Friedrich Nietzsche quotes

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 1844 – 1900

Born: 15 October 1844, Röcken bei Lützen, Prussia
Died: 25 August 1900, Weimar, Saxony, German Empire

Nietzsche was a German philosopher, poet, composer, and classical philologist born near Leipzig in Prussia. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor, and entered the University of Bonn in 1854 as a theology and philology student. However, he soon lost his faith and dropped his theology studies.

In 1867, Nietzche entered his required military service and was injured in a horse-riding accident, and while on sick leave, attended the University of Leipzig, where he met composer Richard Wagner, who shared his interest in atheist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, and in music and composition. In May 1869, Nietzsche was given a position as a professor of classical philology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He returned to military service in 1870, as a hospital attendant during the Siege of Metz he saw firsthand the trauma of battle, and contracted diphtheria and dysentery.

Nietzsche’s first book, The Birth of Tragedy, was published in 1872 and received praise from Wagner but a devastating review affected both the book’s reception and his class enrollment. Nevertheless, he remained as a professor in Basel until his deteriorating health forced his retirement in 1879.

From 1880 until 1889, Nietzsche wandered between his mother’s house in Naumberg and various French, Swiss, German and Italian cities. This was his most productive time, during which he produced his best-known works, but it was one of declining mental and physical health, which culminated in his collapse in Turin in 1889. He would never return to sanity.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche quotes:

A small garden, figs, a little cheese, and, along with this, three or four good friends; such was luxury to Epicurus.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Against boredom even the gods themselves struggle in vain.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

echoing Friedrich von Schiller on stupidity, in The Antichrist (1888)
All things that are truly great are at first thought impossible.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Arrogance in persons of merit affronts us more than arrogance in those without merit: Merit itself is an affront.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Art raises its head where creeds relax.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Human, All Too Human (1878)
At bottom every man know well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Bad cooks — and the utter lack of reason in the kitchen — have delayed human development longest and impaired it most.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Books for general reading always smell badly; the odor of common people hangs about them.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Beyond Good And Evil, II (1886)
By losing your goal, you have lost your way.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Christianity is a metaphysics of the hangman.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“The Four Great Errors” in Twilight of the Idols (1888)
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Dare to believe only in yourself.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Every extension of knowledge arises from making the conscious the unconscious.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Every man has his price. This is not true. But for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Family love is messy, clinging, and of an annoying and repetitive pattern, like bad wallpaper.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
God is a thought that makes crooked all that is straight.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883)
He turns all of his injuries into strengths, that which does not kill him makes him stronger, he is superman.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
He who has a Why? in life can tolerate almost any How?

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Maxims and Arrows” in Twilight of the Idols (1888)
He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
How good bad music and bad reasons sound when we march against an enemy.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
How people keep correcting us when we are young! There is always some bad habit or other they tell us we ought to get over. Yet most habits are tools to help us through life.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
‘I have done that,’ says my memory. ‘I cannot have done that’ – says my pride, and remains adamant. At last memory yields.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
I know my fate. One day my name will be tied to the memory of something monstrous — a crisis without equal on earth…. I am no man, I am dynamite!

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
I would believe only in a god who knows how to dance.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

If we have a ‘why’ to live, we can endure almost any ‘how’.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
In architecture the pride of man, his triumph over gravitation, his will to power, assume visible form. Architecture is a sort of oratory of power by means of form.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
In the consciousness of the truth he has perceived, man now sees everywhere only the awfulness or the absurdity of existence, … and loathing seizes him.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music (1873)
In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that one must have long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Insects sting, not in malice, but because they want to live. It is the same with critics: they desire our blood, not our pain.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Human, All Too Human (1878)
Is man one of God’s blunders or is God one of man’s?

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Learning from one’s enemies is the best way to love them, for it puts one into a grateful mood toward them.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Liberal institutions straightway cease from being liberal the moment they are soundly established.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Love is blind, friendship closes its eyes.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Beyond Good And Evil, II (1886)
Man alone suffers so excruciatingly in the world that he was compelled to invent laughter.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Man is the cruelest animal.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Men are even lazier than they are timorous, and what they fear most is the troubles with which any unconditional honesty and nudity would burden them.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Merchant and pirate were for a long period one and the same person. Even today mercantile morality is really nothing but a refinement of piratical morality.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
No artist will tolerate the world for one second as it is.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
No, life has not disappointed me. On the contrary, I find it truer, more desirable and mysterious every year — ever since the day when the great liberator came to me: the idea that life could be an experiment of the seeker for knowledge — and not a duty, not a calamity, not trickery.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The Gay Science
Nobody dies nowadays of fatal truths: there are too many antidotes to them.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Not infrequently, we encounter copies of important human beings; and here, too, as in the case of paintings, most people prefer the copies to the originals.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Nothing is beautiful, only man: on this piece of naïveté rests all aesthetics, it is the first truth of aesthetics. Let us immediately add its second: nothing is ugly but degenerate man-the domain of aesthetic judgment is therewith defined.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain; either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
One can promise actions, but not feelings, for the latter are involuntary. He who promises to love forever or hate forever or be forever faithful to someone is promising something that is not in his power.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
One must have a good memory to be able to keep the promises that one makes.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
One must have chaos in oneself in order to give birth to a dancing star.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
One must learn to love oneself … with a wholesome and healthy love, so that one can bear to be with oneself and need not roam.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
One often contradicts an opinion when what is uncongenial is really the tone in which it was conveyed.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon absolute truth.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
You lack the courage to be consumed in flames and to become ashes: so you will never become new, and never young again!

