This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
of Belinsky¡‾s: "Even if I were able to arrive at the highest degree on t he ladder of culture I should not cease to demand of you account for all the vic tims of the conditions of life and of history, for all the victims of chance, su perstition, the inquisition of Philip II, etc.; else I would throw myself head f irst down the ladder. I do not wish to have happiness for nothing, so long as I am not set at rest about each of those who are my brothers in blood. Disharmony, it is said, is a condition of harmony; it may be that this is very beneficial a nd amusing for melomaniacs, but not at all for those who are compelled by their fate to incarnate the idea of disharmony." I quote these lines not at all in ord er to draw upon an authority for the confirmation of my own ideas. Quite the con trary: I realize very well that the authority of the critic Belinsky is not for but against me. To find support for myself in him I had to have recourse to his private correspondence, not his literary works. But even this may seem strange, especially since this passage from Belinsky¡‾s letter has often been quoted in Russian literature by writers of the most varied tendencies. What secret, then, lies in these words, that they are equally used by men of opposite outlooks? Is their content perhaps so general and so indeterm inate that it is open to the most manifold interpretations? To my mind, no. I do ubt that in all of Belinsky¡‾s writings one could find any passage where he succeede d in expressing himself with more clarity and precision. Nevertheless, despite t he clear meaning of the simple and not at all obscure words, different interpret ations of this letter have been possible. No one who has quoted it has observed that the ideas it expresses stand in sharpest contradiction to everything that B elinsky said in his critical works. This letter has been interpreted in the same sense as his passionate literary preaching and his letter to Gogol. In it, as i n everything that came from Belinsky¡‾s pen, people wished to see only the great ide alist raising his powerful voice in defense of humanitarianism, of mankind, of t he good. He rejects all philosophy, he rejects Hegel, because they expect him to content himself with the perfection of one Peter as compensation for the destru ction of hundreds of Ivans! In this rejecting attitude people saw only the unique expression of a just and humane soul. That is why they overlooked, indeed, did not even once notice, the paradoxical, plainly and shockingly absurd form in which Belinsky clothed hi s thoughts. In fact, what compensation should Hegel be able to give Belinsky for every victim of history, for every victim of Philip II? Philip II burned hosts of heretics at the stake; but what kind of absurdity is it to demand accounting for it today? These victims were burned long ago; no restoration is possible; th e matter is forever ended. No Hegel can do anything here; to demand accounting f or these creatures tortured to death and prematurely perished, to become angry b ecause of them, to appeal to the whole world¡ªis obviously too late. It remains only either to turn one's back on these sad stories or, if one wishes absolutely tha t all the essential elements of which the life of man consists be forced into a theory constructed ad hoc, to invent something of the nature of universal harmon y, i.e., a mutual responsibility of mankind, and to credit Ivan with Peter's ass ets, or generally to forego making any balance sheet of the life of individual p ersons and, once for all denoting the single person as individuum, to proclaim t hat the supreme end lies in some general principle to which individuals must be sacrificed. Indeed, it is here that pathos must end and philosophy begin¡ªthe genuine, allembracing philosophy which clearly and distinctly explains why Philip II and wor ld history have tortured and still torture men. And if there still remain some p roblems, they would be such as touch on the questions of the theory of knowledge , time and space, the principle of causality, and similar things. But these are
questions which, as is known, possess no urgency. As long as no true explanation s have been found for them, it is possible to be content with hypotheses. Like p hilosophy in general, these questions have arisen, if we are to believe Aristotl e, dia to thaumadzein, out of wonder. Now the thirst for knowledge arising out o f "wonder" does not have to be unconditionally satisfied through "truth"; on the contrary, it does not really need it at all. If truth were suddenly to be found , it would be a most disagreeable surprise. At least so Lessing declared (and he knew what he was saying) when he asked God to keep truth for himself but to lea ve men the gift of seeking and erring. But it appears that Belinsky, though he r emained the eternal disciple of European teachers, thought and spoke in a differ ent way when he was alone with himself or in conversations with his friends. The mere search and struggle did not suffice for him; he demanded the complete and full truth and protested passionately against the tradition of his masters. This was a dangerous protest. It endangered above all Belinsky¡‾s very idealism . For in what do the nature and the psychological foundation of idealism consist ? Clearly in the belief that doubt, problems, and inquiry are only a question of time. In itself everything is decided and perfectly luminous. One has only to f ind time and grow intellectually to make completely clear to himself what others already knew long ago. That is why every young culture that develops in the nei ghborhood of an already ripened civilization is always the best soil for idealis m. Even in families, the younger members are usually idealists who take their "c onvictions" on trust and faith from the older ones who know more, have more expe rience, are more skillful and perfect. To the child every word of a grownup seem s full of mysterious significance. The more incomprehensible and inaccessible th is word is, the more the young mind is led to recognize in it the power and supe riority of the grownup. Young Russia has long stood in just this relationship to the West. Every word that came from there seemed to be holy. This explains the idealistic direction of our literature in general and Belinsky¡‾s direction in parti cular. The older West was undoubtedly cleverer, richer, more beautiful than we, and we believed that all this was based on its knowledge, its experience. We bel ieved that it possessed a "word," a key for the solution of all questions. And w e sought this word in Western science, which we had already long worshiped befor e we took it over. What a terrible disappointment it must be for such an idealis t when, at a closer and more thorough examination of his sacred object, he disco vers that it contains not the "truth" but only the "search for the truth." This disappointment is the meaning that lies behind the lines quoted from B elinsky¡‾s letter. It explains the strange, unfulfillable demands that Belinsky dire cted to Hegel. If Hegel had read this letter, he would have called Belinsky a wi ld man. To ask of philosophy that it give account of every victim of history! Is this a concern of philosophy? And finally, can one, may one, should one appear with such demands generally? To be sure, Hegel declared that what is real is rat ional. But how can Hegel be held responsible for the fact that Belinsky interpre ts these words in the sense that the "triumph of truth" on earth is guaranteed? They are not meant so. Hegel was himself an idealist. The Germans, just like the Russians, had their West and learned also to believe in ideas. Only they were m ore thorough, more reliable in their belief¡ªthis is a matter of character and natio nal peculiarity¡ª, wherefore they approached their sacred object on bended knee with out demanding anything of it. "What is real is rational" means for Hegel only th at science ought to rule over everything and that therefore life must at any cos t be represented as if it thoroughly conformed to the demands of reason. Even if this does not prove at all true, the idealist is not troubled by it; the main t hing is that this truth be continually taught from the pulpit and in books. The German idealists understood their teachers excellently. In the arts, in the scie nces (even in the social and historical sciences), reality was worked up in such a way that it always rendered testimony to the glory of human reason, which in Germany to this day is proud of its a priori. In this remarkable country idealis m triumphed and still triumphs ever again.
But Belinsky suddenly appears and demands of the whole world account for ev ery victim of history! For every one: think of it! He is not willing to give up for all the harmonies of the world one person, not one single ordinary, average, simple person of all the millions that are considered by the historians and phi losophers as the cannon-fodder of progress. This attitude of Belinsky¡‾s is neither humanitarianism nor idealism, but something else. The German historians and phil osophers are also human; once the matter of progress is set in order, they also are glad to concern themselves with the victims of history; but this is all, acc ording to their view, that is to be demanded and can be demanded of humanitarian ism. One can perhaps still require promises for the future; science, as is known , promises that the future will ask for no more victims, that some day that sens eless forward movement of history by which the success of a single man must be p urchased through hecatombs of others will cease. But this is all that science ha s as consolation for the victims. For the future, unconditional happiness is pro mised to all men. Belinsky knows this very well. He tells it, and very convincin gly, in his many journalistic articles; but when he is alone with himself, he is angry at his own "pathos." He is unwilling to sacrifice present, living creatur es for those who will come after hundreds or thousands of years; indeed, he even recalls the men who were tortured in the distant past and demands accounting fo r them. That this is not simple humanitarianism is, I hope, quite clear. Humanit arianism ought to calm and assuage, ought to reconcile men through active deeds in behalf of their neighbors. In short, humanitarianism gives answers, but Belin sky asks and asks in such a way that his questions can confuse even a firmly con vinced idealist. But one who believes that it is necessary to ask thus must be almost certai n of not being able to find any answer, or he must be prepared to obtain the ans wer from realms that idealism dreads more than the most fearful deserts. The cus tomary formula of idealism can here receive a reverse meaning. "What is real is rational" must under certain circumstances be interpreted as meaning that this r eality is not to be decked out and dressed up to the point that it finally corre sponds to the laws of reason. Rather reason must derive its laws a posteriori fr om reality and not insist on its a priori as until now. What conclusion is to be drawn from this? Perhaps the following: if no humanitarianism is to be found in this reality or, in other words, if no accounting can be demanded for the victi ms of Philip II, then nothing will remain for reason other than to renounce its high-minded principle and find a new law. And finally, if reality is rational an d therefore one cannot renounce or deny it but is compelled rather to accept and revere it, does one not then arrive at quietism, that terrible condition that u p until now has frightened back the boldest people before many similar theories? All this the "raving Vissarion" does not tell his readers. All this is guar ded as a strictest secret in the laboratory of the writer's soul. In his writing s, however, his frenzy is quickly transformed into a bold, living, and luminous faith, into faith in the future, a better future that science will one day bring with it. Doubts are left at home and there forgotten at the card table. The pub lic does not need to know of them. It also does not need to know that the master writes his articles at a stroke, almost in a condition of drunkenness. In gener al, it is not necessary that the public know too much. It needs ideals, and whoe ver wishes to serve it must furnish it with ideals at any cost. An old story! Th e writer is like a wounded tigress that rushes to her young in her lair. The arr ow is in her back, but she must nurse with her milk the helpless creatures who k now nothing of her mortal wound. Belinsky also carries such a wound; testimony t o it are his frenzy, his letter which we have quoted, his search for oblivion in card-playing. Nevertheless, this wounded man stands at his post unrelieved to t he end of his life and carries out his service. Russia had serfdom not only in the civic state but also in the hearts of me n; Russia had many other things of this kind. Russia needed a publicist, a fight
was not permitted to think of the ar row in his wound. die nicht noch eine H?he haben.er.to make the conception of the world that he ha s forged obligatory for all. have only one goal . The Good in the Teaching of Tolstoy and Nietzsche Philosophy and Preaching Wehe allen Liebenden. and I will rec ompense. And the stronger the enemy is.NIETZSCHE. the more clever. As a motto f or this novel Tolstoy took the Biblical verse "Vengeance is mine. but wit h all the passion of a man freshly entering the struggle . Belinsky had no time to leave his post.attacks contemporary society. saith the Lord. for the first time. comple . indeed. I have also said that the authority of the publicist Beli nsky is not for but against me. The book is entitled What Is Art?. And he himself was always ready to fight against those who did not come actively to his aid. Though we still do not know to thi s day whether the tree of knowledge is also the tree of life. I say "sermon" because all of Tolstoy's works in recent years. The storm that shook Tolstoy's soul and that tore him away fro m the Russian intelligentsia and carried him to a new shore. But in Anna Karenina we feel a completely different understanding of t he Biblical text. This stat ement does not completely correspond to the facts. for fifteen years before Coun t Tolstoy had published an article under the title "Reflections on the Occasion of the Census of Moscow. the more cutting a nd refined is the weapon with which Tolstoy strikes him. Perhaps at the pres ent moment Belinsky¡‾s tactic would be just as inappropriate as it was justified and necessary in his time. According to Tolstoy's own statement. We have tasted the fruits of knowledge and must. whether we wish it or not." in which the fundamental themes of What Is Art? were a lready expressed. even his lit erary works. "Von den Mitleidigen") 1 In his book What Is Art? Tolstoy . This tendency is already strongly manifested in Anna Karenina. but it requires no special perspicac ity to perceive that it is not art that is discussed here and that art is of lit tle concern to the author. Also sprach Zarathusra (Teil II." We are accustomed to understand these words in the sen se that the final.not. Every line of this magnificen t work is directed against an invisible but definite enemy and defends an equall y invisible and definite ally. but as a man deeply and pa ssionately interested in the outcome of the trial. Perhaps silence concerning that about which be was silen t would not now be a heroic deed but a crime. lift the veil of the mystery that Belinsky held so carefully hid den and speak openly of that about which he spoke only with his most intimate fr iends. decisive judgment over men cannot be pronounced by men and th at the success or failure of our earthly life proves neither our innocence nor o ur guilt.and to judge not as a calm and impartial judge who knows neither pity nor anger. Considering this. for us there is no longer any choice. he had conceive d the plan of this work fifteen years previously but had not been able to finish it because his ideas on this subject were still not completely clear. is something that arose lon g ago. What Is Art? is only the conclusion of a long sermon begun many years bef ore. Already in this novel Tolstoy does not restrict himself to des cribing human life but also undertakes to judge it . welche ¨¹ber ihrem Mitleiden i st! Woe unto all loving ones who have not an elevation which is above their pity! . where he learned to speak a language that is bizarre and strange to us. But everything has its time.
but everything is as fruitless and purposeless as the running around of a squirr el in a cage. they get excited. that one must not lie to men but that it is permi ssible to lie to women. Her shameful and sorrowful end is for him a sign .whom the bonds of marriage had chained to an automaton. perhaps even in all world literature. . intelligent. Tolstoy knows perfect ly well what kind of a husband Karenin is for Anna. had she died not broken and bowed down but maintaining her innocence and pride. The most important person. They serve a senseless idol whose name is Delusion. These are men of greater caliber. He found himself before the alternative: Anna or himself. They support a certain social order. And it is not enough to call him pitiless and cold-blooded. th ey are the pillars whose solidity guarantees the solidity of the entire structur e.well-endowed. had she retained a consciousness of her human rights. triumphantly that Tolstoy sacrificed Anna. and inconspicuous is the mine-work with which he attacks him. full of life . having disregarded the "rule. that one must not deceive people but may deceive a husba nd. And he sacrificed Anna Anna who had left her lawful husband and gone to Vronsky. he brings Levin to faith in God.and a sign that fills him with hope. they at least hav e enough energy to further the things they wish and to promote those persons wit h whom an inner relationship binds them. her destruction or his own salvation. The sum of his life is: a completely worthless book. they strive. there is n ot to be found another novelist who has shown such a complete lack of pity and s uch cold-bloodedness in leading his heroine toward the terrible death that await s her. Anna. that one must not pardon insults but is permitted himself to give insults. Vronsky and Koznyshov are t he only figures of importance among the representatives of modem Russian intelle ctual society.x. delica te. according to the author. To t he defense of this obligatory he rises with all the power of his literary genius . however. and then ends his novel. the point of support which permitted Tolstoy to preserve his spiritual equilibri um would have been taken away from him. for whose sake the B iblical verse was obviously set at the beginning of the work. it was joyous ly. is Anna. Not only their activity but their en tire being is reduced to nothing. of course. among the accused. her whom Tolstoy wishes to punish. Even if they do n ot have enough initiative to succeed in creating anything new. And it is upon these representatives of society that Tolstoy throws himself w ith all the power of his tremendous genius. Listen to how Tolstoy characterizes Vronsky¡‾s moral convictions: "Vronsky¡‾s life was especially happ y because it was based on a finished code of rules. His enthusiasm is nothin g but following a fashion. His mental work is only shallow brain activity which becomes all the less important as it expresses itself with greater consistency a nd completeness. This code prescribed th at one must absolutely pay his gambling debts to a card-sharper but that there i s no need to pay one's tailor. but of such slight significance that they are incap able of saying anything to the reader. witty conv ersations in the salons. for in the very existen ce of the universally obligatory lay for him the proof of a higher harmony. But it is different with Vronsky and Koznyshov. but even against him the battle is not too difficult. and this provided him with s ure guiding-principles for what he should do and not do. In all Russian literature. It is her whom vengeance awaits. which Tolstoy calls to judgment. They struggle." it is clear that. and participation in the activity of various private an d public institutions which are of no use to anyone. But T olstoy had to regard these bonds as holy and obligatory. is a more serious case. Had Anna been a ble to survive her shame. he has described better than anyone the terrible situation of this woman . The same is true as far as Koznyshov is concerned. Karenin. She has sinned and mu st accept the punishment. the sources of Vronsky¡‾s moral principle s are nothing but empty social prejudices." must die a horrible death. With them are associated only an other few secondary figures. After having led Anna to death. Oblonsky is eas ily disposed of by some ironic remarks and by the comic situations in which the author constantly involves his characters.
whose "fortune had played a not inconsiderable role in Nicolay¡‾s c hoice of a bride. and the shame that awaits her is boundless." do not represent only the opinion of Na tasha and of Princess Marya who." . Here is their conversation: . These qualities are not considered valuabl e by Tolstoy.¡‾ Sonia is one who has not. half beneficiary of the house. the virtuo us and warm-hearted young woman with such a deep devotion to the Rostov family. though so often before moved by ideas of virtue. will be given. is wrong. Of one to whom much has been given. Sonia."You know. It is obvious to everyone that the opinion of the two happy women who have not succeeded in the struggle for virtue is also that of the author of War and Peace. nevertheless agrees with Natasha about Sonia. it must lead even the best of men to a reaction. break the rules. "you have read the gospel much. It is not worthwhile to stake one's life on them. Each o f them has found the place and task suitable to him. Even more: he still refu ses to think that the service of the good must be the exclusive and conscious go al of our life. half governess. Behind Sonia¡‾s back Natasha. that it would be false and affected. her friend from childh ood. astonished. and suffer. and in the gospel th ere is a passage that precisely fits Sonia. and that. in Anna Karenina." . at l east for the time being. Some follo w the rule or rules and go with Levin toward the good and toward salvation. Tolstoy disavows the poss ibility of exchanging life for the good. In co mparison. according to the audacity and deliberateness of their actions. a creature of chance whose presence is emba rrassing to all the others as she sits sadly before the samovar." I do not think that it is necessary to say that these emphasized words "a b arren blossom. everything has already been taken away from her."Which?" asked Princess Marya. since at the decisive moment they knew how to wrest happiness from life. At the time that he conceived this novel." In Anna Karenina the number of rules that Tolstoy regards as obligatory is still relatively quite small. and her boundless devotion and self-sacrifice are entirely ignored. Had Tolstoy. But it will be taken away from he r.The characters of Anna Karenina are divided into two categories. Natasha. in th e final analysis. of Nikolay and Marya. She is a barren blossom (Tolstoy's italics) such as one finds among strawberry plant s.I do not know. he only has the appearance of a man. he believes that such an exchan ge would be against nature. who married Pierre several months after the death of Prince Andrey." are both right. . but I always had a kind of presentiment that this would not happen. I had once wished so much that she would marry N ikolay. and they continue peacefull y the work of their fathers. led each of his characters to the end of their lives."You remember: ¡®For to him who already has. How many times she has made me feel terribly sorry for her. but from him who has n ot. He who possesses only these qualities is not really a man. wh om we have seen growing under our eyes. while understanding quite differently the passa ge of the gospel. much will be demanded. more or less severe punishment . the auth or gave the "good" only relative power over human life. Why? I do not k now. appears rich and full of meaning. Their existence seems necessary and credible. She is "a barren blossom." She is charged with lack of egoism. in which the young families of Nikolay Rostov and Pierre Bezukh ov appear on the scene. Sonia is "a bar ren blossom. as in War and Peace. The others follow their own inclinations. Anna is the one who had received most. In the epilogue. suffer less. and Princess Marya (who. the life of Pierre and Natasha." and the expression "she lacks egoism" and that is why "everythin g has already been taken away from her. In Anna Karenina. indeed. it may be assumed that each of them w ould have been punished in proportion to his infractions of the "rules. however. The others. even what he has will be taken away." said Natasha. and Princess Marya. Sonia alone seems strange. Perhaps she lacks egoism . In War and Peace Tolstoy pronounced a harsh judgment over Sonia. h ad later taken Nikolay away from Sonia) discuss her life and seek through a quot ation from the gospel to construct a justification for Sonia¡‾s melancholy lot.
