Human all too human: 43. Cruel people as those who have remained.

Reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s Human all too human

Read the introduction here You can read the aphorism I discuss here in English and German below the main article.

My take on it/synopsis.

  1. Don’t blame the cruel people.

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Cruel people are the remains of past times, they are the hidden grooves in the mountain of humanity, they have inherited the rougher parts and are not as refined. They show us how we were ones, but like a block of granite, you cannot blame them for being granite. There are also grooves in our brain, like residual organs that we inherited, but these grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of our sensation flows.


Text from the translation by Helen Zimmern and my take on it

People who are cruel nowadays must be accounted for by us as the grades of earlier civilisations which have survived ; here are exposed those deeper formations in the mountain of humanity which usually remain concealed. Cruel people are the remains of past times, they are the hidden grooves in the mountain of humanity, They are backward people whose brains, through all manner of accidents in the course of inheritance, have not been developed in so delicate and manifold a way. they have inherited only the rougher parts and are not as refined. They show us what we all were and horrify us, but they themselves are as little responsible as is a block of granite for being granite. They show us how we were ones, but like a block of granite, you cannot blame them for being granite. There must, too, be grooves and twists in our brains which answer to that condition of mind, There are also grooves, like with cruel people, in our brain as in the form of certain human organs there are supposed to be traces of a fish-state. like residual organs we inherited from our past But these grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of our sensation flows. But these grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of our sensation flows.


Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I translated by Helen Zimmern 1909

  1. CRUEL PEOPLE AS THOSE WHO HAVE REMAINED BEHIND.—People who are cruel nowadays must be accounted for by us as the grades of earlier civilisations which have survived ; here are exposed those deeper formations in the mountain of humanity which usually remain concealed. They are backward people whose brains, through all manner of accidents in the course of inheritance, have not been developed in so delicate and manifold a way. They show us what we all were and horrify us, but they themselves are as little responsible as is a block of granite for being granite. There must, too, be grooves and twists in our brains which answer to that condition of mind, as in the form of certain human organs there are supposed to be traces of a fish-state. But these grooves and twists are no longer the bed through which the stream of our sensation flows.

Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80

  1. Grausame Menschen als zurückgeblieben. – Die Menschen, welche jetzt grausam sind, müssen uns als Stufen früherer Culturen gelten, welche übrig geblieben sind: das Gebirge der Menschheit zeigt hier einmal die tieferen Formationen, welche sonst versteckt liegen, offen. Es sind zurückgebliebene Menschen, deren Gehirn, durch alle möglichen Zufälle im Verlaufe der Vererbung, nicht so zart und vielseitig fortgebildet worden ist. Sie zeigen uns, was wir Alle waren, und machen uns erschrecken: aber sie selber sind so wenig verantwortlich, wie ein Stück Granit dafür, dass es Granit ist. In unserm Gehirne müssen sich auch Rinnen und Windungen finden, welche jener Gesinnung entsprechen, wie sich in der Form einzelner menschlicher Organe Erinnerungen an Fischzustände finden sollen. Aber diese Rinnen und Windungen sind nicht mehr das Bett, in welchem sich jetzt der Strom unserer Empfindung wälzt.

Sources:

I will read a Dutch translation that is based on the work of researchers Colli and Montinari. I also use a translation from R.J.Hollingdale and the Gary Handwerk translation from the Colli-Montinari edition. Both are more modern than the copyright free translation I use here. This is a translation from 1909 by Helen Zimmern, who knew Nietzsche personally, but there was no critical study of Nietzsche’s work done back then and this translation suffers from that. The same goes for the translation from Alexander Harvey. My German is not good enough to pretend that I can translate it better than the professionals do but I will use the original as a referee.

  1. Menselijk al te menselijk een boek voor vrije geesten, translated by Thomas Graftdijk, 2000. Buy it here
  2. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by R.J.Hollingdale, 1986
  3. Human, all too human a book for free spirits I V3, translated by Gary handwerk 1997
  4. Human, all too human a book for free spirits Part I, translated by Helen Zimmern 1909. Read it  here
  5. Human, all too human a book for free spirits, translated by Alexander Harvey, 1908. Read it here
  6. Menschliches allzu menschlich 1878/80. Read it here

 

 

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