Page:Thus Spake Zarathustra - Alexander Tille - 1896.djvu/19

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INTRODUCTION XV

prose-poem to represent modern life and its outward appearances, all these things are veiled under allegorical and typical persons, things, and incidents, so that, e.g., Richard Wagner plays the part of an evil wizard, and a modern specialist wears the mask of the Conscientious one of the Spirit, one who knows only the brain of the leech, but that thoroughly. And as Nietzsche's early writings failed to appeal to the public, and his picturesque style was later on imitated and distorted by inferior writers, Zarathustra's speech is beaten by a rope-dancer's performance, and, when approaching the great city, he meets the Raging Fool who regards himself as the image of his teacher and is anxious to keep the public of the great city for himself.

The scene of Thus Spake Zarathustra is laid, as it were, outside of time and space, and certainly outside of countries and nations, outside of this age, and outside of the main condition of all that lives the struggle for existence. Zarathustra has not to work for his bread, but has got it without effort. His eagle and his serpent provide him with all he needs, and whenever they are not with him, he finds men who supply him. Thus there is something of the miraculous in his story, and the personification of lifeless objects and the gift of speech conferred upon them are frequently made use of. True, in his story there appear cities and mob, kings and scholars, poets and cripples, but outside of their realm there is a province which is Zarathustra's own, where he lives in his cave amid the rocks, and whence he thrice goes to men to teach them his wisdom pointing away from all that unites and separates men at present. This Nowhere and Nowhen, over which Nietzsche's imagination is supreme, is a province of boundless individualism, in which a man of mark has free play, unfettered by the tastes and inclinations of the multitude.