why did Koznyshov lead an il lusory existence. he had noticed that the thought of it was pleasa nt to him. what is important and what is un important. he was sure that what he did was necessary. He pronounces judgment over Sonia as later over Anna Karenina. How p itiful Varienka appears to us with her poor and her sick. the latter for daring to d o so. the entire village. for mankind. it is even necessary. even though he w as not seeking the good but his own happiness. the author's alter ego ( even his name is derived from Tolstoy's: Lev . what he must do and not do. In this work. because he had renounced the thoug ht of serving the good.Rightly to live means to live like Natasha and Princess Marya. while Levin not only enjoyed all the goods of life but also ac quired the right to deep spiritual peace . The estate must be run in the best possible way. living without complai nt with Madame Stahl! And with what disgust Kitty recalls her attempts at the se rvice of the "good" and her meeting with Varienka abroad.a naturalist. he sunk himself more and more into the earth. 2 Whence did this "sense of the good" suddenly come? Why did this good come t o Levin to bless him and not to the other characters of the novel? Why did Anna perish . for the entire village." to read the Bible. the former h e condemns for not having dared to violate the rules. His family must live as his grandfather and his father had lived. Levin was tormented that he did not know for what or how he should live. since he had restricted himself more and more to hi s personal life. Even in Anna Karenina Tolstoy's antipathy toward those who feel themselves consecrated to the service of the "good" manifests itself in full measure. where the author draws up the balanc e of his forty years of life. and therefore the workers must be paid as little as possible. She prefers that her h usband be an unbeliever . almost against his will. or much more precisely. all of Russia. and he could no longer leave it without lifting the clod. but must not pardon a worker who returns to his house during harvest time because his father has died. to ¡®strive "to be good. are directly regarded as blamewor thy. Nevertheless.not only was not void of meaning. The act itself. however. not life itself. Since his marriage.she who believes that his lack of faith will deprive h im of happiness in the future life-rather than see him as she herself had been w hen she was abroad. It is permitted. did not have much sense and led to nothing. as it had be en formerly.a privilege accorded only to very few and extraordinary men? Why did fate so unjustly deal mildly with Levin and so c ruelly with Anna? For another writer . exclusive devotion to duty. like a p low. And because he had broken with his past.and rightly? Why did Vronsky come to ruin. his life . but had the indubitable sense of the good. pure virtue. For such a man the injustice of fate is the funda . however.Levin) declares openly and direct ly that the conscious service of the good is a useless lie. defend his rights is "a barren bl ossom. because of this . The healthy instinct must show man the right way. even though one must sympathize with him. for example . incapacity to stand up for oneself." Such is the conclusion that Tolstoy drew from his experience at the time that he wrote War and Peace. to be moved at t he stories of pilgrims and mendicants. One who allows hi mself to be so far tempted by the doctrine of duty and virtue that he lets life pass him by and will not. But this is only the poetry of life. for Russia. submissio n to fate.despite this. under all circumstances. And now. He saw how much better his activity succeeded than before and how much it grew out of itself. Here is what the aut hor tells us of him: Formerly (this had begun already in his childhood and had continued up to ripe m anhood) when he had tried to do something for the good of all. even though he no longer experienced any joy in the thought of his activity. Finally the real hero of the novel. at the right moment. he firmly followed h is own definite way in life and finally convinced himself that. he always knew. One must concern oneself with the affairs of his bro ther and sister and of all the peasants who come to him for advice.all these que stions would be inappropriate.
a law deriving so clearly from natural evol ution that there is no occasion to be surprised by it. it is true. the long as well as the short. Personal tastes. and it avenges itself on them. The power that Tolstoy needed he found in him alone. all the virtuous characters . All the tremendous inner travail that was necessary to create Anna Karenina and War and Peace had been provoked by the need.guarantee nothing and cannot satisfy a Tolstoy. one would have been able to convince To lstoy of anything whatsoever rather than make him admit that the good was not on Levin's side. the good is his life's final meaning. All the p ower of Tolstoy's genius is applied to finding this ally and drawing it to himse lf. for they do not liv e like Levin. of ridding himself of all the doubts that tormented him." Tolstoy tells us. And the "good" is precisely the power which made Levin a gian t in comparison with other men. Tolstoy does not wish and is not able to lie. He seeks a s trong and omnipotent ally. "is an exceedingly jealous. Sonia. into which realist writers are accustomed to divide human life . he interrogates it. It must surely seem strange to Tolstoy that many of his readers reproach hi . But such a writer does no t quote the gospel and does not speak of retribution. One nowhere hears in him the soft notes of sympathy to be found i n the works of Dickens. and live otherwise than he. He does not add to Levin any qualities that do not belong to him. he shirks all involvement in public activity. These needs are too serious and too persistent for one to be able to hide behind a simple painting of images of immediately perceived realit y or the setting down of one's reminiscences. clumsy man. however. In this undertaking Tolstoy is merciless. At the time Anna Karenina appeared. even if for a time they celebrate their triumph over Levin. sympathies." Levin was not only a ble to arrange his life according to his own needs and desires but also instinct ively to recognize where he had to go and how he had to act in order that the go od be on his side. He writes not for others but for himself. In it lies the fundamental point of all of Tolstoy's creativity. it is against Koznyshov. Varienka. Even more: in the same measure as the good is on Levin's side it is against all those who think. Tolstoy feels no pity for any o f his victims. of understanding himself and the world surrounding him. Life. This is why all his works. and even realists like Zola and Bourget. in order to speak in its name of his right. "Levin. who n ever allow an occasion for emphasizing their human feelings to pass. There is nothing that he is not wi lling to destroy in order to arrive at his goal. his entire novel is born out of these questions. enthusias ms. Tolstoy always presents himself to the publi c with finished answers. feel. Levin sank himself deep in the earth Like a plow. he portrays him frankly and honestly. passions . For there is nothing that is stronger than the g ood. to pretend.stable gro und under his feet. It is necessary to find a power greater than human which can sustain and defend this right. and Tolstoy therefore puts them on the same plane as Vronsky and A nna. and yet t he good is with him. Vronsky. There are no limits to the tens ion of his soul when this interest that is most sacred to him is involved.all these elements. One's right to live must be found. but their insipid existence is worse than any misfortune. In Anna Karenina he does not simpl y describe life. and these answers are given in a form so precise that t hey satisfy the most demanding of men. With Tolstoy. always have the character of complete settledness. egotistical. demands answers of it. with all his d efects and ridiculous sides. holds for them neither tragedy nor catastrophe. he is uncultivated. Obviously this is not and cannot be a mat ter of chance. and of finding . Something else is necessary. War and Peace as well as "The Death of Ivan Ilych" and his journalistic articles.at least for a time .mental principle of human existence. Anna. His literary creativ ity awoke at the need to find a solution for the problems that tormented him. to invent facts. carried to the furthest extreme. Turgenev.these do not serve the real good.
"the great writer of the Russian land" . "What is tottering must be pushed further. even to Zola's Lo urdes. they do not even raise it. Tolstoy has entered into combat agai nst Nietzsche and his followers with the freshness. of art. To be sure. 385." [ Nietzsche. has not said a word about Nietzsche's philosophi c doctrine. and passion of a young man. Had Tolstoy r ead Nietzsche. It even appears that the Russian novelist knew Nietzsche only at sec ond hand. What makes this clear. Even Zola." It is regrettable that Tolstoy who makes Nietzsche responsible for all the sins of the younger generation. insensitivity. or of the French poets. The Russian pu blic learned with fright of the new West European doctrine of Nietzsche. in shedding tears over the unfortunate. In these. but we can weep over him. We we re even persuaded that morality. But he makes Nietzsche responsible for the new tendencies in literature. who pre ached pitiless hardness toward the weak and the unfortunate. by this means. it is understandable that Tolstoy. knows how to move the reader in all his works by his capacity for compassion for his heroes." One can accept or re . t his attitude has stepped forward with particular shamelessness. To bring Anna under the wheels of the train without uttering a single sigh! To follow the agony of Ivan Ilych w ithout shedding a single tear! To many readers this attitude appears so incompre hensible and revolting that they are even inclined to deny Tolstoy's genius. he would not have twice associated his name with Oscar Wilde¡‾s. and it is understandable that they flee to King Lear of the Steppes. as we have already indicate d. VI. as well as the d¨¦cadents and the British aesthetes related to them. 302] We believed that no o ne before Nietzsche had ever preached such moral principles or their like. And. the dread provoked by the pictures of misfortune ends by giving place to noble sentiments of pity that the authors suggest to their r eaders. from their point of view. Tolstoy rarely mentions Nietzsche's name and never quotes him. the Zola whom Tolstoy likes so little. Had Tolstoy read Nietzsche's w orks. th ey do not dare raise it. frightens such people. they appe ase their eternally restless conscience. "has been manifested for a long time in our society but. To call Tolstoy a genius seems to them to offend morality.m for his coldness. whose first demand is th at one have compassion for his neighbor. among other things. In Count Tolstoy there is no trace of such soft-heartedness. he would not have spoken of "shamelessness." they say. it is impossible for anyone to be a great writer w ho does not show enough compassion for the sufferings of his neighbor. though these are much spoken of. only from hearsay. this is always a certain relief. In givin g their pity to the suffering. in recent times. and Tolstoy attacks a writer m ore significant and profound than Baudelaire or Verlaine . those who instinctively fled from Tolstoy to Turgenev.[Turgenev] to the stories of Dickens." "For the incurable one must not wish to be a doctor. is his s etting of Nietzsche and Oscar Wilde side by side. Even those readers of whom w e spoke above. We believed we could oppose to Nietzsche our giant. whom one cannot seriously compare to Dicken s and Turgenev. for compassion is all that they can give those afflicted by fate. But who w ill be relieved? They do not answer this question. In What Is Art? it is not basically a question. A. saw in the author of War and Peace their natural and powerful protector against the storm which threatened from the West. and hardness. at least. And indeed. must find a sure ref uge among us in Russia. Morality and religion are here in question. thanks to its prophet Nietzsche and h is disciples." he tells us. "We cannot raise up one who has fallen. These people strive to reduce Tolstoy t o the level of second-class writers. The d¨¦cadents and a esthetes of the type of Oscar Wilde deliberately chose the rejection of morality and the praise of debauchery as the theme of their works. In their opinion. conviction. "The result of such a false attitude toward art. and they think. these readers are only too right: they wish to feel compas sion. who manifests no hum ane feelings.namely. or of Wagner s operas. trampled down in the West. to defend their sacred rights to compassion. More serious and more important problems than that of art are raised here. Nietzsche. Werke (Leipzig.Count Tolstoy.Kr?ner Verlag).
In Thus Spake Zarathustra appears the story of the three metamorphoses that a man must undergo in the course of his life. 92. there is nothing of this. was Wagner's friend. In practicing such a martyrdo m consciously and willingly. you heroes? asks the load-bearing spirit. but if one knows what his fate was. he was confident and calm as a child. that I may take it upon myself and rejoice in my strength. willingly accepted torture. how incredibly dearly he would have to pay for his conscientiousne ss. He served the "good. But who can foresee his fate? And who.pride. all the natural desires which generally know how to obtai . Rarely has a man received as his lot a burden as heavy as that he was forced to bear. and not disclaim cold frogs and hot toads? Or is it this: to love those who despise us. Let not the reader imagine that there is here the least shadow of exaggeration . what the future held for him. he did not know. Certainly one must not use the word "sacred" in vain. at what price he had to purchase his "new word. in his youth. But. so hastens the spi rit into its wilderness. which then appeared to him most important and most necessary. and it kneels down like the ca mel and wishes to be well laden. Had he been able to imagine. one can welcome his morality or fight against it." indignation toward him i s no longer possible. and uncompromi singly in the infallibility of his principles than did others. no matter how hard it may be in itself. the most terrible. Is it not this: to humiliate oneself in order to mortify one's pride? to ex hibit one's folly in order to mock at one's wisdom? Or is it this: to feed on the acorns and grass of knowledge. he would perhaps have hesitated much before choosing his way. "The Three Metamorphoses"] These images are the brief story of the long and sorrowful life of a martyr . He choked in hims elf all the instincts. the sky above him was transparent and serene. studied Schopenhauer. does not trust his teachers and his ideals? Nietzsche had only believed more fervently. Misfortune sei zed him suddenly. I cannot find another word. 132] But at the time that he renounced life for the sake of these virtues and of his fame. sought ideals in the Greek philosophers and in modern musicians. But as far as Nietzsche is concerned.ject Nietzsche's doctrine. hastens into the wilderness. For the sake of all these things. [Thus Spake Zarathustra. The man knows that he has aimed at a great thing . Nietzsche had a sacred right to say what he dared to say. and give one's hand to the pha ntom when it is going to frighten us? All these heaviest things the load-bearing spirit takes upon itself. did not even suspect. he renoun ced real life. willingly bowed his knees and deliberately took upon himself a load which surpasses human powers. Everything that generally adorns human life was taken away from him. l ike the camel which. Nietzsche says. unexpectedly. Quite the contrary: the chief. and make friends of the d eaf who never hear your requests? Or is it this: to go into foul water when it i s the water of truth. I know that it is liberall y abused by men to give their ideas more weight and conviction." [Beyond Good and Evil. as far as N ietzsche is concerned. What is the heaviest thing. He bears the crown of martyrd om. in order to create new theories in the silence of his study (it was t hus that he then conceived "the service of the good"). When the bolt struck him. if one knows by what ways he arrived at his doc trine. thing is perhaps not found h ere. boundlessly. even if only for a moment. when laden. In reading these lines one might think that Nietzsche. precisely at the moment when he might perhaps ha ve hoped for a reward for his past life. He did not suspect danger from any side. and for the sa ke of truth to suffer hunger of soul? Or is it this: to be sick and dismiss comforters. At first." led the pure and upright l ife of a German professor. sacrifi ced himself for the sake of his good name?" and "It is for one's virtues that on e is punished best. there is at least one consolation . and. a man c hanges into a camel: What is heavy? asks the load-bearing spirit. Later he once said: "Who has not. at one time or another. the load-bearing spi rit.
always a hair's-br eadth from death and madness . the census was merely the external pretext that Tolstoy had perha . It was beyond doubt for everyone: Count Tolstoy and Nietzsche mutually excl uded each other. expected from him the sharpest opposition to the Nietzscheans. even those who regarded his talent as far below that of Dickens or Tur genev. Even at the appearance of the first fateful signs of his illness. one thing only remained: to seek in the past a justification for the horror of the present. and thereby forgot life. accordingly. even pushed to the extreme. in which he had so resolutely st ood up for the literal interpretation of the gospel. it suffices to know that for Nietzsche there was no other relief tha n thoughts of suicide. But it was already too late. But is it really so? Are these two foremost contemporary authors really so alien to each other? Doubtless the very possibility of this question will appear strange to some. Especially in view of his journalistic work. But when it was necessary to choose between customary mo rality. turn to the most important journalistic work of Tolstoy. each of these masters regarded the other as his an tipode. and at the same t ime to the questions with which Nietzsche was also concerned. condemned by a pitiless sickness to absolute solitude. The followers of Dickens an d Turgenev did not always appreciate Tolstoy's preachments. the right to demand tha t people listen to him and not content themselves with knowing him only at secon d hand. which will lead us directly to his book What Is Art?. withou t deciding anything in advance. there is no quest ion: his last work has only one object . But the end did not come so quickly. He continued his lab ors as a philosopher and professor until sickness completely prostrated him. Nietzsche did not know the middle way. and a doctrine which absolutely destroyed th is morality. It may be assumed. He who suffered s o much and was guilty only of the single fault of having had too much confidence in the moral ideal has the right to speak his own word. Nietzsche did not become at all disturbed. The things necessary for the inner tu rnabout seem to have been present in Tolstoy's soul much earlier. Only three or four years s eparate them. To understand what this "pr esent" was. We would therefore. he had begun this article a number of times several years before without finishing it. He learned and taught everything that appeared to him important. Fifteen years is far too much. Furthermore. Life was a burden to him and he hoped for a quick end to his suffering.so Nietzsche lived the fifteen years in the cours e of which he wrote his chief works. When Nietzsche speaks of "Tolstoyan compassion" he thereby characterizes something that was absolutely foreign to him. He qui ckly availed himself of drugs of all kinds in order not to have to follow a comp licated medical treatment and thus be hampered in his work. b ut they saw in him the natural defender of the good and the opponent of Nietzsch e. As for Tolstoy. who taught how one could be deeply moved at children's stories!). even in the case of a less terrible sickness. they called him the man with the soul of ir on (Tolstoy. harassed constantly by horrible sei zures. and even more so a negative answer. It was impossible to turn over the stone called "it was". as Tolstoy himself admits. I have already said that a part of the readin g public. The past could not be undone. It is true that Tolstoy appeared cold to them. In reality the time span was even briefer for.n the upper hand even in the most virtuous of souls. that the census was not the cause of the change in Tolstoy's world outlook. As commonly ha ppens in life. Three-quarters blind. they inclined toward the former.to oppose Nietzsche and his doctrine. But let us return to Tolstoy. It was only then that he understood that virtue could not protect him from everythi ng. nec essary and serious. 3 The article entitled "Reflections on the Occasion of the Census of Moscow" appeared a relatively short time after Anna Karenina. they thought that To lstoy went too far when he demanded of educated men that they work on the soil a nd dress like peasants.
in spea king of Levin. But the blow will be struck with a sure and strong hand. When Tolstoy came to Moscow before the census. for Levin's kind. I could never see either my own salon or that of others. by an almost insignificant re mark. his management of his estate.what he called. shivering. it appears. which I had formerly experienced as joys. "a life made meaningful by the good" .perhaps at that very time Tolstoy himself lived only in remembrances of the past. sure of one thing only: that what remained to him was no longer worth anything at all and that he had to seek something else. the most terrible and repugnant manifestations of human cruelty and basen ess. disgusted me so much that all the pleasures of my lux urious life.ceased to suffice for him. his involvement in the affairs of the peasants. Anna Karenin a appears to have been written ex post facto. Not one will esca pe his fate. "which had always appeared to me str ange and incomprehensible. The author of War and Peace. Tolstoy already recognized that he had begun to lose his right s. which had formerly appeared to him so solid. by a trivial trait. quite different from the writer who had just published in Russki Vestnik a great novel in which he had presented such a clear and definite outloo k on life. Beside all this I could not help seein g before myself constantly the inhabitants of the Liapine asylum [a shelter for the homeless in Moscow] . theaters and clubs. were transformed into tor tures. They are thoroughly goo d. was givin g way under his feet. intelligent. But Tolstoy was not at all a novi ce in such things. All that had formerly interested him had ceased to exist for him. who had looked in the face thousands of deaths and kil lings. his critical attitude toward liberalism and the new spapers. his "negative" service of the good . The author. Perhaps we can find in this an explanation of the poorly d isguised joy he feels at the possibility of covering Anna with shame and leading her to her doom. without irritation. Tolstoy is in no hurry to show us their weakn esses. Though he was no longer a young man . Strange as it may seem. and that is precisely why he shows them to us from their best side. despised.had for a long time been o nly a memory of the past. Despite all the efforts I made to find inwardly some justification for ou r life. of L iapine would necessarily provoke a violent reaction in a man who had never opene d his eyes to the misfortunes of his neighbor. or bright coaches. a past to which he felt himself all the more powerfully drawn the more clearly and painfully his consciousness told him that the ground. he had already long outgrown Levinia n joys and sorrows. does he suggest to the reader in what the inadequacy of these persons cons ists. Anna Karenina was the last attempt Tolstoy made to maintain himself on the g round on which he had previously been firmly established. or well-fed coachmen and horses. He experienced an inner emptiness." Such a comparison betwee n the luxury and security of his own life and the misery. Only on rare occasions.ps been seeking for a long time. and had come out of all these trials of life unbroken. But not for lo ng. that what he did is the best and the just thing to do . all that filled Levin's life . especially for the firmness and dar ing of his ideas. This may be the reason why we find in this novel such scrupulous fairness a nd such exaggerated attention to all the characters who do not follow Levin's co urse. and when Tolstoy told us with such conviction that the good is with Levin and for him. will not spare one of them. his concern for his family. the naked misery. the Buddha] who . the horrors that Tolstoy discovered when he visited the shelters for the poor and homeless in Moscow during the census were almost a godsend. could not be shatter ed at the sight of misery like the young Indian prince [Gautama. he was in reality a man tortured by doubts. His moral equilibrium . beautiful. "Life in the city.in a word. or an elegantly laden table.and though he was a writer admired by all." he tells us. he lost th at firmness which had given him the right to look down on every person and to li ve in the conviction that God was with him and against his enemies. who had so masterfully portrayed all the horrors of 1812. Perhaps Anna Karenina was only an attempt to reestabli sh the past. honest. the triumph is reserved for Levin. or fine stores .hungry. in the final analysis. he was alread y. that Levin had sunk into mother earth like a plow.he was then already over fifty .
