reality applied to God’s sanctityp. 40
Georg Brandes god
Under the dominion of the priests our earth became the ascetic planet; a squalid den careering through space, peopled by discontented and arrogant creatures, who were disgusted with life, abhorred their globe as a vale of tears, and who in their envy and hatred of beauty and joy did themselves as much harm as possible.p. 41
Georg Brandes life
The ascetic priestkeeps the whole herd of dejected, faint-hearted, despairing and unsuccessful creatures fast to life. The very fact that he himself is sick makes him their born herdsman. If he were healthy, he would turn away with loathing from all this eagerness to re-label weakness, envy, Pharisaism and false morality as virtue. But, being himself sick, he is called upon to be an attendant in the great hospital of sinners the Church. Heteaches the patient that the guilty cause of his pain is himself. Thus he diverts the rancour of the abortive man and makes him less harmful, by letting a great part of his resentment recoil on himself. He mitigates suffering and invents consolations of every kind, both narcotics and stimulants.pp. 41-42
Georg Brandes life
The loathing of mankind is a force that surprises and overwhelms one, fed by hundreds of springs concealed his subconsciousness. One only detects its presence after having long entertained it unawares.pp. 113
Georg Brandes war

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