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Out of life’s school of war: What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
People who have given us their complete confidence believe that they have a right to ours. The inference is false, a gift confers no rights.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Plato was a bore.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Sleeping is no mean art: for its sake one has to stay awake all day.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Assorted Opinions and Maxims (1879)
Spiritual strength and passion, when accompanied by bad manners, only provoke loathing.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The Will to Power (1888)
Strong hope is a much greater stimulant of life than any realized joy could be.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The belly is the reason why man does not mistake himself for a god.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
The cure for love is still in most cases that ancient radical medicine: love in return.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The earth … hath a skin; and this skin hath diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called “man”.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Also sprach Zarathustra, Thomas Common, trans. (1909)
The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured among individuals, among peoples? According to the resistance that must be overcome, according to the trouble it takes to stay on top. The highest type of free man must be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps away from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The Dawn of Day (1903)
The idealist is incorrigible. If he is turned out of his heaven, he makes an ideal out of his hell.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The living is a species of the dead; and not a very attractive one.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

foreward to Ecce Homo
The miserable have no other medicine But only hope.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The Antichrist (1888)
The most common sort of lie is the one uttered to one’s self.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The Antichrist (1888)
The most instructive experiences are those of everyday life.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The mother of excess is not pleasure, but the lack of it.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The same passions in man and woman nonetheless differ in tempo; hence man and woman do not cease misunderstanding one another.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The thousand mysteries around us would not trouble but interest us, if only we had cheerful, healthy hearts.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The trodden worm curls up. Thus is reduces its chance of being stepped on again. In the language of morality – humility.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The way to transmute your iron duty into gold in everyone’s eyes is this: always deliver more than you promise.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Assorted Opinions and Maxims (1879)
Then is what you see through this window onto the world so lovely that you have no desire whatsoever to look out through any other window, and that you even make an attempt to prevent others from doing so?

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
There are no facts, only interpretations.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
There is a rollicking kindness that looks like malice.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Maxims and Interludes” in Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
There is an innocence in admiration; it is found in those to whom it has never yet occurred that they, too, might be admired some day.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
This secret spoke Life herself unto me: Behold, said she, I am that which must ever surpass itself.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Those with very loud voices in their throats are nearly incapable of thinking subtle thoughts.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings; always darker, emptier, and simpler.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
To live alone one must be an animal or a god – says Aristotle. There is yet a third case: one must be both — a philosopher.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Maxims and Arrows” in Twilight of the Idols (1888)
To the mediocre, mediocrity is a form of happiness.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
True, we love life, not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving. There is always some madness in love, but there is also always some reason in madness.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Under peaceful conditions the militant man attacks himself.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

We forget a fault when we have confessed it, but the person to whom we confess doesn’t forget it.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
We should never let ourselves be burnt for our opinions; we are not that sure of them. But perhaps for this – that we may have and change our opinions.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
What actually fills you with indignation as regards suffering is not suffering in itself but the pointlessness of suffering.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

On the Genealogy of Morals (1881)
What does not kill me, makes me stronger.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Maxims and Arrows” in Twilight of the Idols (1888)
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: What there is to love in man is that he is a going-over and a going-under.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
What is it: is man only a blunder of God, or God only a blunder of man?

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Maxims and Arrows” in Twilight of the Idols (1888)
When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

cited by W. H. Auden & Louis Kronenberger in The Viking Book of Aphorisms: A Personal Selection (1966)
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego’.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Where there is the tree of knowledge, there is always Paradise: so say the most ancient and the most modern serpents.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Who has not for the sake of his reputation sacrificed himself?

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Beyond Good and Evil, second line quoting Milton (1886)
Wisdom sets bounds even to knowledge.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Without music, life would be a mistake.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Maxims and Arrows” in Twilight of the Idols (1888)
Women are considered profound. Why? Because we never fathom their depths. But women aren’t even shallow.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“Maxims and Arrows” in Twilight of the Idols (1888)

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