or mu st learn. would have pressed. And yet it summarizes the attitude of Tolstoy towards the poor of the asylums of Mo scow. the police. He will leave them. are Nietzsche's. as when he had believed his friends? This question is more important than one might at first blush think. But the first? This also summons up terror in many. an old man. Anna. they are not to be helped .not all of them but some only. and his family had mean t to Levin. It con tains the explanation of Tolstoy's real concerns and what he sought in the under world of Moscow. as he left Sonia. But this time he needed the beggars . through the streets. and a beggar. a ver y bad man. the cultivation of beehives. closed his eyes. I cried over and over again: ¡®It is impossible to live thus. He could have left th em. impossible to live thus. But this is what makes for us all the more mysterious the feelings of Tolstoy about what he saw in the Liapine House. "I gladly believed them. set about explaining to him that he was so moved not because the things t hat he had seen were themselves so terrible but because he was such "a very gent le and very good man." he says. .¡‾" But all his friends. he had been so sh attered by the external environment and conditions of life of the inhabitants of the shelter that he could not speak of them without tears and anger. he will turn away from them. Tolstoy had become convinced that his friends were right. to regard with indifference the evil that rules on earth. the beggars of the city. as he had done before when he had found him self face to face with misfortune. It is obvious that it was not a question of the beggars of the Liapine House but of himself . Would he have been able to feel cont ent with his virtue and show it to others. he raised questions not for their sake but for his own. I do not mean to say by this that a man arrived at mature age learns. as before. First. impossible. Tolstoy will abandon them. for the first time leaving his palace. as t he reader will recall. I have already quoted them together with another of his thoughts that is almost identical: "What is tottering must be pu shed further. Hordes of half-frozen people. their quota of miserable and repulsive pro stitutes. When he went to these unfortunate people he was not seeking to give them something but rather to take something from the m. as before. he will then draw near to those with whom he can live. Quite the co ntrary. on the contrary. "and before I could look around. would have led men who beg in the name of Christ to jail. those who will not de stroy his vital energy but augment it. As for those who m he does not need. the night pat rols would have collected. suddenly found on his path a sick man. Varienka.Tolstoy. those who will help him sink himself into the ground like a plow and give him the possibility of feeling joyfully that th e good is again with him. Everything would have been the same except one thing: Count Tolstoy's conscience would have remained undisturbed." Later Tolst oy understood that his friends had deceived him with ingenuous and false sophism s and that he was not at all a virtuous and good man but. Tolstoy tel ls us. that he was indeed a good and virtuous m an and not at all a bad and guilty one? The condition of those sheltered in the asylums would not have been improved. barely cover ed with rags. forgotten them. considering his past life." The reader will perhaps not be able to decide to attribute the se cond precept to Tolstoy. and not the poor of Liapine but others. "One must not wish to be the doctor of an incurable person. I cried with tears in my voice and gesticulated with my hands in speaking of it to my friends. I felt a certain satisfac tion in my own virtue and the desire to show this virtue to others. he needed those poor who could mean to him what agricultural pursuits. he later said. about whom all this alar m had apparently been made. And this is what finally led him to preach the rejection of civilized life. in place of the feeling of self -reproach and repentance that I had first experienced. The question arises: what if.. as before. In a word. to whom his attachments were neither immediate nor person al." These words. the mature man can experience human misery more deeply than the young ma n. As for the others." And these explanations convinced him. "Without n oticing it myself.
it is so necessary for a man to be virtuo us. He gave money to s ome of them . Without reading the article on the census to the en d. Nevertheless. what imp act the miseries of big city life had made upon him. he goes on to say: "I was so happy to give that. one can guess its conclusion. by their own reckoning." I do not wish to hold Tolstoy at fault or to accuse him." to give alms. by pointing to the sensitivit y of his soul.once." show us. as all who have read "Reflections on the Occasion of the Census" know. But it is all the more important for us to understand the meaning and scope of his preaching. "it is impossible to live thus. three times. The author of War and Peace. who does not wish to and must not forget them. When. he will make it come to him. resolved to devote himself to charitable work. Tol stoy could not save a single one of them. but also perhaps the solution to the enigma of Tolstoy's nature. do? Can one keep them simply as memories? 4 Tolstoy. Here lies the same riddle. now that no one wanted her. and I recall distinctly ho w very happy I was that others had seen it. he will always in one way or another maintain his right before others. when around him exist inhabitants of night-shelters? Hap py are those who have never seen such horrors with their own eyes. "very p leasant. he gave them as much as they needed. even if for this purpose it b e necessary to deprive all other men of it. I gave something to the old woman. do not have the requisite moral qualities. he regularly visited his poor and helped some of them. now that no one wanted her. On one of his rounds he met a woman w ho had not eaten for two days. that one could not help them any longer. Tolstoy abandoned the poor of Moscow for the reason. These honest admissions are for us landmarks which show the s ources whence he drew his prophetic inspiration. So he returned to his estate to assimi late his impressions at leisure and find a way out of his inward distress. His situation was indeed frightful. and it is not necess ary to speak of them in detail. arrived at certain conclusions which g ive us an answer to these questions." Is it possible that this is right? Can it be that Tolstoy was really "very happy that others had seen it?" We have no reason not to believe it. I shall not report the details of this terrible scene . on returning to his estate. and that we must h . without considering whether it was necessary or not.Immediately after the census.the woman had in fact not eaten for two days. The g ood will come to him. Tolstoy recognized that all our misery comes fro m the fact that we. she did not kno w how she was to earn her bread. even if his stories a bout the poor of Moscow have not made a strong enough impression on us. who had written down the names of th e most needy. how can a man l ike Count Tolstoy live. which he explains in detail. And who does not feel the drama in the few words: "She had forme rly been a prostitute but. in turning his attention away from the spectacle of the night-she lters of Moscow. she did not know how she was to earn her bread. of "Reflections on the Occasion of the Census. the educated and wealthy. who are ready to help the poor of the Liapine House. In answer to his questions. But Tolstoy concludes his account in the following words: "I gave her a ruble. Those of his friend s who had promised to help him left him in the lurch. But what must he who has seen them. The words with which Tolstoy defined hi s state of mind. to put themselves on their feet. furthermore. It was pleasant to him. who cannot forget them. even at the moment that a terrible drama was unfolding b efore his eyes. Tolstoy." is above all suspicio n and all accusation. They are known to all. she told him that she had formerly been a prostitute but. And indeed. twice. but it led to nothing." His friends had succeeded. to avoid all possibility of doubt. This is what happened.
" But in what did this recompense consist? Was there any transformation in th e life of the inhabitants of Liapine. from all appea rances.. But how can we teach them this when we. th ings that had previously been so highly regarded? This seems to be the fate of t he poor: they have always served and will continue to serve as a means for the r ich. to everyone who will follow his example.it goes without saying that this right will now become a duty . What is necessary is that they be taught to respect and love work. to sow. If it is impossible. whom he wished to help. any alleviation of their terrible fate? No . and become kind. as is the case with others. in their time. of escaping from bore dom. Is it not true that these poor were for Tolstoy a godsend? And were they not precisely what he most needed at that time when he could no longer be fit. the poor of Liapine were forgotten: it was only Count Tolstoy h imself who became better. So Count Tolstoy put off his European clothing. gaiety and happiness" he felt. waited only for the day when he could finally begin to preach freely. calm our conscience. These were the conclusions to which Tolstoy came at his estate. for our p art. good disposition. eight hours that I had formerly spent in strenuous effor ts to overcome boredom. Koznyshov. Moreover . become better our selves. as with Levin. With money it is impossible to do any good here. which constitute for us only our luxuries. to draw material goods from the m. or if one has no need. the closer it came t o the grossest kind of farm labor. "that in devoting eight hours to physical work. and for the sake of. began to fire his own stove." And further on he says: "The harder the work was. joyously." he explains. obviously not. happy. You will acquire a window. I still had eight hours more. Levin or Pierre Bezukhov after his marriage. the more happiness di d I feel in life. not through novels where one must attack cautiously and take account of al . It turned out that physi cal work not only did not exclude intellectual activity but improved and facilit ated it." he says. the more he worked. Tolstoy.eal ourselves before we can think of healing others. gay. And it turns out that not o nly does the misery of Liapine not render it impossible to live. If it was possible before for him to be angry with those who did not live a s Levin did. And more yet: now. Anna Karenina .. I was completely recompensed for not having recoiled before the co mmands of reason and for having gone where it led me. a vision of the domain of mora lity. happy. a certain com pletely new and most important factor in life appeared .one could say a holy duty. and also not the good. then all the rest will come of itself. and not only by words that our deeds contradict. for the sake of the "good. ¡®do not do anything? Therefore we must begin with ourselves. there is the possibility of living well. op enly. "When. dresse d himself as a peasant. So. and virtuous in the manner of Levin through the cultivation of bees. joyous. in feeling and eloquent words. which had been closed for you till now. to clean his own room. if the content of the word "destruct ion" did not fit so ill with our conception of holiness. after the census. the closer and more amiable were my relations to people. and happy men. Then we can teach by word and dee d. Tolstoy ha d learned this from the poor of Liapine. for us educated persons.he enjoyed perfect peace of soul and ease of conscience. in addition. physical work did not at all injure Tolstoy's health." Despite the warnings of his doctors. it was possible for him to destroy. but an act in the name of. the family. and he promises the same results." Vro nsky. we no longer rob them of their necessities. on the contrary. of becoming fit.the consciousness that all these joys are not simple joys. "It turned out. the more pleasure and knowledge did I receive . the suffer ing neighbor. for it is not a question of money with these miserable peo ple. they can nevertheless bring "moral" consolations. virtuous. "I arrived at this consciousness and this practica l conclusion. In renouncing our right to t he work of others. gaily. we can again have the good on our side. to p low. gay. just as did. "You will experience the joy of living in freedom and like-wise in goodness.and this is the most important thing . "the more pow er. but that one ca n live excellently. which pr ovides the means of existence.
as he had done twenty years before. frightene d the spirit of the sea or with general considerations.and in a short time-lead to universal happin ess.when people of our circle. he has discovered Archimedes' lever.and it will be in a very short time . but throug h articles expressly written that had no goal other than preaching. has preached only this. so long as people live in night-shelters and so long as their number is so overwhel ming? The prophecy "it will soon be" showed itself a lie! And what an oppressive lie! Here appears for the first time the fact. It is true that Count Tolstoy proclaims that he has found the means of curi ng mankind of all the social evils from which it suffers. all misfortunes will disappear. has not and does not seek any goal outside itself. But he speaks very little of this. Meanwhile twenty years have passed since "Reflections on the Occasion of the Census" was completed.. The articles and books. and al ong with them the great majority of people. lived there. by his persistence. like many other kinds of intellectual activity. that it is shameful to have dirty hands but not shameful to ha ve hands without callouses. suffered there. and men will become happy.. he would certainly not find hi s old acquaintances there. and all the old w orld will be turned around. What does this mean? How could Tolstoy tel l himself. If. of which the following i s an example: This will be [i. that it is shameful not to have a starched shirt and a clean coat but not shameful to be properly clothed and thus bear witness t o one's idleness. All this will be when public opinion will demand it. that ter rible suffering which the famous writer has so masterfully presented to us. Then only di d he find his work.e. ever and again remind the reader of the restless thinker of Yasnaya Pol yana. will no longer believe that it is sh ameful to make visits shod in boots but not shameful to walk with overshoes amon g those who have no shoes at all. Time. And "yet he was satisfied!" Has he already forgotten his "it is impossible to live thus" simply because he works . and died. and try to persuade others. it may mean fifty years.l the conditions that the desire to create a work of art presupposes. Count Tolstoy persuades himself more and more that he has discovered a new way which will without any doubt . while Tolstoy was perfecting himself morally at Yasnaia Poliana and writing his thundering articles against those intellectuals who had not allo wed themselves to follow his example. perhaps hundreds. In his opinion. during all that time. a hundred years. of thousands of men h ave passed through the night-shelters. To all objections Tols toy replies either with the legend of the man who. and in much greater numbers. paradoxical at first sight. Ostensibly it is not only by word but also by deed that Count Tolstoy teaches men to come to the help of their neighbors. . each one better than the other in power and fullness of exp ression. so self-ev ident that he does not even envisage the possibility of real doubt about the eff icacy of the means recommended by him for saving mankind. and suffering. it may mean less. that all men will begin to live according to Tolstoy's princ iples] . Soon is a relative conception. have become even worse. and wit hout relaxation. that preaching. Tolstoy now again conceived the ide a of going to visit the night-shelters of Moscow. that it is shameful not to know how to speak F rench or not to be familiar with the latest news but not shameful to eat bread w ithout knowing how it is made. his true work. committed cr imes. One need only press this lever. which indifferently sweeps away from the earth all happiness and misery. But it t urns out that neither words nor deeds have any relationship to the neighbor. And though Tolstoy. For him it is self-evident. has also disposed of them. rema ins the same or has become even more frightful. the conditions of life have not been im proved but. In twenty years scores. But happiness is just as far away as it was before. it will be very soon. that he was fully recompensed for not hav ing recoiled before the conclusions of reason? What pleasure could there be. on the contrary. But Tolstoy would have foun d there new people just as frightful as those he had seen formerly.
for outside of men who is there to call to account? To whom can one ascribe blam e? Whom reproach? Here is the essence of morality." The very origin alone of the Critique takes away from the true Christian the rig ht to call himself a Kantian. with severe and annihilating accusations." he still does not appear so clearly as accuser. Thus arose the categorical imperative . All the more surprising is Tolstoy's relation to the Critique of Practical Reason. and his task was limited to completing what had been undertaken. he was not at all concerned with knowing to what degree t his or that solution corresponded to reality but considered only whether they su ited the critique of pure reason. In the empirical sciences we were irritated by the concept of causality and were inclined to regard it as the illegitimate child of experience. as the happy times did not arrive. at least to the imaginary judgment of conscience. the disciple of Christ. All these questions. the postulate of the free will. And good people need wicked people in order to call them to judgment. are responsible.and writes good books. those judgments which precede experience and condition experience. it serves as the ob ject of its vengeance. without making any change in the plan previ ously conceived and already half-executed." does he consider the act of g iving so important. Tolstoy's irritation increased. But naturally they di d not follow him. the condition of the existence of knowledge. so fateful for us. whether they confirmed or disturbed the archit ectonic harmony of the logical edifice. The logical coherence of the different parts of the edifice leaves nothing to be des ired: it is completely Kantian. because he has succeeded in making the "good" again come to his side? Is it for him so "pleasant to give. and as the years passed. And naturally he attained his goal. Whether Kant was right or not when he thus solved Hume's problem. as he himself explains in his Prolegomena. as the prophecie s remained unfulfilled. declares that the C ritique of Practical Reason "contains in itself the essence of moral teaching. Evil is necessary to the good. who had set up the thesis of the impossibility of an y knowledge whatsoever.without immorality. Tolstoy. to the questions of moral philosop hy. He hoped. to win people through friendliness and soft words. that is to say. This also explains Tolstoy's strange sympathy for the Critique of Practical Reason. without further ado. For Kant real contradictions do not exist in the domain of moral life. that he can for its sake forget the harsh "it is impossible to live thus" and even advance. What is there in common between the categorical imperative or the princi ple of retribution proclaimed by Kant and the teaching of the gospel? it is unde ." considered himself still too rich to be angry and indignant. The follower of the gospel. The Critique of Practical Reason is only an append age to the Critique of Pure Reason. as i t were. The inevitable "who is t o blame?" arose. Who is responsible for the fact that the simple and clear doctr ine of Tolstoy was not realized? Men. who had just again felt the "approbation of the go od. Kant demons trated the legitimacy of causality by classifying it among synthetic a priori ju dgments. It cannot exist without its a ntipode . The categorical imperative is constructed after the fashion and in t he image of the principle of causality simply because it had to be so constructe d for the sake of the completeness of the system. m eant only building materials to Kant. It is thus. agains t all those who are not disposed to see a solution in the way he has pointed out ? In "Reflections of the Occasion of the Census. naturally. etc. Kant found synthetic a priori judgments and recognized them as the sources of our knowing. as "it will soon come" was postponed more and more to the future. that he check ed the skepticism of flume. The incomplete edifice of metaphysics arose before him. the solution in any case appeared to him so important and so comprehen sive that he applied it. and men only. He had fissures in his edifice and needed metaphysical stoppers.
this is what opens for him new horizons and perspectives which now. And Count Tolstoy has so solemnly renounced his past that it is altogether im possible to accuse him of contradiction and inconsistency. But Tolstoy? How could he accept a doctrine in which justice and not mercy is the principle of punishment ("the proud word justice. nor even thereby to reha bilitate the criminal. but simply because the crime was committed? For Kant the possibility of substituting the word because (weil) for in order that (deswegen) had been a true and very important victory ad majorem gloriam of the critique o f pure reason. that they not rely too much on the demonstrations of reason.to esteem so highly the Critique of Pr actical Reason? One only. so reluctant to prais e scholars . and will always be "the great writer of the Russian land" [Turgenev's expression in his last letter to Tolstoy]. " 5 A comparison between Tolstoy's new doctrine and his former world-outlook ma y perhaps seem unjust and unnecessary to the reader. If I seek to invest igate his past. And so Kantian duty. in that form which does not allow any room for doubt about what is permitted and forbidden." What. after another period of his life w ith different horizons and perspectives was finished by War and Peace and Anna K arenina. to be sure. were very little in harmony with th e spiritual demands of Tolstoy." as Tolstoy himself say s in War and Peace). the obligation to serve the good (as such) . after pai nful doubts. the removal of a burden.thus exactly that which Levin had once. a doctrine in which it is maintained that punishment must t ake place not in order to preserve society from danger. All these practical conclusions. This is what gi ves him the happy occasion to come forward as a preacher. What more is needed? But I do not in the least wish to re proach Tolstoy. that they live as he lives.especially famous scholars . some es sential contradictions." What. becomes the foun dation stone of the doctrine of Tolstoy . which imagines itself able to refashion the world. Now. which naturally was all-important for its author. it is not to accuse him but only better to understand the meanin g and scope of his doctrine. are the reasons which could lead Tolstoy. And I am less struck by the difference between the former and the present Count Tolstoy than by the unity and consistency that char acterize the development of his philosophy.rstandable that the professors of philosophy should venerate Kant's moral doctri ne and that they should be enraptured by "his noble defense of duty. One finds in it. could have drawn him toward the critique of practic al reason? Kant's doctrine of compassion could hardly have appealed to him. The "foundation" on which Kant based himself in order to reject compassion is known: it only augments the quantity of suffering by adding the sorrow of him who has compassion to the sorrow of him for whom he has compassion. "To serve the good" is for him no longer a burden but. But Tolstoy say s that the critique of pure reason is devoid of value. Tolstoy from the time he created War and Peace and Anna Karenina is for us in any case an important w . the categorical imperative gives him the right to demand of others that they act as he acts. besides alleged duties. Tolstoy sets this principle above everything. He was. all of a s udden. He himself admits hav ing been "bad" before. which agreed so well with Kant.the same Tolstoy who until recently ha d trusted so little in reason and demanded of men that they not lightly exchange the ways of their fathers. that "it only promotes th e regnant evil. then. apparently: the categorical imperative. which helps man "to sink himself into the ground like a plow. but rather more on i mmediate instinct. Moreover. according to whom "the happiness of men lies onl y in self-renunciation and the service of others. rejected as a principle false and contrary to life. The old is not to be touche d. on the contrary." What espec ially impressed them is that the firmness and the precision of the conclusions o f Kant's ethics are similar to those of mathematics. he especially needed. is. then. and these ought not to be ignored.
Tolstoy ev en avoids open sarcasm. to whom one not only can listen but to whom it is our duty to listen. And how this struggle ins pires him! The sole purpose of this work is to declare to men: "you are immoral but I am moral. of course. has become almost synonymous with "comical. frien ds and enemies. on the contrary. that. possess the highest good. that good. he will turn the other cheek when anyone strikes him . To express with greater power what Tolstoy has expressed is impossible.by means. Count Tolstoy will neither strike his enemy nor try to do any ha rm to him. That vir tue." The word "impudence" is used only once. undertake s a battle for his right against an entire generation. not you.e. it must be counted an excellence." that Tolstoy was not afraid to use to designat e those spiritually close to him. Tolstoy. stubbornly professed the conviction that outside the "good" there is no salvation. in reading his book . wealth." "depraved. throughout all his life. if the condition of repentance is lacking. always. It might be thought that one could not do anything in this way. enmity in the ordinary sen se of the word." He kn ows no other way of reconciliation. Not. toward th ose who led a life different from his own. an old man of seventy. For the sake of the go od. just as implacable a struggle is possible ." A nd yet. as has already been sh own above. when it is a question of glory. all of his preaching is proof of it. but when a Tolstoy shows himself eager to defend his righ t. just as inalienable. We can gladly let the English king rest. I. true pleasure and even find that "basically" he is completely right. that no one can be reproached for it.at first blush . that you have been bad. He reserves one thing only: his right to the "good. even by those whom the sources of th e brilliant writer's creativity do not interest greatly. then I will call you good. Such is the nature of the good. power. the passionate excitement and indignation which agitated Tols toy make themselves felt only too strongly. one is led to serious reflections. "Acknowledge that you have bee n wrong. I am profoundly convinced that most readers. This explain s Tolstoy's purely sectarian intolerance toward the opinion of others. Es pecially in view of the fact that this extraordinary man. not only in Russian l iterature but in contemporary world literature. even without the framework of mild Christian apologetic to which he voluntarily limited himself. must experience. i. suddenly shows itself to be just as human.e.glory. eternal enmity is declared. of other we apons. All of Tolstoy's life is an example of this.. Despite the external calm of the almost epic tone.inoffensive character. Even more. especially Russia n readers. but only on the strict condition that he repent. especially in our day when the word "immoral" seems to have long since lost its former sharpn ess and its opposite. ." "immor al. On the contrary. Both Tolstoy and Henry V believe that in this case greed is not a vice. What Is Art?.. they touch only the question of knowing in what t he good consists and how one must act to have the good on his side." To every attack against this right Tolstoy shows a greediness like that of Shakespeare's Henry V." And this work is wr itten with such mastery that one can find nothing like it. to let him pass from the category of wicked into that of good. in relation to Nietzsch e. "virtuous.itness. however little incline d they may be to renounce their privileges. such as "wicked. like a knight of the Middle Ages. he will accept insult and suffering and will be all the more happy the more he can yield. which we have always believed to be beyond the hereditary activi ty of egoism. It is true that Tolstoy always expresses his preparedness to par don his neighbor. he wh o is not for it is against it! And whoever has recognized the sovereignty of the good is compelled to divide his neighbors into good and wicked men. In his last work. obviously. i. what can a genius not accomplish! What Is Art? is the model of a polemic al work. as all the other purely pagan goods . All the transformations in his philosophy never pass beyond the limits of " life in the sign of the good". live as I do. however far they may be from Tolstoy's ideals. He has no weapons other than his delicate irony and a fe w epithets of . One does not find in it any trace of the insulting words that ordinarily betray human anger.
But Tolstoy's words fall like lead on the conscience of these people. to whom we give nothing in return. they enjoyed his works without any distress of soul. For this it is only necessary that it propose to itself the same ends as preaching. But why so many words? To lstoy does not preach in his own name. at l east at present. because the masses do not need it. as has always been the case to the presen t. weak. An na Karenina.It is true that in this instance. Dante. to which he had devoted himself with so much integrity and passion. how could Tolstoy seriously hope that his word would have more effect than the word of his teachers? His promise "it will soon be. Quite th e contrary. without excep tion. From this point of view. in the villages. as far as preaching is concerned. He makes exceptio . we drink. "Yes. they arrived at nothing or almost nothing. was followed by Anna Karenina. His is not an exceptional case. we dress ourselves. What he wished did not relate to something outside himself . War and Peace. the hard reproaches of the inexorable judge end by poisoning it. Even now their life is not happy. had obviously nothing to do with the real struggle ag ainst evil and falsehood but only with his own. It is possible to make art worthwhile in the same sense. But will the preaching in which he now believes have any greater effect? What. As for those who should have been overthrown by the Archimedes' lever that Tolstoy had found.it was not others whom he w ished to help. there are also some who sincerely wish to learn something from him and to im prove themselves. they return with consciences still more burdened. as they had read the gospel and the prophets. They had b een asked to live with and like the peasants. For am ong the many readers of Tolstoy. But if preaching also does not ameliorate the conditions of existence of the masses. independently of any results it ma y bring about. which carried the ma rk of complete achievement and reconciliation. then. He only repeats in modern language what t he prophets and apostles taught two thousand years ago. and Goethe . he must write in such a way that all." So the y repeat these words of their teacher.not to speak of less famous writers. even though they followed the program worked out at Yasnaya Polyana. but naturally they can do nothing. who enjoy the artistic talent of the great mast er. and we ta ke everything away from the peasants. Is this now the end? Who can f oretell? Will not Count Tolstoy perhaps find the power and the courage to burn w hat he now venerates and proclaim a new word? Now he rejects his earlier literar y work. But if the European peop les have regarded the Bible for so many centuries as a sacred book and yet despi sed its commandments. obviously they could not carry thi s through and returned to the city sick. it is typical of the reaction of the public to preaching." as wel l as his ardent preaching. Tolstoy does not seem to apply. but only to find for himself the confirmation. Preaching is good in itself. They g o into the villages where Tolstoy calls them. which he had not found in his literary work. I knew a very rich in dustrialist who loaned his money at usurious rates of interest and nevertheless called himself a Tolstoyan. beginning with his own works and endin g with Shakespeare. On the contrary. This work is good for nothing. will understand him and. we eat. they read his articles with ever new pleasure as a model of edifying literature. the measure that he is accustomed to applying to all other type s of literature. his own as we ll as others. Tolstoy condemns all of modern art. must he not consistently r eject it as well? But. entirely personal ends. for. esp ecially the more recent ones. he must write not about what interests him but only about what can provoke good feelings in people. exhausted. it has had no effect. the cause of the "good" was not at all advanced but even perhaps hurt. their consciences depr essed by the weight of their guilt. for whose condemnation he cannot find in his scant y repertory of pious-insulting words sharp enough expressions. the satisfaction. secondly. which seems to be the creation of an untormented and self-satisfied mind. The artist who wishes the right to bear this honorable name must satisfy two conditi ons in his creations: first. does Tolstoy consider as t he criterion of human activity in general? He now rejects all art. was followed by the preaching of morality.
Dostoevsky himself would probably not have denied this. He . which are apparently contrary to each other . T his is also called "the psychology of the criminal. That is why he chose as Raskolnikov¡‾s victim an old woman r eady to return her soul to God any day. A real murderer and the me ans by which he rid himself of the commandment "You shall not kill" did not at a ll interest Dostoevsky. and filled with the need to find some activity worthy of his powers. A poor student. Indeed. and it was almost the same con siderations that made him decide to commit the murder. never forgets to teach the good. Raskolnik ov tells himself. But here precisely lies the entire interest of the novel. Raskolnikov is a man of talent. 6 The basic idea of Crime and Punishment is already expressed almost complete ly in the very title of the novel. t hen. How. Tolstoy is entirely right. In t he search for such arguments. It is hardly necessary to point out here that Raskolnikov is a phantom of t he author's creation and that in a state of mind such as his it is not possible to commit a murder. It consists in the fact that the breaking of the "rule" cannot be authorized under any circumstances. they sweep it out of their way. decides to kill an old Woman of whom it can be said that she is barely still alive. for he is to them just as "lea rned" as Shakespeare. Ba sically. The whole question. the same Dostoevsky whom Nietzsche also called his teacher. He had to choose between two alternatives: e ither renounce the future and squander his life on work that was crude and devoi d of meaning for him. In this spirit Raskolnikov wrote an article for a review. Dostoevsky wo uld have blessed all his plans. But it was impossible for the student to procure these resources in permitted ways. struggling for his daily bread. who is not at a ll. in all of hi s works (with the exception perhaps of Memoirs from the House of the Dead. an i nner voice tells him. On the one hand. when in pursuit of their goal they are st opped by it. full of life. in compensation. Napoleon. as. Dostoevsky. The peasants do not understand him. Raskolnikov.n only of a few works of a few writers. even when one absolutel y does not see its necessity. as is Tolstoy. and without punishment." and it is this that has mad e the novel famous. But Tolstoy appears to calculate that. Raskolnikov (i. in order to procure the means for continui ng his existence. a single fundamental theme: countless mu rders have been committed. Dostoevsky does not meet the fundamental condition that Tolstoy has set for writers. a wor k that Tolstoy particularly recommends). Th e first half of the novel is concerned with the inner struggle of Raskolnikov ag ainst the idea living in him that murder is not permitted. a thousand arguments co me to him to prove that he must not listen to this voice. Crime and Punishment. Do stoevsky better than anyone else satisfies the second condition: to teach the go od. We will therefore try to test this explanation by considering the most charact eristic and best known work of Dostoevsky. fo r whom the good is about the same as the devil is for Goethe's Gretchen? To unde rstand why Nietzsche and Tolstoy both esteemed Dostoevsky is to find the clue wh ich will explain their philosophies. There is. on the other. Great and strong men are not afraid of this moral obstacle and. In this respect. Dostoevsky) is inexhaustible. It is exactly what Dostoevsky needed. that he may kill. did it come about that this writer won the favor of Friedrich Nietzsche. if Raskolnikov had by chance obtained the r esources necessary for the furthering of his plans by legal means.e. In this very brief list of worthy teachers it is interesting to find the na me of Dostoevsky.. convinced that all intellectual work is immoral. for example. moreover. Dostoevsky. does not at all reside in whether it is forbidden to kill but in whether it is forbidden only to small and weak men. or break open for himself a way to true (true also in Dostoevsky's opinion) life by means of his crime. "you must not kill". is quite sym pathetic to his aspirations. indeed.
the greater is his triumph. who could not keep from making way on meeting an officer and who vainly sought to surpass Napoleon in greatness. like Tolst oy. In this way it is possible to understand the "cruel talent. repents of the past . And in fighting for this right he is implacable. the first part of Crime and Punish ment. need to stigmatize with these fri ghtful names the hungry student and Sonia. with out complicating the novel too much. as for Raskolnikov. Dostoevsky. who. I will quo te some words in which all of Dostoevsky appears: "It was a strange thing to see how in this little room a murderer and a prostitute came together to read the e ternal book. which he had won in long sleepless night s in struggle for the power not given to him. later. on the condition that he remain a c onvict the rest of his life. where Dostoevsky." The murderer is Raskolnikov. who is better . Dostoevsky celebra tes the victory of the commandment over Raskolnikov as if it were his own triump h. the question was: who is right. he would nevertheless still have led him to succumb to his remorse. who never let the gospel out of his hand. to arrange things in such a way that Raskol nikov struck the old woman only after her natural death. is ready to turn the other cheek to his neighbor. The souterrain meditations of the first part of Crime and Punishment were n ot at all alien to Nietzsche. And the more Raskolnikov is humiliated. who by her shame fed her entire famil y? Is this what he found in the gospel? Was it in this way that he read the gosp el? Not at all. But how did he come to this cruelty? Was Dostoevsky created differently than all other men? It is the s ame with him as with Tolstoy. his virtue. deprived of all his legal rights and even his moral rights. the greater is Dostoevsky's peace of soul. a merit." or even two psychologies: on the one side. do not play any role in the novel and for Dostoevsky. or those who fo r one reason or another dare to break it? The second part of Crime and Punishmen t serves as an answer. discovers in fidelity to virtue a new halo. on the other side. Since he had become hopelessly sick and could no l onger consider the world and men except from the depth of his souterrain existen . have only the altogeth er external meaning of that line which one must not cross). t he underground man. the second part. a source of glory and pride. to hand himself over to the law. At the end of the novel when Raskolnikov. Raskolnikov (a murderer of the author's fantasy. but as for his right to vi rtue. alone this time without Raskolnikov. understands his incapacity for murder as a weakness. He is not satisfied with torturing his victim. and not at all because he i s stricken with pity for his victim (the victims. both victims. never existed) must be forced to submit to the rule in order to make of this submission a virtue. I think that if Dostoevsky had been able. and. covered with shame. For Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky bestows upon him peace of soul. and crushed. he would have done it. only in a different form. to go as a convict to Siberia. A "cruel talent" . the more sharply he can punish his victim." And it is also possible to understand why both Nietzsche and Tolstoy came to do homage before him. he gives himself up simply because he has understood that the rule must not be broken. I repeat. And he counted his prepared ness not to break the rule.wished to place his hero in such a situation that his crime would be a crime on ly from the formal point of view. of his fault. in which Raskolnikov.so one critic called Dostoevsky. To lead Rasko lnikov to this conviction Dostoevsky invents for him the most frightful tortures . and with him the author. he wrings from him confession of his wrong. having conquered his fears about his weakness. of his crime. Why did Dostoev sky. And then." not daring to aspire to happiness.those who (like Dostoevsky himse lf) follow the rule even when they do not see the meaning of it. The more cruelty he can show . The result: a "psychology . He must live in Siberia as a repentant "murderer. But thi s is still too little for him. What he needed were special rights and privileges for himself. in the company of the prostitute Sonia who mu st also redeem by good works the misfortunes of her youth. the prostitute Sonia. not only will he not give it up but he will sooner strip his neighbor of i t. Raskolnikov gives himself up.
although his fantasy uninterruptedly paints for him the most varied terrors. Dying or ere they sicken. also thinks hardly at all of those whom he has killed. Are made. the same Shakespeare whom Tolstoy despises. In this respect. [Act IV. What a poignant impression the mute horror of Macduff on learning of t he death of his wife and small children produces on the reader. to him mercy was given only on condition that he lead a life conformable to the "good" . and that of Dostoevsky . I would compare the outlook of Shakespeare. while Dostoevsky made out of it his literary credo. given the object of th e present book. He "has damned his soul forever.this must suffice to merit the title of teacher of the people." "God have mercy upon us". In Shakespe are it is quite different. Raskolniko v. not mark¡‾d. poor country! Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot Be call¡‾d our mother. But Raskolnikov was punis hed. obviously. only enemies who wish to d estroy his soul. also taken singly. In Dostoevsky we have Raskolnikov.not in their fullness but only in their understanding of evil and c rime. but our grave: where nothing. All this is only "corruption. But Shakespeare looks at Macbeth with his own eyes. And both writers are Christians. hardly give an impression of humility b ut. the expiation. Scene 3] Further on. The horror of all of his actions he reduces to personal responsibilit y. the book cannot be praised for such things. while he speaks much of things that have not hing to do with the novel and very often tires us with his verbosity." he "cannot pray. But who knows nothing.ce. will perhaps not be altogether superfluous. Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air. He never fo rgets that it is not only a question of the soul and of its destruction when evi l and crime are involved. Shakespeare depicts the horrible scene in which Macduff's family is murdered. for his part. taken together. Here is how Ross describes the state of Scotland: Alas. pardoned the first part for the second . He feels himself cut off from the who le world and sees in all men. We emphasize this: had he been able to do so. The subject is the same. is once seen to smile. where violent sorrow seems A modern ecstasy: the dead man's knell Is there scarce ask¡‾d for who. from him the confession of his crime was wrung. he would have left them alive or even resurrected them. and this tormented state of soul darkens for him the whole world. on the other hand. in Shakespeare Macbeth. He has so deeply steeped himself in blo od that turning back seems useless to him. so indifferent is the fact of their death to him. he concerns himself no less with the misfortunes that Macbeth brings to those around him than with the psychology of the criminal soul. all other men. and good men's lives Expire before the flowers in their caps. For Dostoevsky. the meaning of the crime does no t lie in the evil that Raskolnikov has done to his victims but in what he has do ne to his own soul. for the first par t. it is true." "deprav ity." the invention of the "idle educated crowd" (all express ions of Tolstoy's which. But Shakespeare never brought out thi s fact. Tolstoy." he "cannot say Amen when others pray. What is most striking when one compares Macbeth and Crime and Punishment is the attitude of the authors towards their victims. thinks and speaks of nothing but his soul." "perverted ideas. For that "psychology" which threatens to destroy the obligatory character of t he rule certainly did not please Tolstoy. the author and the hero of Crime and Punish ment feel and think in completely the same way. the crime. They were introduced into the novel only because an objec t for Raskolnikov was required. Macbeth. He wi llingly forgave Dostoevsky for the second part. Dostoevsky speaks hardly at all of the old woman or the young girl. Here I shall permit myself a short digression which. In Dostoevsky the two murder ed women do not play any role. Who does not rec . living as well as dead. he accustomed himself to replace real power with meditations on power. On the contrary. give no picture of the "mildness" of the famous writer).
all the words that Malcolm addresses to Macduff: Merciful Heaven! What, man! ne¡‾er pull your hat upon your brows; Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak Whispers the o¡‾erfraught heart, and bids it break. And then Macduff's cry over Macbeth: He has no children. In Dostoevsky we find nothing of this sort. The crime does not and could no t interest him except from one aspect: its meaning for the soul of the criminal. He approached his Raskolnikov from an aspect opposite that which Shakespeare ch ose to approach Macbeth. The question that concerned him was how others could do , how others dared do that which he, Dostoevsky, could not do, did not dare do. That is why he chose a murderer who studies at the university, who writes articl es, who does not know today what, and whether, he will eat tomorrow. With such a one, he knows, psychology will be able to deal in the way desired by him. In ot her words, the murder will surely annihilate and crush this man - for how could he have done with it? Dostoevsky came to the conclusion that in submission to th e rule the highest meaning of life is contained. Now Dostoevsky submitted to the rule; consequently, the meaning of life is on his side. We find no trace of suc h moods in Shakespeare. For him crime is crime only because it "causes evil" to others, to Duncan, Macduff, his children, all of Scotland. For him there is not and cannot be any question whether it is good to be a murderer, or whether one's greatness of soul is increased when he murders someone. Still more: even if Sha kespeare had been able to convince himself that murder could contribute somethin g, or even very much, to his greatness of soul, he would not have killed. Even i f his reflection had made it clear to him that there is no commandment "you shal l not kill," or that this commandment applies only to the petty and the weak but that for the great and the strong there is another rule "you shall kill," he wo uld not have killed. For beyond the advantages of his own soul, something else s till counts for him: the happiness and misery of other men, of Macduff's childre n, of King Duncan. If "you shall kill" had arisen before him with the same threa tening and imperious force as "you shall not kill" arose before Macduff and Rask olnikov, he would not have killed! Obviously Shakespeare's attitude toward crime is entirely foreign to Dostoevsky. For him the whole question comes down to thi s: which rule is better armed - "you shall kill" or "you shall not kill"? But ev en on this point he was not an impartial judge. He employed all the talent of hi s genius to maintain the prestige of "you shall not kill," mainly because it was not given him to be a Napoleon. That is why he chokes his Raskolnikov, that is why he lets him free only on the condition that he admit his "guilt." There is n o trace of this in Shakespeare's attitude toward his Macbeth. It is hardly necessary to point out that the colors with which Shakespeare paints the criminal's torments of conscience are much richer than those which Do stoevsky uses; in the brief Macbeth the moods and agonies of the hero are traced with more fullness and strength than in the long novel Crime and Punishment. Le t us recall these words of the unhappy murderer: "Still it cried ¡®Sleep no more¡‾ to al l the house. ¡®Clamis hath murder¡‾d sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more, Ma cbeth shall sleep no more."¡‾ From this, as from similar cries of Macbeth, is wafted genuine medieval terror before the certainty of the Last Judgment. Shakespeare understood how to describe, without the least effort, the most frightful of trag ic moods. He did not have recourse to the least artificiality, nor punish the re ader's soul with constant repetition of horrible images. And yet, how great is t he difference between Shakespeare and Dostoevsky, even here in presenting the ps ychology of the murderer. Shakespeare does not seek to "destroy" the soul of Mac beth, he does not seek to crush and annihilate even more by his eloquence a man who is already crushed and annihilated; quite the contrary, he is entirely on th e side of Macbeth, and this without any conditions, without any limitations, wit hout any demands - things without which Dostoevsky and all others who revere the "good" will never free their criminals. Shakespeare is not at all afraid, in so behaving, of encouraging the murderer or murder. Still less does he think that
his moral greatness will be diminished if he does not declare Macbeth a complete outlaw, if he allows the criminal to dare think of himself, of his salvation, a nd not of expiation. In Shakespeare's work, as the tragedy develops, Macbeth not only does not bow his guilty head before the author's virtue; on the contrary, he becomes even more cruel as he understands, or is grasped by the fearful idea, that the inward judge will not spare him "a single blow." But this cruelty does not arouse in Shakespeare any animosity toward the rebel. It appears to the poe t a just and natural reaction against the limitless pretension of the "categoric al imperative" which presumes to abandon a man to eternal damnation for having s truck "one blow." For Shakespeare, Macbeth does not cease to be a man, his neigh bor, even after the fateful event; and even though the brutish king had transfor med Scotland into a dark tomb, even though thousands of victims implore the heav ens for justice, Shakespeare does not hold it necessary or possible to force Mac beth to recognize his punishment as justified. The more implacably fantastic vis ions pursue Macbeth, the more vigorously he resists, and as long as his physical powers do not abandon him, he does not submit. Is it necessary to say how psychologically more truthful Shakespeare is tha n Dostoevsky? For, no matter how horrible a man's past, no matter how great the remorse he may have for it, in the depths of his soul he will never admit that h e has been justly rejected by men and God. Certainly, everyone in the final anal ysis gives in before insurmountable inner and outer obstacles. But no man will e ver admit that an eternal condemnation can be just, that all his rights are forf eit, that he is handed over to the favor and displeasure of other men who can, o n certain conditions, grant him pardon. Macbeth's tremendous struggle against en emies living and dead is an unparalleled illustration of this. Not everyone is a s audacious as Macbeth; not everyone resolves to act and speak in his own way an d his own name to the very end. Under such circumstances the ordinary man surren ders; he admits that the persecution of the categorical imperative is just, that he really deserves eternal condemnation - but this is only hypocrisy and falseh ood, through which he seeks to avoid precisely that fate which ostensibly he rec ognizes himself as deserving. The characteristic traits of the two writers are manifested in their choice of subject. Shakespeare was interested in the insubmissive, truly terrible crim inal; Dostoevsky chose a submissive, harmless person whom he allowed to become a murderer. Shakespeare sought to justify the man, Dostoevsky to condemn him. Whi ch of these is the true Christian? How inferior Crime and Punishment, as far as its fundamental idea (I do not even speak of execution) is concerned, is to Macb eth! Between these two works of art, leaving aside the degree of talent of their respective authors, there is an essential difference in proclaimed goal. In the work of Dostoevsky the foreground is occupied by preaching, in the work of Shak espeare, by a purely philosophic question. Dostoevsky wishes to teach the reader that one can either serve the "good" or the "evil," that he himself serves the "good" and consequently is a man worthy of great respect, while other men serve the "evil" and are, by the same token, unworthy. For Shakespeare the question of personal worthiness is secondary. He sees before himself only the horrible phen omenon, the crime. And it is horrible in two respects - by reason of the misfort unes it brings to men, and by reason of the eternal damnation to which it hands over the criminal. He strives to understand and explain to himself what this means: whether ou r ideas on the nature of the criminal soul are really just. He does not wish to be magnanimous toward his criminal, to pardon him, in order to prove his own mor al stature. He seeks to ground Macbeth's right and therefore does not deprive hi m of his power to struggle. After reading Crime and Punishment, one is under the painful impression of having heard the preaching of a "righteous man" against t he sin-laden publican. After reading Macbeth, in which the author is not seen at all, one has the impression that there is no power which either can or will des troy a man. In the words of the gospel: "It is not the will of your heavenly Fat
her that a single one of these little ones shall be lost." To linger longer over Shakespeare and Dostoevsky is not permitted by the sc ope of this work. But what has been said seems to me sufficient to show what a f undamental difference there is between philosophy and preaching, and by whom pre aching is needed and by whom philosophy. 7 Of the change in Tolstoy's work it is said that he went from art over to ph ilosophy. The change is greatly deplored, for it is believed that Tolstoy, a gen ius as an artist, is only a very mediocre philosopher and thinker. The proof, an d apparently decisive proof, of such a supposition is found in his postscript to War and Peace. It is unclear, confused. Tolstoy marks time in vague and meaning less phrases. It is true that the postscript is badly written. But War and Peace? Is not War and Peace a genuine philosophical work written by an artist? Is not the post script simply the bad plan for a marvelous edifice? But how is it possible that the architect who, in building his edifice showed such great art, was not capabl e of designing the plan? The fault obviously does not lie in the architect, but in the undertaking itself. The postscript is bad not because Tolstoy does not kn ow how to use compass and rule, but because compass and rule are not suitable in struments for this undertaking. Foregoing the right to use colors, Tolstoy by th at very fact delivered himself over to unproductive work, for the whole philosop hy of War and Peace comes down to this: the sum of abstract concepts available i n our language does not suffice to render human life. It is clear that the attem pts Tolstoy made to clarify and enlarge War and Peace through explanations could only make things worse. With the first part of his epilogue, he had succeeded i n saying all he could say: in the four books of this novel his entire philosophy found an expression so clear and so full that it was no longer possible to go b eyond it. Do not Prince Andrey, Pierre, Natasha, the old Bolkonsky, Princess Mar ya, the Rostovs, Berg, Dolokhov, Karataev, Kutuzov tell us all that Tolstoy saw in life and how he saw it? Pierre's life as a prisoner of war, the mature wisdom of Kutuzov, the tragic death of Prince Andrey, the sorrows and joys of Natasha, the resignation of Karataev, the stoic courage of the Russian soldiers, the qui et and modest heroism of unknown officers, the flight en masse of the inhabitant s from the cities - do not all these things described by Tolstoy with such plast icity and perfection include all the questions of free will, of God, of morality , of historical laws? Not only are these questions contained here, but even more : to speak of them otherwise than in the form of a work of art is impossible. Ev ery other means would have no other result than the postscript, especially if it is a question of an artist, i.e., a man who knows how much there is to say and who feels how little can be said directly. Therefore he tries over and over agai n to repeat what he has already said. Naturally, he makes nothing clearer and th us brings us to the conviction that he is not a philosopher. But, of course, we are mistaken. Tolstoy in War and Peace is a philosopher in the best and noblest sense of the word, for he speaks in it of life and portr ays life in its most enigmatic and mysterious sides. If his postscript did not s ucceed, this was only because he sought the impossible. Any critic at all would have written a better conclusion to War and Peace than Tolstoy, for the critic, unlike the artist who felt all the breadth of the task, would have remained with in the limits of ordinary ideas and thus have arrived at a definite, very relati ve, logical conclusion that would have satisfied the reader. But the critic woul d be not at all a better but rather a worse philosopher than Tolstoy, for he doe s not have the impulse to present his full impression of life, is able only to h andle the compass and rule competently, is satisfied with his work, and thereby also gives satisfaction to his readers.
beside the fact that they do not themselves w ork. some are small..To say of Count Tolstoy that he is not a philosopher is to deprive philosop hy of one of its greatest representatives. of monism and dualism. Some are better. These. the eternal "I am guilty" that barred the way to life for the b est of his heroes. and against the Sonias and their like." Pierre interrupts her passionately: "That is not true. not true! It is not my fault that I live and wish to live." It was thus that Tolstoy then resolved tormenting question s of conscience. he does no t at all fall in Tolstoy's eyes. who enter a rich and full life so disturbingly with their useless virtues. Not because o f the misfortunes that he brought upon Russia and Europe." Because o f Sonia¡‾s empty and insipid life. in it lives the consciousness that responsibility for human life is to be so ught in the higher outside ourselves." Consequen tly it is impossible that he be given the power to determine the fate of peoples . One must fight only against Napole on. philosophy must reck on with Tolstoy as with one of its truly great figures. All these questions must be separated into an independent discipline which serves only as the foundation of philosophy.did not at all provoke Tolstoy's indignation. in any case not less a man than a Napoleon. i. Toward Berg. But it is not this that fina lly gives one the right to be called a philosopher. a nd not yours either. Tolstoy departs from the general tone that characterizes War and Peace only in speaking of Napoleon. precisely the questions to which War and Peace is devoted. that friend who had died in her arms only a few months before. Prince Vassil.even if it be in an immoral or trivial or cru de fashion ." that is. Every living creature lives in its way and has t he right to live. of his rights and his role in the universe . True philosophy must begin with the questions of man's place and des tiny in the world. the self-assurance with which for fifteen years he made history. "My human dignity tells me that ea ch of us is. For the sco undrel Dolokhov and for the old defender of serfdom. allowed themselves clevernesses and considered themselves superior men! Certainly Tolstoy had to free himself from his earlier works. He does not speak of space and time. the death of Prince Andrey). As ha s already been shown. It is true t hat he does not touch on certain theoretical questions that we are accustomed to encounter among professional philosophers. in it still rules a Homeric or Shakespearean "na?vet¨¦. of the theory of knowledge. opp ressed him with the senselessness of their existence. some great. He is only "the most insignificant instrument in the hands of fate. what a terrible accusation he would pronounce against him! I do not even speak of Pierre or Prince Andrey.that is to say. "I live and wish to live" was the answer that resolved even s uch difficult situations as the fact that Natasha had been the fianc¨¦e of Pierre's friend. a morally reprehensible enemy. but n one can be stigmatized or separated from God. Tolstoy is indignant only at the arrogance of the emperor. these are forgiven him . no matter how he lives . With what love Tolstoy describes Nikolay Rostov! I do not know any other novel where a man so hopelessly mediocre is painted with such poetic colors.e. When Natasha say s to Pierre that she wishes only to live through everything again (that is. War and Peace is a truly philosophical work. And whoev er lives. who wishes to deprive us of human dignity. On the contrary. Napoleon for him rema ins from beginning to end an enemy. in Ellen he saw only a superbe animal and almost the same thing in her brother Anatole. he showed esteem . especially Wa . "and nothing else. some worse. Even when he breaks the stone in his ring when striking a peasant on the face. who meant nothing either to themselves or to others. In it Tolstoy questions nature about each individual man. even if his works do not have the form of treatises and do not follow any of the existing schools. Bolkonsky. all his creative work was the result of his desire to unde rstand life. At that period insipid people. But later he no longer wis hed to accuse anyone and did not believe it necessary to do so. if not more. If this Nikolay now came before Tolstoy's eyes. the very desire which gives birth to philosophy. the absence of all desire to reward and punish men for "good" and "evi l". Tolstoy could not be reconciled with her. so entirely like her. his reaction was one of benevolent and gay irony. Drubetzk oy.
They need the help of workers. Which shall we accept? A nd. under the name of art. The great expenditures for the production of inferior works of art and the crude way in w hich superiors treat inferiors. But the expense is levied on the people. The question is only whether this is possible. The question arises: is art really so important that such sacrifices must be made fo r it? Would it not be better to renounce art generally and use the powers and me ans that could thus be saved for something else . as bad for him to break with i t once and for all. conservatories and academies. Sonia?" To put it differently: if Tolstoy thirty years ago had been shown his own m ost recent works." This is Tolstoy's point of departure: art costs a tremendous amount of mone y. and that you now. his past life. there cannot be any doubt. fellow-workers deprived of all rights. we are served. who never enjoy the aesthetic pleasures tha t art gives. after having enjoyed all the good which you described so eloquently in War and P eace. It turns out that it was a great deal.to regulate his life by the "good. whether it is enough to recognize his past philosophy.for example. who do not participate in the pleasures that a rt brings. During the famine. would he have disavowed his What Is Art? We have already said that the question of art plays only a subsidiary role in this book. go to the poor and take away from them what is necessary not only for their instruction but even for th eir naked existence in order to have theaters. Tolstoy will never be able to undo his past which is embodied in his two great novels with s uch brilliance. which spends millions to maintain theaters. are eleva ted into a rule by Tolstoy. he uses these as the first and most serious point of accusation against art. They will always testify against him. The people pay such a high price for art and do not profit fr om it. most important of all.r and Peace. not only for the realization of their works of art but also for the largest part of their luxurious existence. for which so little concern is manifested? So Tolstoy raised the question. such as that opera at the rehearsal of which Tolstoy was present. scandalous. It is probable that there were hardly any readers who had any doubt about what ans wer he would give. another circumstance is interesting: in Russian literature opinions simil . Tolstoy tells us how he was one day present at the rehearsal of a bad opera ." he will alwa ys hear his own voice which cried out thirty years earlier with such passion and sincerity: "It is not my fault that I live and wish to live. seek something else. In the name of art. which is perhaps just as good and necessary for you b ut for me is strange and incomprehensible. What can composers of dramas and symphonies reply to th is? "It would still be well if artists did their work themselves. Is there any doubt that such a state of things is gross. a multitude of stu pidities and mediocrities. who abound in everything." A repudiation against another repudiation. and they receive this help eithe r under the form of contributions from the rich or subsidies from the government . Neverth eless. Furthermore. and in the most annihilati ng way. A whole life cannot be annulled by a few books. men offend the human dignity of other men. No matter how much he preaches about "moral enlightenment. and that the dancers made lewd movements. He takes this occasion to calculate what the cost of this ridiculous undertaki ng might have been. that the singers were dressed in indecent fashion. exhibitions. he would have repudiated them. public instructio n. were the theatrical presentations interrupted in the great cities? Did the rich renounce their aesthetic pleasures in order to help their neighbors in distress? As to the justice of Tolstoy's question. concerts. this is taken from the people. as he now repudiates War and Pe ace. cont rary to all justice? The rich. Then he tells us that the choirmaster crudely insulted the singers and actors. as is apparent from the beginning. Have you forgotten the sterile blosso m. though then as today he has wanted one thing only .
useless play of an idler. It was necessary to break the chai ns of serfdom. precisely under the same form as it appears to Tolstoy now.." They proclaimed that it was necessary to dissect frogs and to think only of one's personal happiness. usele ss to the people. at leas t. No. their enthusiasm for unrealizable ideas. Mozart and Salieri. with Russia's help. Even more th an others he believed in the saving of his people." How strange it is. even the whole world. to humanity. all self-styled " thinking realists" thought and felt thus. In the 1860's. one of the most gratifying expressions of awake ning thought. destroy the disgraceful inequa lity that ruled among us in ancient times. following our tea cher Pissarev. What does art accomplish? they asked themsel ves. Nekrassov: here is the m an who writes as one should. does it advance them morally. But if this is so.. which is necessar y to no one. such as "positivism" and "egoism. words that concealed the meaning of his aspirations even more. On the contrary: many hid them demonstratively under crude nam es. why save it? As a result of such considerations. It is hardl y necessary to say that their opinions and preaching present. art does nothing but furnish aesthet ic pleasure to the rich. It was in this way that the question of the nature of art was raised and re solved in the sixties by the young leaders of the rising generation. Their youthful honesty. to give the peasants all the rights which we ourselves enjoy. because he paid as much attention to the good-for-nothing Onegin an . does it save them from drunkenness? All thes e questions received a negative answer. But behind these ap pearances the great and noble plan of the young was obvious to the eyes." Here is a summons to justice. in the shortest possible time we cou ld. does it heal them. and similar things are l¡‾art pour l¡‾art. even to those who have long since outgrown the realm of their "convictions" an d their "principles. there ap peared the famous attack by Pissarev on Pushkin. that. their ardor. for the historian of Russian cultural development. we thought that above all we must decide which art is most useful for society and that only after doing this could we permit ourselves to give an yone the title of poet or artist. After the premature death of Dobroliubov. not only alien but completely hostile to the great goals that the younger generation set itself. but at the same time to cherish hopes of the speedy comi ng of better times and to dream of the imminent fulfillment of great tasks. to compassion. the question of the meaning of art. And following him. Pissarev praises even the first works of Tols toy only because he finds them useful for the realization of social projects. with its outwardly crude but inwardly bashful aspect.ar to those of Count Tolstoy are not a novelty. Tol stoy obviously still remembers the happy excitement of that stormy period. who are already sufficiently warm and well-fed without it. the best men in Russia thought that noth ing was any longer impossible for us. because he wrote Boris Godunov. because he medit ated on eternity in his Faust. now to meet in Tolstoy's latest works the same dis cussions which recall to us so vividly our faraway youth when. In him we find the poem: "When at night I go throug h the dark streets. In him the ide as of his predecessors manifested themselves in still sharper form. And at that time arose. Pissarev appeared. in which Pushkin's poetry is ch aracterized as the worthless. then. But Eugene Onegin. the youth of this period began to repeat all kinds of nihilistic slogans. Does it save the people from ignorance? Does it nourish them. But he chose to express his i deas in still cruder words. It is true that these hopes were not expressed openly. their childish and na?ve faith in the omnipotence of the printed word remain highly attractive . and when we attacked Pushkin with the entire p uritanical energy of people strictly educated in morality because he sang in his verses of the little hands and little feet of beautiful girls. of every impartial man: they hoped to save the fatherland and. through social reform and literary preaching. In all his articles Dobroliubov spoke only of the necessity of forgetting everything and setting everything else aside in order to concentrate all the powers of society and the state on the elevatio n of the people sunk in misery and ignorance. After the great act of liberating the serfs.
. who. captivatin g." to borrow Tolstoy's words. and for speaking to us in his novels of things that had no relations hip to the amelioration of the conditions of the people.to Nekrassov. did he not write two or three more stories for the people. does he write? Why. But Count Tolstoy knows only too well that his books can change nothing. But Pissarev himse lf did not dare attack them. we wished the good only because it was "very advantageous" to us). He knows. because all these did not believe themselves call ed to sing "the sufferings of the people. "sank hi mself into the ground like a plow. indeed. not in the hope of being useful to the peasant by solving them. How Tolstoy hurt us then with his Anna Karenina. as belonging to good art) will never have for the r eader the meaning that his great novels have. We regretted that Pissarev was no longer with us and that no one could reprimand Tolstoy as he should have been repriman ded. we asked ourselves. Anna Kar enina appeared to us characteristic works of l¡‾art pour l¡‾art . We did not." We could not forgive Tolstoy for not followi ng the way of the public accuser. How does it come that Tolstoy has returned to the ideals he had fled in his youth? We can understand Pissarev . Is he we did not say as Tolstoy does. it would have been for us a true revelation. and preaching had to inspire him. and we preferred to pass over them in silence. seriously to advance the solution of economic an d other social problems. dare touch Shakespeare an d Goethe. What we sought was the right to deny all art. and were outraged when a monument was e rected to him." it is obviously not modesty that speaks out of these words. in this sense.d shed tears over the sentimental Tatiana. i. or even "The Death of Ivan Ilych". for example. and i f it had not contained so many virtuous words (such words then offended our mode sty. from th e time he ceased thinking about the salvation of Russia and of mankind. instead of calling men to earnest dee ds. precisely as Tolstoy now does. whose verse we sang with enthusiasm: Lead me to those who die For the great cause of love! How remarkable it is to meet now in Tolstoy this way of envisaging art and its representatives that is so familiar to us from that time. He assigns his novels to the category of bad art and dreams of creating a new ar t which would serve only the people and its needs. It seemed to Pissarev that. the way for which he would have been praised b y Pissarev. War and Peace. in a moment. instead of What Is Art?. a useful fighter fo r society? We demanded that a monument be erected to Nekrassov. the suffering. then. in tribute to hi s love for the people. Shakespeare as well as Dante. Now Tolstoy himself fulfills that task for which we wished a new Pissarev. for there is not in them that immediate and passionate appeal to love for the needy people which inspired Nekrassov¡‾s poetry.e. Raphael as well as Beethoven. his Levin. we e ven permitted ourselves to read them in the vague hope that we would once for al l be done with them.taste in our societ y accepted or even seriously discussed. who fought against l'art pour l'art and annihilated Pushkin. Why and for whom.attractive. a holy man. the unfortunate . according to the rules elaborat ed by him for talented writers? Obviously because he himself wished to raise cer tain questions. among all his writings. for we forbade ourselves this word. We reproached him even for his duel.is he. very well that his "Caucasian Prisoner" o r "God Sees the Truth but Does Not Express It" (he considers only these two stor ies. He himself says: "I cherish li ttle hope of seeing my proofs for the corruption of art and .. but it was what we meant . the consciousness of the brotherhood of all men. each of his articles was an event. "Why?" we asked ourselves. It was permissibl e for one at the age of twenty-seven to think that too great an admiration for a esthetics can hamper the realization of great ideals. or because they did not have "the religious consciousness of true Chr istianity. for the humiliated. but thereby all the more irritating. and that it is possible wi th a few articles. But if Tolstoy's book What Is Art? had then appeared. Actually we understood very well that these writers had no value from our point of view. wonderful in its patience. It is true that To lstoy is more daring than we. then." as Nekrass ov put it.
He never permits the reader to go beyond what is proclaimed to him officially as doctrine. I do not wish to have happiness for nothing.. for others. He saw in all events the hand of the Creator. any more than anyone before him. becau se he assumed that everyone learns from life and that everyone receives his own. all appeared to him as a harmonious whole. But wh y does Zarathustra speak otherwise to his pupils than to himself?" ["Redemption" ] One will never hear such words from Tolstoy. from Karataev and Anatole to Kutuzov and Prince Andrey. which dr . And he received. Tolstoy ended where Pissarev had begun. though he had m ore reason to hide himself than the latter and had several times expressed the o pinion that the whole task of the writer was to embellish himself and life. Here is how he depicts this mood in Pierre: "A new trait of character. he humbled himself and his soul found rest. else I wo uld throw myself head first down the ladder. and now he wishes to forget the fateful enigma of life. In Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra there is a very significant passage. superstition. The marching of men from east to west and fro m west to east. He does not allow u s to come near to himself but only to his "school. Doub tless. as it appeared to him. He could not. a hunchback. for all th e victims of chance. But he does not protect the sanctuary of his c reativity from the looks of others with as much care as Tolstoy." Nietzsche also wears a "mask . i. After his conversation with the cripples.but because he could not help thinking about them." "Very good." In these few simple words the essence of a philosophic problem is e xpressed. not only Nietzsche but Tolstoy also does not speak with his disciples out side of school. Count Tolstoy knows what is hidden behind this "i t is enough for men to wish it. in order to overcome the doubts that haunt him and to pass from a task that has become unbearable an d crushing. They also describe the program of War and Peace: Tolstoy demanded of f ate an account of each of his brothers in blood. When we realize this puzzling pheno menon it will become clear to us why Tolstoy in his articles thunderingly attack s us as well as our art. listens with astonishmen t to the new words and ask the master: "But why does Zarathustra speak to us oth erwise than to his disciples?" Zarathustra answered: "What is surprising in this ? With hunchbacks one may certainly speak in hunchback fashion. so long as I am not set at rest about each of those who are my brother s in blood. tear fro m truth its veil..e. He did not wish to teach anyone. Belinsky writes in a private letter: "Even if I were able to arrive at the highest degree on the ladder of culture. I should not cease to demand of you acc ount for all of the victims of the conditions of life and of history." sa id the hunchback. One of the cripples. preaching. complete satisfaction. the inquisition of Philip II. genuinely Pissarev-like." In these words lies not the youthful faith of a Pissarev but the disenchantment of an old man who has fought long and obstinate ly and has decided to give up the unequal struggle. etc. "and with pupils one may well tell tales out of school. to for get it at all costs. It is not for himself that h e has coined these words but for his disciples. He wrote War and Peace and came out for a time as conqueror of the doubts of unbelief. at first glance. Zarathustra addresses himself in a ser mon to his disciples. philosophizing. wh ich cares for weak and ignorant man. the lives of the most diverse kinds of men. If he has given the recipe fo r all artistic work. it appears not to apply to himself but to others. War and Peace is the supreme ideal of the s piritual equilibrium to which man can attain." Hence this. he imparts to them only "conclusions" and hides from them that a nguished and painful travail of his soul which he considers exclusively "the aff air of the master. he could see in all things the hand of Providence." and puts it on only too often. juvenile assurance that it is enough for men to wish it for l¡‾art pour l¡‾art to be rep laced by a new and better art. easier and more consoling occupation. All the horrors of the year 1812 appeared to him as a definite and meaningful picture. accompanied by mass-murder. to a simpler.
wicked men. It is on this that the whole book is based. but what we do not need is the good. by that very fact. It is this that provides him the occasion to rebel.e. and he seized upon the poor of the house of Liapine and upon the people in order to defend. If we wanted to compare his w orks with Scripture. and those who are not willing to renounc e it are unhappy. Even though he always refers to the gospel.ew to him the sympathy of all.this means: outside the go od there is no goal for man. in the gospel God is called our Heavenly Father. The difference." The good is God! . In Dostoevsky the women murdered by Raskolnikov give the author the possibi lity of crushing the murderer. The method is quite simple: what we need is the evil. or you will be immoral. the possibility of remaining at the phi losophical height of War and Peace. and could not under any circumstances be accepted. which had previously annoyed and irri tated Pierre. in the people of his circle. by the "good" the tota lity of things that a man experiences. He wishes to take away from us what w e most need and to force us to accept what we do not need at all. And he attai ned this goal to perfection with his book. In what ever way we understand the good. Obviously Tolstoy wishes above everything else to wound and insult our societ y. the "good" against the "evil. But the good is God. as in Dostoevsky. highest goal of our life. perverse. as he did formerly. of the prophets. The Bible teaches us that God created man in His own image. such a definition would have more than a polemical significance. But Tolstoy goes even further. manifested itself in Pierre.." But. an object on which he can place the h eaped-up bitterness of his heart at the enigmatic and brittle insolubility of th e tormenting problems of life. there is very little that is Christian in his doctrine. But it is nowhere s aid in these books that the good is God. Here are his own word s from What Is Art?: "The good is the eternal. But even then it would be incorrect. temporal and eternal. toward God." I tried to underline words of this kind in Tolstoy's book: entire pages turned out to be pencil-marke d. this was the recogni tion granted to everyone to think. he needs something else. in order thus to have someone upon whom he can let out his pain. in its general meaning. Tolstoy did not long preserve his seren ity of soul and lost. in whose name he speaks. to preach . there began to dev elop a tendency to intolerance. for it gives Tolstoy the right to brand a ll those who dare to think that there are other goods in life besides brotherly living together. nothin g other than the consciousness that our welfare. He decla res.entirely independently of the question whether this brings the slightest benef it to the poor and the people. and especially those who can see in mutual love not the goal bu t only the result of men's closer living with each other. If Count Tolstoy understood now. bet ween the opinions and lives of others and his own now gave Pierre pleasure and d rew from him an ironic and soft smile. This legitimate uniqueness of every man. often the absolute contradiction." This is why he se es nothing good in contemporary society. In him. He does no t need this good. But Tolstoy needs his definition in order to draw from it the right to demand of men love for their ne ighbor as the fulfillment of a duty." The goal of this defi nition is also a purely polemical one. whom he resembles in the character of his preaching and the strictness of his de mands. both material and spiritual. in dividual and communal. is grounded in the brotherly living together of all men. the consciousness that his interests were oppose d not only to those of Napoleon and of Sonia but also of a very great number of men. the reali zation of the impossibility of making a man change his opinion by means of words . our life is still nothing other than striving t oward the good. in the love of all for one another. as has already been indicated. "Do what I tell you. served him now as the foundation-stone of the sympathy and interes t that he bore toward men. we could only think of the Old Testament. He does not wish to persuade men but to intimidate them. i. to be indignant. and those who refuse to accept it refuse the good. in their name. corrupt creatures. "The religious consciousness of our time is. so in Tolstoy the exploited people appear on the . feel and see things in his own way.
listen to Beethoven and Wagner. Such a faith does not really exclude absolu te atheism. This is only of external literary interest." as Tolstoy now says. to crush others." To the Russian reader." I shall not stop to a nalyze in detailed fashion the different considerations with which Tolstoy surro unds his fundamental affirmation. o r that "God is the good. Go to your neighbors and love th em! This is . it must necessarily be only a voice crying in the wilderness. and they do not speak of broth erly love. the true motives of Tolstoy's preaching of the "good. I repeat: it is neither faith nor Christianity that led Tolstoy to his negative attitude. Koznyshov. God is deliberately replaced by the "good. The love and compassion of which Tolstoy speaks en dlessly he does not and cannot have. even though he speaks of the pleasure of giving and raises compassion to the level of a principle. If t his could be regarded as a substitute for the religious habit of prayer. 8 Now we approach the philosophy of Tolstoy's antipode. Not because he is a less "good" man than all those who love and show comp assion in life and in books. These can do nothing. and it leads inevitably to the desire to destroy. destroys Anna Karenina. and science. With him. They must therefore be set aside. not only are they not beautiful. it seems to me.scene not to receive any help whatsoever but to make possible for Tolstoy his ac cusations and sermons. iron" man. for the sake of his preaching. as the admirers of Dickens and Turgenev say. not because he is a "hard. our nei ghbors would only gain by the change. and that Tolstoy and Nietzsche set out from the same point of view. This must be your supreme good. And yet the principle is by itself more or less strange and useless. who has always heard about the cruelty of the antich . He understands only too well how little help comes through the means that he has pr oposed. look at the works of famous painters. They obviously need all this . complete unbelief. art. Thes e intellectuals read Shakespeare and Dante. the end but a beginning. Tolstoy doubtless has no less love fo r men than Dickens or Turgenev and knows how to react to the misery of his neigh bor. but what he says to himself. they are completely bad and i mmoral. Tolstoy knows that his preaching cannot help the poor and the disinherited and that. but their conscien ces.and how very mu ch they need it! But Tolstoy will not allow it. V ronsky." as he himself later expressed it." and the "good" by fraternal love among men." Or again: "There is too little love and g oodness in the world to give any of it away to imaginary beings. The difference is that it is not enough for him to react to the sight of need and to throw alms to the poor. we quote the fol lowing words of Nietzsche: "The best means of beginning each day well is to thin k on awakening whether one cannot give joy to at least one person this day. for art. for science. he devotes hi mself to preaching and. As for the works of art that you admire. all the intelligentsia. both to it s defenders and to other men. it is only for a small num ber of intellectuals who listen to him. he does not say a word a bout faith in all his works. his ferocious hatred fo r the educated classes. as for the othe rs. he seeks something greater. the initial cause of the shaking of his soul was the disc overy of the great event that "God is dead. in this respect. It is not the formal "proofs" of his ideas that are important to us . If he nevertheless speaks.your duty. heartless. The difference is only that for him this "reaction" is not. in the name of a principle recognized as obligatory. assuring us that in just this lie s the essence of Christianity and the religious consciousness of our time. as with Count Tolstoy. and since he does not find it. as the many quotations from his works have shown. Wh at interests us here is not what Tolstoy says to his disciples. As pr oof that the statements "God is the good" and "God is dead" are equivalent. Because of them the people are plundered. to choke. Nietzsche. These are the fundamental ideas of What Is Art? And these are. when they read Tolstoy's articles. but rather the source from which flowed his preaching. strike up a sad and fruitless song.
then. to which his fate wa s bound. and believ ed with all his soul in salvation through love and that his entire fate depended on the results which this belief could bring him." Let him who has ears to hear listen! What does this "he has no ri ght" mean? Who has taken from the sick man this right? To what further degree ca n one still resign himself. as even above God. the idea is purely Tolstoyan. The reader will recall that his terrible sickness had forced him to renounc e not only all work but also all society. and the other heroes of the dramas of Sophocles and Aeschylus.rist and immoralist Nietzsche. often under our very eyes. Riehl. His experiences are not tied up with abstract questions. he reserves all his love for his neighbor. He seeks another refuge where he hopes to find salvation and to escape from the horrors which pursue him." Nietzsche himself knew the sources of his creativity better. he could only think and note down his thoughts in the form of short aphor isms. Professor Lichtenberg ends his exposition of Nietzsch e's literary activity with this na?ve remark: "." nevertheless take away from Nietzsche's works all their meaning a nd interest when they say that they are only "the experiences of a thinker. but with the questions of which our whole life is made. as God. as the philosophers say. only they remain si lent. but as if they were basic truths.is for him only a science "which deals with the basic errors of men. for tragedy. It is clear that it was not a question with him of "thoughts as experie nces.the book in which Nietzsche for t he first time freed himself from the metaphysics of Schopenhauer. among them A. in the pessimistic style .has laid such a punishment upon him? This consciousness of being deprived of all rights did not leave Nietzsche until the end of his life. harassed by terrible sei zures. the expe riences of the thinker? What. There is only this difference: a t that time Nietzsche had still not experienced any testings of fate. Always alone. does life mean? What happened to Nietzsche h appens to thousands of people. that it was his personal question. Oedipus. These two a phorisms are taken from Human. take the place of all of a man's life for him? The whole philosophy of Nietzsche must be considered an answer to this question. He understand s now that a great misfortune cannot be justified by the fact that one can recou nt it beautifully and sublimely. while recogn izing that "Nietzsche's books are not ordinary books" but "inward experiences." although he was a philosopher. Nevertheless. which had determined the content of his first work. outsi de the interests of other men. the moral problem.this typical model of learned causerie." "lived books. a man who takes account of his thoug hts and feelings. The art which embellishes human sorrow is no lo nger of any use to him. He said of the fundamental problem which concerned him above everything else." "of thoughts as experiences. humble himself? Everything has been taken away from a man. now occurs in his own soul. They do not know how." He no longer seeks enlightenment in this "scienc e. All Too Human . or do not dare.. which up until then had occurred only in the souls of Prometheus. these words must seem remarkable. full of talent.e. He hastens toward the "good" w hich he has become accustomed to consider as all-powerful. to raise their voices against princi ples established by other men who know nothing of their sufferings.and when madness came and put . Under such extraordinary circumstances "the power of the good" underwent a serious test.God knows why . was condemned to involuntary inactivity an d enforced solitude: are these. instead of turning toward God. to curse. i n them we find the explanation of all his future tendencies of mind. Nietzsche hi mself was so perplexed at the beginning by the hopelessness and humiliation of h is situation that he could not say anything but "the sick man has no right to be a pessimist. He suffered a painful illness. to protest against the blind force which .. and has he not even the right to complain. it seems to him that man will only gain if.. Can it. Perhaps they all react to their misfortune precisely in the same way as Nietzsche. he has been condemned to perpetual torture." He flees from his theory of the esthetic interpretation of tragedy at the mo ment precisely when he appears most to need it. Henceforth met aphysics. As th e reader can see. The professional philosophers. as able to replace ev erything. i. The Birth of Trage dy . and all the things connected with them.
as they now are and perhaps had to be: men of the moment. the dignity of mankind.or be even hides his silence by expressly ass enting to some plausible opinion. he received this answe r: "I do not belong to those whom one may question about their ¡®why. higher men a re to him who has once found them out. loses patience when the poet appears. in t he philosophy of practice and of life. to mention the more illustrious writers. often seeking forgetfulness in their soaring from a t oo-true memory. admire. in order to console the reader.an end to his conscious life. the multitude. Cassius an d Brutus. sensual. Nietzsche says of this scene: Before the aspect and virtue of Brutus Shakespeare prostrated himself on the gro und and felt unworthy and alien. rarely rises to ordinary honesty. Poe. 98] Such are the motives for creation that Nietzsche discovers in the great poe ts. who are always ready to warm themselves at the fire of Prom etheus and platonically envy his glorious fate while the vulture feeds on his li ver. t hat Nietzsche. It is much more im portant for us to determine the causes which led him to them.. It is high time to leave such commonplaces in which is manifested so grossl y the egoism of men. We must ask Nietzsche himself if we wish to know whether his fate was glori ous. The correctness of his surmises does not now interest us. like Rousseau. Twice he introduced into it a poet and twice poured upon him such impatie nt and extreme scorn that it sounds like a cry. childish. conceited. The reader will perhaps recall the scene in Julius Cae sar where the poet bursts into the tent of the quarreling chieftains.And who knows but that up until now. even Brutus. for the sake of whom one blesses and honors the fatherland. as he says. Kleist. frivolous and impulsive in their trust and distrust. Musset. and the visionaries have learned . When one of the disciples of Za rathustra once asked of him the explanation of his words. until they bec ome like the will-of-the-wisps around the swamps. which declare. often struggling against protracted disgust. like poets usually are. Gogol (I d o not dare mention greater names. like the cry of self-contempt. which makes them cold and forc es them to pine for gloria and devour "faith as it is" out of the hands of drunk en flatterers . in general. often taking revenge with their works for an inward defil ement (innere Besudelung). Byron. o btrusive. Bu t in another passage. with souls in which usually some fla w has to be concealed. Nietzsche does not dare. Leopardi. just the same happened: that the multitude worshipped a God . Musset. as a being who appears to be bursting with the possibilities of greatness. often lost in the mud and almost in love with it. 269] It is thus that the "psychologist" understands the life of great men which appea r so enviable to a Professor Lichtenberg. Here is what he tells us about the "tragedy of genius": He (the psychologist) listens with an unmoved face how people honor. the educated.reverence for "great men" and marvelous anim als.what a torment these great artists and. and glorify where he has seen . if not more terrible. . Poe. and Gogol are named. presents both in his personality and in his fate t he example of a tragic genius. and pretend to be stars (the p eople then call them idealists). [The Gay Science. a s urmise about Shakespeare. and one's own self.¡‾ Is my experience . even of moral greatness. already quoted above. for example. There is nothing i n his work which answers this question directly.] In this extract only Byron. [Ibid.and that the "God" was only a poor sacrificial animal! [Beyond Good and Evil. We may translate this back into the soul of the poet who wrote it. B rutus. Leopardi.. "I'll k now his humour when he knows his time. and in vi ew of whom one educates them. enthusiastic.away with the jiggling fool!" cries Brut us. Is this not a magnifice nt fate?" As a counterpart to Lichtenberg¡‾s comment we can set the words of Profess or Riehl.. pathetic. he inscribed testimony of this in the tragedy i tself. in order to reconcile them. Nietzsche continues: Those great poets.. ag ainst an endlessly returning phantom of unbelief. lov e. great reverence . and who nevertheless. in all gre at instances. together wi th great contempt. the earth. to whom one directs the young. he sang a song of victory. he expresses almost as terrible. but I have them in mind). for their part. Kleist. It may be that the paradox of his position bec omes so horrible that precisely where be has learned great sympathy.
290] These words can." Such or similar "becauses." Thus Spake Zarathustra]. we must sur ely consider his own intrusions into the secrets of great men as involuntary con fessions and discover in them those experiences that he did not wish to entrust to his disciples. ¡®Ah.. from the deed to the doer. This is one of the merits of Nietzsche's philosophy.i." [Ibid. 3] These voluntary and involuntary confessions show us under what pressure Nie tzsche had come to his "good. one such that it grows stron ger than everything that it does not destroy... "I d oubt that such pain 'improves' us but I know that it deepens us. provided that they lead to the goal .deduction from the work to the creator. which always says.. It is only great pain." and what he expected from morality when he declar ed that its problem was his personal problem. They manifest themselves only in singul ar perspicacity with regard to the psychology of other people. h is sympathy. Most of the "becauses" which usually follow the stat ements writers make are arguments ex post facto. to rid ourselves of all trust. to a certain degree. correct X. am I not infinitely more indebted to it than to my health? I owe to it a higher health. but in the former case his heart." come to such singular perspicacity? Its ground seems to be the fol lowing: he found in others what he saw in himself. fro m that terrible experience which leads him to the conviction that a sick man has no right to be a pessimist. His "knowledge" came from an inward experience. and perhaps many can say with Nietzsche. In the latter case his vanity perhaps suffers. but why would you also have as hard a time of it as I?¡‾ " [Beyond Good and Evil. gentleness.." as answer to a curious "why." says Nietzsche. Morality certainly had often to do with men placed in conditions such as those in which Nietzsche found himself. all arguments are regarded as good. that his fate was bound up with it . He learned to make distin ctions where others saw nothing.e. with such experiences. from every thought and valuation to the hidden necessity which commands them. And if Nietzsche says that we must carry into Shakespeare¡‾s soul Brutus¡‾ words to the poet. i. ve iling. But whence did this man. that forces us philosophers to descend into our final depth. for they believed t hat the fault lay not with morality but with him. it is that my vision is mo re sharpened for that most difficult and insidious kind of deduction in which th e majority of errors are made .e." others before him were of the opinion that the sick (unfortunate) man has no right to m ake morality responsible when it does not fulfill his hopes. Preface to the Second Edition. who lived behind "seve n solitudes. from the ideal to him who has need of it. Nietzsche him self sometimes attempts to "ground" his opinions by referring to history. that they present judgments legitimate and correct from the point of view of logic. I also owe to it my philosophy. as the teacher of great su spicion. but then his thoughts lose as much in interest and meaning as they g ain in outward organization. The conviction has been there f or a long time and it remains only to compel men to accept it.. such personal experiences. that the great writers take revenge for their "inwa rd defilement. Only great pain is the final liberator of the spirit. [The Gay Science. ostensibly because of their ancient date and his own bad memor y: "If I have any advantage over other psychologists. etc.] Nevert heless. which makes an X out of every U. the ante-penu ltimate letter." are never given i n direct form and can never be so given. philos ophy. all good-nature.but of yesterday?" ["Poets. If Nietzsche says "the sick man has no right to be a pessimist. which takes its time. a true. This will become clearer later ." What he tells us here about himself is the truth. that long slow pain by which we are bur ned as if with green wood. in which we have previously perhaps placed o ur humanity.." that where a God is venerated there is nevertheless really only a "poor sacrificial animal. and averageness. no one before Nietzsch e had dared openly to test the sovereign and universally recognized rights of th e good. "of being understood than of being misunderstood. "Every profound thinker is mo re afraid. clarify for the reader the meaning of the following passage from Nietzsche: And as far as my long illness is concerned.
Tolstoy never had to pay for his virtues. in N ietzsche. young..e. a God imagined by himself for solace and consolation. But death did not come. however. nor all the rest that filled Tolstoy's life.the good also loaded him with its gifts.Nietzsche. But he did pay for his vices. like a faithless friend. to recall a similar confessio n of Tolstoy's. Thes e words are for us testimony of inestimable value. the only God to whom he could still pray! He had no other God. i.e.like Pushkin's Musselman who murmur ed against God . in good healt h. then the good. naturally. But when everything was taken away from him.) Moreover. he had to live with the sad sounds of Faust's s ong: Entbehren sollst du. From his sinful life. for the same reason that he did not dare be a pessimist: for this God would have been. with the terrifying consciousness that his life was gone and could never return. who seek the one common point betwee n the German antichrist and the Russian Christian. nor dueling. falling asleep as a young man. psychologically speaking. He was not yet thirty years old when he underwent that terrible metamor phosis called sickness. he did not even dare think of another God. Here are his own words: "In my life. such as a great man s hould be according to the traditional image of the nature of genius. And here it may be interesting for us. nor debauchery. to the "educated" man.when we take into account in greater detail the causes that led Nietzsche to fo rswear the ideals of his youth. sollst entbehren! With what supplications he addressed himself to the good. He never offend ed a child.i. beginning with my drunkenness and debaucheries as a stu dent up to the duels and the war." The question. this polemic s eems anachronistic. as the pessimism of a sic k man cannot be the result of objective contemplation but only of an unfortunate personal fate. is much more competent. he draws a conc lusion diametrically opposite Nietzsche's: "Let every honest man recall his whol e earlier life and he will see that he has never suffered for having followed th e teachings of Christ. in the full and entirely ordinary sense of this term. not counted). we would only emphasize once mor e a most important circumstance. (Tolstoy knows this better than anyone else. We have already quoted these two of his aphorisms: "Who has not. as in other writers . All the most pai nful moments of my life.Voltaire." [Beyond Good and Evil. 92.. and that he cannot name any period of his life that was completely devoted to the service of virtue (the las t years. also abando ned him. he was as chaste as a young girl. when he was alone. at one time or another." Apart from the way in which Tolstoy today regards his past." And the good played him a bad trick. nevertheless. In our day. Almost in a moment . For the moment. as Tolstoy calls him. 9 Did Nietzsche really seek God? His passionate polemics against Christianity sufficiently testify to this. the . and very dearly. so long a s he had at his disposal everything in which men rejoice and from which they liv e . this polemic is not called forth. To the end of his life Nietzsche remained a vir tuous man. up to the sickness and the unnatural condition s in which I now live .all this belongs to a martyrdom that is borne in the nam e of the world. 132]. more important than the weigh ty biographical works in which honest and conscientious men weary themselves in representing Nietzsche as the stereotyped great man. He served the "good. sacrificed himself for the sake of his good name?" and "It is f or his virtues that one is punished best. perhaps even with somewhat exaggerate d zeal. awoke an old and brok en man. and he fulfilled everything that i s considered by men as duty or obligation. which has been hap py only from the point of view of the world. the world's teachings have caused s o many sufferings that they could have made a martyr of Christ. So long as he was robust. it is clear tha t he formerly sinned very willingly and frequently. Nietzsche knew neither drunkenness. so long as he could do without the consolations of the good . raises itself: can Tolstoy b e the judge of the meaning of virtue for men when he has himself sinned so much? It is clear that in this respect the "immoral" Nietzsche.
the refusal to take upon onese lf the obligations imposed by Christianity." [Beyond Good a nd Evil. It must be said : "Man has the right to believe.young Heine.by reasons foreign to religion. it remains unclear to them whether it is a ques tion of a new business or a new pleasure . healing. Nietzsche knew very well and could correctly evaluate the customary indiffe rence of educated people to religion. for unfortunate sick men and for those in jured by fate there are only rights. Up until now it has commonly been said that man is "obliged" to believe and to be religious." and the newspapers. However. he does not speak of himself but of others. to the point of na?vet¨¦. for instance. I find "free-thinkers" of many different kinds and origin.this paradoxical mystery of the supreme cruelty has been reserved for the gen eration that is now rising. of educated men. these good people. They feel themselves already fully occupied. who presently live in Germany apart from religion. even though he affirmed with such conviction that "the sick man has no right t o be a pessimist. so that they hardly know any more what purpose religions ser ve and only note their existence in the world with a kind of dull astonishment. a disgust by which he was ever more strongly seized . in future blessedness and justice? Was it no t necessary to sacrifice God himself. the su ffering that I feel. If he did not find it. w hat is still more important. politica l reasons. In the case of Nietzsche this expression must be turned around. they lack the passion that I bring to these things. "The free thinking of our scientific gentlemen and physiologists is on ly a joke in my eyes. Christianity interests him as a religion." In the history of modern times. as a doctrine which should resolve all his doubts. holy. Nietzsche reproaches Christianity most strongly for the spread of the idea of the equality of all men. even in the era of paganism. but above all a majorit y of those whose laboriousness from generation to generation has dissolved the r eligious instincts. this i s obviously not his own "fault. to be religious. fate. it is because conditions were such that precisely he could not find it. On the contrary." he says in one of his latest works. either with thei r business affairs or their pleasures. he wrote with so much erudition and grace about the birth of tragedy. for example . and their ¡®family obligations. The Antichrist. to social questions. Nietzsche was the first and p erhaps the only philosopher who was hostile to Christianity as a religion and. all belief in hidden harmony. in a hidden corner of the Alps. If he did not find it. we alre ady know from what sources he drew. we all know something of it already." The history of Nietzsche's at heism is the history of his search for this right. which should free him from disgust with life. Indeed. Quite the opposite: all the democratic tendencies by which the enemie s of state religions were generally influenced were alien to Nietzsche. Ch ristianity cannot lay any obligations. and out of cruelty to themselves to worshi p stone. of Germans in general. he says." There can obviously be no question here of the "bad will" that is so freely attributed to unbelievers. he remembered his own youth when Schopenha uer and Wagner were everything for him and when. Th roughout all times. gravity. Tolstoy's psychology a dmits only a single cause for unbelief: bad will. that . Here are the memories he preserved from that time. even though he remains otherwise basically indiff erent. 55]. As is his custom. Among those. and that Tolstoy so ofte n imputes to the intellectuals of our time. one of those who rejected the consolation of the go spel at a time when nothing in the world was more necessary to him. for example. all hope.for it is impossible. Such was Nietzsche's atheism: it was not a duty neglected but a ri ght lost. what is more. he speaks of this matter often and at lengt h and apparently with passion. they say. nothingness? To sacrifice God for nothingness . not to speak of the "Fatherland. Nietzsche understood this only too well. under the roaring of the cannon which accompanied the terrible tragedy of 1870. Upon him and all those who are in a similar situation. Obviously this explanation cannot be applied to Nietzsche. Nietzsche employed all the power of his soul to find a faith.¡‾ it seems that they do not have any time l eft for religion: and above all. stupidity. men sacrificed to God all that was most precious to them: what still remains to us that we might bring it as a sacrifice to God? And here is the answer that he found: "Was it not nec essary in the end for men to sacrifice everything consoling.
and more and more night? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we n ot hear the noise of the grave-diggers who are burying God? Do we not smell the divine putrefaction? . that he had no time at all to concern himself with the question of religion and therefore adopted the benevolently scornful attitu de toward the question of God common among scholars. There is no God. to a histo ry higher than any history that has been until now!" Here the madman fell silent and looked again at those who listened to him: they.it has not yet come to the ears of men. and boundlessly foolish na?vet¨¦ . "I come too early. because of it. forwards.adorable." This tremendous event is still on its way. is now concentrated complet ely and exclusively on what he once deemed hardly worthy of attention." This relates to Nietzsche's own past. did he get lost?" said one. But here is the conclusion. As last he threw his lantern on the ground so that it broke into bits and was extinguished. bey ond. and above which he himself has developed . for the discovery of which it may be envied by other ages: and how much na?vet¨¦ . crying ceaselessly: "I seek God! I seek God!" As many of the people who were assembled there were of those who do not believe in God. the arrogant little dwarf and mob-man. in the go od conscience of his tolerance. ." he then said. of learned men. His thought. what sacred games shall we h ave to devise? Is not the magnitude of this act too great for us? Must we not ou rselves become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been any grea ter event. Lightning and thunder need time . of ¡®modern id eas. the most murderous of all murderers? The holiest and mightiest that the world possessed until now has bled to death under our knife. the light of the stars needs time. And further: "It is rare that pious people. and those who will be born after us belong.you and I! We. and is trav elling . the industriously alert head-and-hand-worker of ¡®ideas¡‾. drawn now from his new ex periences: "Every era has its own divine type of na?vet¨¦. "Why. sideways. he pro voked a great deal of amusement. "Has he stray ed away like a child?" said another.So they cried and laug hed among themselves.Who will wipe the blood from us? With what wate r could we cleanse ourselves? What expiatory rites. all of us. in the unsuspecting. God is dead: this message that he had once accepted so calmly at second hand now awakens in him a mystical horror. almost charitable serenity as regards religion. with which t here is sometimes mixed a slight disdain for the ¡®uncleanness¡‾ of spirit that he takes for granted wherever anyone still professes to belong to the church.we. for he speaks here of others. or merely churchgoing people. simple certainty with which his instinct treats the religious man as a less valuable and inferior type. by his whole profession he i nclines to a lofty. are his murderers! But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to erase the entir e horizon? What did we do when we loosened this earth from its sun? Whither is i t moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Do we not dash on c easelessly? Backwards. with art. childlike.he. deeds need time even after they are done. can realize how muc h is required by a German scholar in the way of good will. "Or does he keep himself hidden? Is he afra id of us? Has he taken a sea-voyage? Has he emigrated?" .for even Gods putrefy! God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! How shall we console ourselves . t . as through infinite nothingness? Does not empt y space breathe upon us? Has it not become colder? Is night not coming on ceasel essly. of Germans i n general. before. were silent and stare d at him in astonishment.is involved in the scholar's belief in his superiority. "I am no t yet at the right time. in all directions? Is there still an above and below? Do we not stray. Here are the words he now uses to spe ak of it: Have you not heard of the madman who lit a lantern on a bright morning and ran t o the market-place. one might say arbitra ry will. whic h formerly was so completely taken up with theoretical pessimism. The madman leaped into the midst of them and pierced them with his glances: "Where has God gone?" he cried. too. 58] Nietzsche's writings are filled with similar reflections. "I will tell you! We have kill ed him . with philologi cal investigations. to take the problem of religion seriously.one should go to church only to spoil one's good mood.¡‾" [Beyond Good and Evil.
brilliant edifice of his preaching. Nietzsche or Tolstoy? Which is better to hide one's doubts an d turn to men with a "doctrine" in the hope that this will suffice them and that they will never encounter the questions which oppressed the teacher. Here only he wh o wishes to choke in himself the voice of doubt will thunder and lash out. could nevertheless not belie ve. either for himself or others. We know that even moral authority is. This deed is still further from them than the most distant star . of future happiness and justice. no. It is clear that he had more than enough love and that he understood only t oo well what God could have been for him if only it had been given him to believ e. or to expr ess everything openly? And what if these questions rise of themselves among the disciples? The disciples naturally must not speak of what the master suppressed: what a remarkable company of conscientious hypocrites with clear speech and unc lear heads must result from it! Must not such a lie. in order to learn to understand why the roa d to faith.o be seen and heard. instead. re peat the strange and incomprehensible words that are preached to them.to be frank . And if Nietzs che. refused its se rvice where it would have been welcomed as gospel. we cannot find in this an occasion for scathing preachments.into a statement th at cannot in any way be proved. who found himself precisely in this situation. is now barre d to those who have most need of it and seek it so passionately.he who had once declared that men have too little love to give any away to fantastic beings. Who is right.s et itself against the new doctrine. su ffering the same fate as he. and this is demanded of men as their duty in the name of various things that are called by beautiful names. We wish that people should beli eve as the first Christians once believed. It seems that it does not dep end on the will of man to believe or not to believe. it becomes clear that the entire task Tolstoy undertook was not fulfilled by him." which Tolstoy wished to make obligatory for all.in short. Only such a faith do we value. do not find in themselves the courage to utter thei r own speech. took upon himself the right to lash them for their unbelief. fulfill this great task. though honest and well-inte ntioned. outwardly docile but with horror in their souls. by sword and fire. . Now it is different. once so easy and accessible and. however. in any case. This is w hat is called resignation. it is obvious that no alien influence was necessary to lead Nietzsche to beli ef. for those hundreds and thousands of "Nietzsches" who. for those who. that he shunned the obligation to lead men to religion and. All the comparisons th at came to his mind appeared to him insufficient to impart to others the horribl e inner feeling of devastation that he experienced when he saw and heard that Go d had been murdered . even to Christianity . art. 125] So Nietzsche speaks about the nature of his atheism. nevertheless. when science. But this is not only unjust. here we must be silent and listen. avenge itself to the seventh generation? Does anyone need martyrs of a sham faith? There was a time when men were led to religion. But Nietzsche does not hid e this (he hides other things). while Tolstoy believes that it is possible not t o tell his disciples of the emptiness of his heart above which he erected the from the literary point of view . or . On the contrary . possible. At the same time. .and yet they have done it ! [The Gay Science. so that others may live more peacefully for a longer or shorter time. He himself knows what he needs. W here Nietzsche lacks faith. And. official authority. but it is nec essary for his readers. when men employed torture to make the m deny Christ. Tolstoy also lacks faith. it is also impossible. But i s this necessary? For Tolstoy. everything . But is this just? In the final analysis this demand has only one ground: to close the mouth of the unfort unate. in this connection. And I repeat what I have already said before: thi s happened not because Tolstoy did not understand what people expected of him bu t because he could not. and thereby Tolstoy's funda mental idea that man has only to wish it in order to find a moral support in lif e is changed from an axiom into a theory. The "religious consciousne ss of our time. an impermissible instrument. he did not attain to this belief and gave up all his hope s of hidden harmony.
verkurze meine Qual. It is not only in our time and at Nietzsc he that people are indignant. and the prescription of physical work that he recommends as a universal panacea. th e fact that he closed his eyes to the question he had raised. Psalmen singend War auch nicht lust mein Zeitvertreib. It is equally certain that one can. not only physical work but also every other kind. in which one could still see the levity of a man who did not know why religions really exist. appears far more s erious and important. the ordinary "temptations" that lead men to atheism do not exist for him. Quite the contrary. It has long been know n that work. If th ere occurs in Heine up to the last moment of his life a movement toward and away from faith.) And here again are some words that arose in the midst of the continuous torture of his sickness." Their reaction would have been understandable if they h ad attacked the poems of Heine¡‾s youth. some decades ago men were indignant at Heine becau se of his "godlessness. singing psalms Would not be exactly my pastime. But people. is especially valuable to us because of its complete frankness. this is not for us an occasion for indignation . with no hope of c ure. temporarily repress every kind of spiritual doubt. if in him resignation is ever again displaced by protest. especially the Ge rmans. can seem to us nothing other than a skillful . It must be clear to everyone that unbelief cannot come from a "bad w ill" when it is a question of a paralytic. w hen it is a question of God. die Allweisheit. when death was his only hope: O Gott. the state of Heine¡‾s mind is partic ularly instructive. perfect justice. His Levin . which so violently angers the German historians of literat ure. der zu helfen vermag . Damit man mich bald begrabe. chained to his bed. etc. so muss man auch seine Pers?nlichkeit. die Allg¨¹te. His existence outsid e the world. is man's first and most pressing duty. To us the fact that Tolstoy turned his back on his personal task. But it is not this purely practical question that concer ns us here. even such thoughts. (Sitting on clouds. (If one desires a God who can come to one's aid. His e pilogue to Romanzero. He knows what it means to seek faith and not find it. the fortunate father of a family .young.. They contain precisely that about which one must be silent. for this.Tolstoy's attempt to delimit the realm of the permitted in art through the introduction of the concept of a good and a bad art can obviously lead to nothin g. will be able to suppress the sufferin gs accumulated in them. must accept his proclam ation that "good" and "brotherly love" are God? Must he not tell himself that th e indignation he pours out on unbelievers. are not permissible. From the genuinely religious. perfect wisdom. u. seine Ausserweltlichkeit und s eine heiligen Attribute. healthy. s.und das ist doch die Hau ptsache -. Reflecting on the life to come. die Allgerechtigkeit. Has Tolstoy the right to demand of us that we. whet her it be that of Tolstoy or of Aristotle.perhaps also unskillful . Heine says: Wenn man nun einen Gott begehrt. his Matr atzengruft. one must also accept His personality. this means cannot even pretend to novelty. and precisely when he utters his blasphemous sarcasms. and His holy attributes . Men speak and always will speak of what fills their souls and no poetic. he wrote: Auf Wolken sitzend. higher point of view.was close to suicide because he could find no God. and this is of co urse the chief thing. annehmen. distracts us from thinking.especially not when we firmly believe ourselves in possession of the truth. emotion b y mockery. For such a man faith is what he needs more than anything else in the world. w.means of evading his own doubts? 10 After all. through indignation. But Heine speaks of it even on the eve of his death in verse and in p rose. wit hout doubting the good faith and sincerity of his words. .) From the standpoint so loudly represented by Tolstoy such words. were not willing to forgive Heine precisely for his later works.perfect goodness.
dass ich staune. o Gott. the unavoidable means of finding again the teacher and the doctrine." ["The Bestowing Virtue. It is no longer given us to find without having sought. I quote these short fragments from Heine¡‾s last period of creativity only to i llustrate the character of the religious consciousness of our time. The religio . I might end by becoming a Catholic. Our times are different in this respect. had its birth. So werd¡‾ ich am Ende katholisch. Wie andre gute Christen O Miserere! Verloren geht Der beste der Humoristen. which c an be accepted or rejected according to one's wish. of modern art. When Dante reached the middle of his l ife he lost his way in a dark forest and sought to come out of it. which Tolstoy did not believe it possible to include in the shor t list of permitted books. which Dante expe rienced after having passed through that door. In earlier. Ob deiner Inkonsequenz. und raubst Ihm jetzt seine gute Laune. a stage of development is formulated which has bec ome for modern man unavoidable. distant times only a very few knew of such fateful enigmas of life. One can say of Shakespeare the same thing as of Dante. the others received their faith free of charge. So do all believers: therefore all belief is of so little account ."] Denial is for Nietzsche t he only. will I return to you. In the words of Zarathustra quoted above. Du schufest den frohlichsten Dichter. An d this denial is the source of modern poetry. it has nothing to do with the will. And now rob him of his good humor. shorten my suffering That I may soon be buried. as Tolstoy in his time renounc ed. and only when you have all denie d me. which is hidden behind Heine¡‾s humor. Nimmt nicht der traurige Spass em End¡‾. If the sad joke does not come to an end. his bes t creativity also (that of his second period) arose out of the need to reject th e old doctrines in order to reconquer them again by his own powers. I will then fill your ears with wailing Like other good Christians O Miserere! Lost Is the best of humorists. as becomes a preacher. You created the gayest of poets. Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves.Du weisst ja. He walked thr ough the terrible gate whose inscription has made all who have read it in Dante' s language shudder: Lasciate ogni speranza vol ch'entrate (Abandon all hope. It is here that The Divine Comedy. Permit that I be astonished. which gave birth to the tragedies of Shakespeare and to the novels and preaching of Tolstoy. Tolstoy. represents this consciousness as something absolute. as we have seen from th e confessions of Heine and Nietzsche. Der Schmerz verdumpft den heitern Sinn Und macht mich melancholisch. dass ich kein Talent Zum M?rtyrtume habe. Ich heule dir dann die Ohren voll. you who enter here). Pain dulls the serene mood And makes me melancholy. At your inconsistency. Erlaube. 0 God. But. O God. We must renounce. We must understand all the horror of the situation of which Nietzsche speaks with the words of a madman. You know well that I have no talent For martyrdom. More is demanded of us. Zarathustra says to his disciples: "You have not sought yourselves: here di d you find me.
t he majority. to Goethe." "the end. Those three whole days. and it was only now. has told us that even at the time when he had completely worked out his plan to save mankind through work and subjection to rules. Tolstoy himself. "Love your neighbor and work. moral authority sufficed. when he heard someone say "It is ended." were. t hreats. even among "educated" men. And therefore art. It no longer exists. even more. in the fact that "he sudden ly recognized the true direction"? What answer is there to this question? . Not of all. Some enjoy the "poisoned conscience" or "The Robber Murderer Tschurkin" and find the ir satisfaction in works of this kind. But the entire first half of the story explains to us why Ivan Ilyc h's life had not been good. that there was no return. while Macbeth." "the final end. to the Greek tragedies. doubts shook his soul no less tha n they did the souls of Heine and of Nietzsche. that he could not pass through this hole. more is now demanded. based upon highly unimportant signs. whose task it is to satisfy the higher demands of the human spirit. He felt that his torture came from the fact that he was sunk in a black hole but. In reality. and that "our" problems were at that time also his. But this was all the more terrible! What good now his clear-sightedness." These words contain the fundamental t heme of the story. he is coming closer and closer to what so terrified him. obviously. seeking in these the solution of the quest ions that torment them. knowing that he cannot be saved and that each moment. if only the language and the environment where the action takes place were not strange to h im. "Deat h is ended. when all his accounts with l ife were ended? What advantage to him in the fact that something began "to shine " at the bottom of the pit into which he had fallen.. There are many works in the realm of cultivated art that would be accessible to any peasant. he had observ ed too much the amenities of conventional life. He struggled like a man condemned to death struggles in the hands of the exec utioner. Here is how he portrays the last moments of Ivan Ilych: "He understood that he was lost." What does this mean? "That there was no longer any horror of death because there was no longer any death."To protect them (those around him) and himself from suffering!" And is that all? Th e last words of Ivan Ilych." that work which so mys teriously broke through the ostensible harmony of his religious sentiments. the final end had come. he writhed in that black sack into which the invisible. that he felt for the first time that he had forfeited the best in life. Instead of death there was light.us consciousness is also obtained in different ways. despite all his s truggles.. His time has still not come. that the end. one who admires the "poisoned conscience" and finds Shakespeare boring would act more wisely if he followed h is taste. he had attached too much importa nce to common goods. popular art and cultivated art." That is not so. in "The Death of Ivan Ilych. Listen to them carefully. still accepts the existence of religion with a kind of dull astonishment. Ivan Ilych was prevented from getting through the hole by his conviction that his life had been good. when tragedy approached." But no one asks this of him . while others turn to Dante. Where formerly preaching. What expressions did Tolstoy choose ? "Lost. can also not be accessible to all. Prometheus are boring to many educated people who only go to presentations of classical plays because of their supposed educationa l value or something else of the sort. Tolstoy says that "the art of the upper classes has sepa rated itself from the entire people's art and thus two kinds of art have come in to existence. This justification of his own life held him back and did not let him escape. to Shakespeare. He had taken too good care of himself. during which he had no consciousness of time." "the black sack." How does Tolst oy explain in his inward soul this terrible tragedy of an innocent man? His answ er is the preachment. and he should be allowed to enjoy what pl eases him. This is a purely external division. Do they not recall the mood of Maeterlinck¡‾s L¡‾Intruse? It is true that we find in Tolstoy at the end of the story a kind of answer to the question. King Lear. It was this more than anything else that to rmented him. insurmountable force had pushed hi m." etc.
is one of the most prec ious gems of Tolstoy's work. ready to throw oursel ves down head first if no answer is given us with regard to Ivan Ilych. O n the contrary. in his terminology. why did He give us ears that heard Him b adly? If there was mud in our ears. How He raged at us. Did not this God wish also to be a judge? But one who loves loves regard less of reward and recompense. you old priest. well! who put it there? "Far too much did not succeed with Him. however. He became old and soft and mellow and pitiful. "When he was young.this was a sin against good taste. But that He took revenge on his pots and creations becau se they turned out badly . He is gone. that there can be guilt against morality but not against God. better to be a fool. one way or the other.] So that the reader may more clearly realize how Nietzsche understood this G od whom he had to kill. Let us hear how the pope answe rs Zarathustra: "¡®O Zarathustra. in His chimney corner. indeed. you are more pious than you be lieve. ¡®Away with such a God! Better to have no God. After we have read "Ivan Ilych" we are not at all interested in knowing how to save ourselves from his terrible fate. It is a question here of th at God who is identical with the "good" and who serves the preacher as a screen behind which he hides himself from his disciples. fretting because of His we ak legs. as Tolstoy has asked up till now. because we understood Him badly! But why did He not speak more clearly? "And if the fault lay in our ears. "He was also indistinct. there was something of your type in him. emphasize so much the word "guilty. He himself does not ask it of himself.He was equivocal. more like a grandfather than a father.. No preaching can help him. He was contrary to the taste of my ears and eyes. better to be God oneself. We shall continue to ask. Some God in you has converted you to your ungodliness. because morality is created by men but God is not. Here is a momentous passage of the conversation between Zarathustra and the old pope who remained "after the death of God" without employment. with such unbelief. Worse than that I should not like to say against Him. world-weary. but He . "I love everything that looks bright and speaks honestly. "Well! At all events. "The Death of Ivan Ilych. The old pope relates the death of God in these terms: "Whoever praises Him as a God of love does not think highly enough of love itself. shriveled. this wrathsnorter. Is it not your pie ty itself that no longer lets you believe in God?¡‾" [Ibid. It is a question mark so black and strong that it s hines through the layers of the new and radiant colors of that preaching by whic h Tolstoy wished to make us forget his former doubts. thus and also otherwise." and threaten us with excommu nication by morality." Thus Spake Zarathustra] Let not the reader take offense at these words. < "At last. "There He sat. and not only do we not wish to climb to the highe st rung of the ladder of culture but are." Here Zarathustra interrupts him: "You. that God out of the Orient.¡‾ " ["Out of Service. have you seen this with yo ur own eyes? It could have happened thus. We know that it i s not so. by God. will-weary." as an artistic creation.you know it. and one day He choked on His all too great pit y. they always die many kinds of death. on the contrary. There is also good taste in piety: this at last said. He was harsh and vengeful a nd built Himself a hell for the amusement of His favorites. I shall quote one of his last aphorisms. b etter to set up destiny on one's own account. in vain did he reno unce his past. When gods die . old pope. but most like a tottering old grandmother. with this potter who had not learne d his craft thoroughly. the priest type . where he define s the moral order of the world: "What does ¡®the moral order of the world¡‾ mean? That t . with Belinsky we demand that account be taken of every victim of history and of circumstances. which means.
e. listen to Nietzsche. what sacrifice they had made in renouncing faith . We are all too much accustomed to the theory of natural evolution. what is strange to them but what they will later recognize as good. for those who do not close their eyes. But others have other dreams and do not need Tolstoy's tutelage at all. He always did what appeared necessary to him at the moment. he wishes to shame them. as Heine put it.e. the idea that presents our present world to us as naturally evolved from nebulae an d considers man a link in the chain of evolution. could find a just ification somewhere in the universe? He knew that such a point of view would be called anthropocentric and that it testifies to the na?ve ambition of an infinit ely small particle to be the final goal of the world. a God who. the final end. which are the most p recious things in the world to them. that men like Ivan Ilych should renounce the common goods." [The Antichrist. The only thing that he knew clearly is wh at men had lost in killing God. before life teaches them that it is not the degree of pleasantness which must measure the value of human existence. shows through all the eloquent and pathetic phrases of his preaching. all the more so b ecause he did not have anything that he could set against the "positive" truths to satisfy his new curiosity sufficiently." had come. then." a return. plow. that the value of a people or of an individual is measured by ho w much or how little the will of God is obeyed. is impossible. completely imbued with the idea of evolution." This question. i. frighten them. he is no lo nger willing "to conclude where he could surmise.. to force them to do what at the moment they do n ot need.here exists once and for all a will of God concerning what man must do and what he must not do. Now it is the moral life and preaching that he needs above a ll else.. He breaks the old limits. even partially. terrify them." . by what right does he call his morality God and thereby bar the way to those who really seek God? Zarathus tra¡‾s conversation with the pope already shows us how little the God who is the goo d could satisfy Nietzsche and how the image of a "judging God" made him recoil b efore the customary religious conceptions." and he openly admits that "Zarathustr a too is a poet. 26] This is the view that Tolstoy recommends to his disciples. in order to force them t o observance of the rule. It required many years before Nietzsch e decided to renounce the prejudices of scientific positivism. at the age of fifty. He could. In that case. As an altogether modern man. In this there is nothing surprising: Tolstoy always had the possibility of "improving" himself." have meant to him in this situation? Tolstoy experienced this himself. out of its power. i. in which there is no future but only the past? What could the formula." that the "end. and mode rn man must strain all the faculties of his soul to the highest degree to tear h imself. he wrote "The Death of Iva n Ilych. Let us. 11 Of God. he will tel l us all that Ivan Ilych would have told us if he had been destined to remain fo r fifteen years in the state in which he found himself at the moment when he und erstood that "all was lost. dress like a peasant. these protect him from painful dreams. He thre atens them with the whole arsenal of punishments created by traditional morality . But wh at would he have done if he had suddenly found himself in Nietzsche's situation. such a God as he who has understood all the horror of his own helpl essness needs. Tolstoy himself did not live thus. we repeat. Tolstoy wishes t hat his disciples accept a law of which they do not know what purpose it serves. and occupy himself with good works. the misfortune of his life." for "they know too little." but he feels that "the poets lie too much.of such a God Nie tzsche obviously could not even dream. in which an "improvement. "is able to help" . But Tolstoy doe s not wish to speak of it openly. "the good is God. how could he have dared think that his personal situation.
Truly. And when I looked arou nd. Then I flew backward. and I am exiled from fatherlands and motherland s. Thus I came to you. ["The Land of Culture. and good d esire. and there will be no occasion for anger t hat the fog of death approaches. the undiscovered. "Here.for what other honey was available to him? . in its own way. Thus I love only my children's land. if not a source of life.Indeed. and thus no one ignorant of hi s personal fate could suspect him of insincerity.This is why in all his works. I had to laugh. even the latest. Let your last movement be a movement towards li ght.is all the more s uspect the more insistent it is. and arrived in the land of culture. homeward . that nature which rules the whole world by the law of pleasure: t he very life whose summit is in old age has also a summit in wisdom. The whole world praises wisdom and science. in that sof t ray of the sun of a continuous spiritual joy. while my foot still trembled. With fifty patches painted on faces and limbs. and that the heavy clouds of sadness must serve y ou as a breast from which you will draw milk for your refreshment? It is only wh en old age comes that you will notice to what degree you have listened to the vo ice of nature. in th . you present-day men sat there to my astonishment. you will encounter on the crest of life: nature has willed it so . despite the task he had assumed. An d with fifty mirrors around you. On the other side are railleries against positivism and utilitarianism and against all the tendencies and views that are related to these systems.I said. are the present-day men. you men of the present time. be could not be anything but a pessimist? This praise of wisdom and of old age in a man who at thirty was obliged to be wise and old . in the remotest sea: f or it do I bid my sails seek and seek. one can observe the most var ied influences. and a mockery. is the home of all the paint pots!" . and your final exclamation a cry of joy at knowledge.. But he found that science could give him nothing... For the first time I brought an eye to see you. both the one and the other. In the first period after his illness he still hoped to find satisfaction in pur e science.and alwa ys more quickly. Never had my eye seen anything so motley-c olored. however. On the one side are natural evolution and the most determined at tack against every attempt to represent man as something other than the accident al product of the fortuitous play of irrational forces . statements that surpass in boldness the most audacious dreams of mankind. at least a source of for getfulness capable. which flattered your play of colors and repeate d it!. lo. indeed. too empty of al l pleasures? So you have still not learned that there is no honey that is sweete r than the honey of knowledge.this was the tribute he brought to that contemporary philosophy that he had absorbed with his mother's milk and the result of the conviction that the sick man has as little right to b elieve as to be a pessimist. Here is what Zarathustra te lls of his experience in this respect: Too far I flew into the future. I myself am the frightened bird that once saw you naked and without paint. he really al so hoped that "knowledge" could choke in him his longing for the life that had b een lost and that it would be. I would rather be a day-laborer in the nether-world and among t he shades of the past! . Here Nietzsche was not afraid of human perspica city. fatter and fuller than you are the inhabitants of the nether-world.. time was my only contemporary. old age and wisdom. to w hom my heart lately impelled me. of stilling the hunger of the tormented hear t. Perhaps. I was seized with horror. I laughed and laughed." Thus Spake Zarath ustra] It was in this way that Nietzsche's hopes that he had put in science. and I flew away when the skelet on winked at me. But what happened with me? Even t hough fear seized me. He who would strip veils and wrappers and paints and gestures off you w ould have only enough left to scare the birds. Truly. with longing in my heart I came. and my heart also. Is there any need to say how far these words were from the true state of Nietzsc he's soul? That they were only a mask to hide the fact that. It is then that the hour will sound. Alien to me. He wrote: Do you think that such a life with such a goal is too fatiguing.
Science appeared t o him now like a skeleton. the clarity and perfection of scientific systems offend him. though he no longer valued all these as in times past when he took science for wisdom. of which he had spoken so eloquently in Human. and does not understand how to generalize or unify his individual obs ervations. in investigation of the external world. even though he felt so earne st? Is it surprising that later he should have characterized Mill as "offensive clarity. At least there has not been until now a single philosopher who did not bind himself. he went.. but not a philosopher. To the scientists he came with the best intentions. when the contradictions of the philosoph ical theory are not smoothed over by an experienced hand. were fulfilled. too impatient. what is best in our life. however. of course. Nietzsche has his faults. for us to hear what a philosopher says who dares to speak without turning constantly backward to see what he has alrea dy said. He cann ot understand how men can be interested in logical systems. It is most interesting. that scien ce which was already here before him and which he hoped could assuage the hunger of his soul. shall modern man go? Where shall he seek salvation? And will he not hear from the scie ntists that their science stands above everything else in the world? And is it n ot natural for a man in Nietzsche's situation to seek salvation in science after having learned the news.e sweet honey of knowledge. It will be said that the fault was his own : why did he expect from science what it could not give? But where. to some idea. i." that "God is dead?" Wherever men can seek. They would say at best that Nietzsche renounced scienc e not because he could get nothing from it but because he did not know how to ge t anything from it. then. talent. But p erhaps that for which the learned reproach him is his highest excellence. after having "seen and heard. But the lat ter case is almost inconceivable. By knowledge. the materia lists. These scienti sts." lacks the capacity to s ynthesize. without any desire to criticize. which had been revealed to him under such extraordinary circ umstances. bang ing the door behind me. He assured himself that there was no honey sweeter than the honey of knowledge. hoping that the "vivifying milk" of which he had so great need would at last flow from what he called "the hanging clouds of sadness~" Is it surprising that he was obliged to laugh. Definitiveness and systematic form are very w orthwhile when they come of themselves." With his attitude toward science Nietzsche offended professional scientists of all categories. It is true. And yet he had come to it with the best of intentions. and remain indifferent toward that which terrified him so. or mock. clear-sightedness. For them Nietzsche is a brilliant write r. wherever he could hope to find a refuge.e. Hence the special tone that the professors have taken in speaking of Nietzsche. as customarily happens . and the idealists. test. He is a "forger of aphorisms. being too vehement. who into old age did not see above their scientific work the tragedy of our earthly existence. on th e contrary. too impetuous. their relation to him has the character of benevolent condescension. seemed to him like infants. on the contrary. out of fear of not arriving at that logical unity which every philosoph y claims as conditio sine qua non. He preferred being a day laborer in the kingdom of sh adows to living with men of our time. he sought. Under these conditions theory obliges one to speak not of what he sees and feels . "I left the house of the scientists. without feeling that with which he himself had suffered so g reatly. He lived through some years in which he refreshed himself with pos itivism. perhaps most necessary. for the sake of synthesis. All T oo Human. which exc ludes any thought of the possibility that Nietzsche's experiences could serve as a touchstone for the claims of science. that like every man." Spencer and Darwin as mediocre Englishmen? He could not deny their gif ts. Now. for he turned away equally from the positivists. he meant science. and feared nothing so much as to be deceived in these hopes. but. And while valuing his talents as a publicist and allowing for the tragedy of his situation . show themselves to be internally impossible.
But there lay a man! And there! The dog leaping. Nietzsche only ra rely had recourse to these measures. you do not know. We receive fin ally a total impression.now i t saw me coming . "What is best i n yourself. as. sees and feels. If he happened to experience dif ferent. Where now was the dwarf? And the gateway? And the spider? And all the whisp ering? Had I dreamt? Had I awakened? Suddenly I stood alone between wild crags. without taking a ccount cf what he himself would have wished to have stand out or what he himself valued most in it. in any case.had I ever heard a dog cry . We wish that the possible degree of consistency should come forward of itself as the result of w hat a man thinks. The elimination of contradictions. If the logical infallibility of the theoreticians really testified to the t ruth of their doctrines. It requires labor. not his constructions. He wrote dow n his thoughts and impressions as they came to him without adapting them to a sy stem. according to Nietzsche's own statement. We will h ave before us not a complete system but rather a complete man. the philosopher who possesses a fixed and formed theory ceases to see and fee l everything that does not enter into his framework. not from the nature of the phenomena in question (espec ially when it is a question of difficult and complex problems). which is obviousl y not the same thing. It is the thoughts and feelings he experienced t hat are important to us." Others can discover it more easily. each of which is constructed with equal consistency. not a logical but rather a psychological one. f or example. indeed. however. But. Thus science. many things will be left outside the system which should not under any circumstances be left outsid e. In order that the reader may appreciate Nietzsche's spir itual state in the period when he pilgrimaged from one holy place to another in the vain hope of at last finding repose. What he needed was not to be found in science.then it howled again. at best insofar as he tried to add purely external reasons to his views. and the best thing is to ignore them." he suddenly heard the terrible howling of a dog. From the simple fact that we know a whole series of abso lutely exclusive theories. In this respect Nietzsche is freer than the others. on which Nietzsche had founded such great hopes and which sho uld have taken for him the place of all the joys of life. as has already been noted. For. and cried: . Even mor e. often contradictory states of the soul and was not afraid to hold fast t o both. so much the better for us. whether one wishes it or not. and he owes this in par t to the aphoristic form which he perhaps adopted against his will. That is why the reproaches raised by the professors against Nietzsche can be justified only in very small measure. to experience it as irksome. seems to us dangerous and risky for. all the consolations o f religion. When a philosopher is too consistent and convincing. During Zarathustra¡‾s conversation with the dwarf about "the ete rnal return. dreary in the dreariest moonlight. then the absence of system in Nietzsche would obviously be a grave fault in his philosophy.but of what does not contradict his conviction that has been admitted. bristling. And for the reader it is obviously much more profitable to do the work of synthesizing for himself. we see in this almost a danger of seduction and become all the more guarded the more certainly we know that he has not procured his logic for n othing and. but one has in exchange for it the certainty that Nietzsche did not artificially prune his thoughts and did not inv ent untruths out of fear of being inconsistent. we shall quote a short fragment of Thus Spake Zarathustra. we can learn not to value too highly this side of the philosophic conception and even. whining . if it no longer appears possible that this sys tematic assumes that it comprehends absolutely everything that is accessible~ to philosophical investigation. gave him nothing and could give him nothing. If we would represent to ourselves the genera l character of a man s experiences. his philosophical reflections on the words bonum and malum that crit icism has so zealously refuted. But we know what the secret of philosophica l "wholeness" consists. we must ourselves know how to separate the p ermanent and the important from the accidental and unimportant.
and it may be that this was the most agonized page of his agonized history. My hand tore at the serpent and tore: . You will be a heretic to yourself.. Wohlan! "Hier ist der Blick offen in diese dunkel Werkst?tte. and whoever of yo u who have embarked with cunning sails on unexplored seas! You enjoyers of enigm a! Solve for me the enigma that I then saw. schillernde Licht gew?hnen..je .in vain! It did not pull the serpen t out of his throat.. could only repeat after Macbeth the terrible words. Nietzsche wished to fill his existence with "love of neig hbor" in order thus to hide from the terrible visions that visited him. I shall quote still another passage in which appear with special sharpness all the characteristics of the "categori cal imperative" which up until now. my loathing. and a scoundrel. and a divi ner. Warten Sie noch einen Augenblick. and you would wish to make a virtue of this. Had I ever seen so much loathing and pale terror on a face? He had perhaps gone to sleep. if you have not fi rst been reduced to ashes!" ["The Way of the Creating One. mein Herr Vorwitz und Wagehals: Ihr Auge muss sich erst an dieses f alsche." Thus Spake Zarathustra]. a decisive importance for it testifies to the categori cal weight of the imperative.for help in this way? And truly. or reflections on the go od or on science. Then there cried out of me: "Bite! Bite! Its head off! Bite!" . So! Genug! Reden Sie jetzt! Was geht da un ten vor? Sprechen Sie aus. the like of what I saw I had never seen before. and a fool.so it cried out of me. "You flee from yourselves to your nei ghbor.then it had bitten itself fast. bring him peace? Was he not right to turn aside from all these and go his own way? 12 Nietzsche also made a pilgrimage to the good. and a reprobate. wie man auf Erden Ideale fabriziert? Wer hat den Mut dazu?.. I shall quote it in the original. for a translation will never preserve the energy or the passion of the original which has. the judge who. and with a heavy bla ck serpent hanging out of his mouth.. interpret for me the vision of the l onesomest one! Who is the shepherd into whose throat the serpent thus crawled? Who is the man into whose throat all the heaviest and blackest will thus crawl? ["The Vision and the Enigma." Thus Spake Zarathustra] Such visions accompanied Nietzsche in his wanderings. Thus spoke the good to a man for whom the doors of all the refuges where me n ordinarily find rest had been closed.und hinuntersehen. Does the reader not recognize in the tone and character of these words the old familiar figure. wh o had not injured anyone. persecutes only the wicked a nd the guilty? If he does not recognize him. my ha tred.You daring ones around me! You venturers and adventurers. according to our conceptions and those of Ka nt. and a doubter. my terror." Thus Spoke Zarathust ra]. my pity. and a wizard. Nietzsche. who had not killed anyone. Then the serpent had crawled into his throat .¡‾" ["Neighbour-Love. in our opinion. But I see clearly through yo ur ¡®unselfishness. And this is what came of it: the good said to him. I saw a young sh epherd writhing. was Sie sehen. the good in Tolstoy's sense. with a distorted face. . persecuted only those who broke the rules. "Will jemand ein wenig in das Geheimnis hinab . who had not rendered himself guilty in any way. "But wherefore could not I pronoun ce ¡®Amen¡‾? I had most need of blessing. As t he reader will recall. You must be re ady to be burned in your own flame.. quivering. choking." He says of himself: "The worst enemy that you can meet will always be yourself. Mann der gef?hrlichsten Neugierde . it is for yourself that you lie in wait in ca verns and forests. Could the stories of Tolst oy such as "The Caucasian Prisoner" and others like it. how could you be renewed. in this case. all my good and my bad cried with one voice out of m e.
das Sich-nicht-r?chen-k?nnen heisst Sich-nicht-r?chen -wollen. though they try to get warm by huddling close to e ach other.it is just as you say. there is no doubt about it . t¨¹ckisches. d ass man l¨¹gt. es ist kein Zweifel .Sie sind elend. alle Obrigkeit zu ehren) . all these whisperers and c ounterfeiters in the corners. was sic tun . Wait a moment.Further!" "They are miserable.Und die Ohnmacht. zum ¡®Gehorsam¡‾ (n?mlich gegen eine von dem sie sagen. die nicht vergilt. v ielleicht sei es noch mehr . Sch lechte Luft! Diese Werkst?tte.¡‾ die ?ngstliche Niedrigkeit z ur ¡®Demut. Auch redet man von des ¡®Liebe zu seinen Feinden¡‾ und schwitzt dabei. that perhaps it is still more . die man hasst.Further!" "And the impotence which does not requite is turned to ¡®goodness.we alone know what they do).they call him God). eine Schulung. vielleicht sei dies Elend auch eine Vorbereitung." "Will anyone look a little into ." " .Jetzt geben sie mir zu verstehen. man of the most dangerous curiosity . They also talk about the ¡®love of their enemies¡‾ . the very cowardice in which he is rich.dass sie nicht nur besser seien. leises Munkeln und Zusammenfl¨¹stern aus allen Ecken und Winkeln. obedience t ne of whom they say that he commanded this submission . alle diese Munkler und Winkel-Fals chm¨¹nzer. dass sie nicht nur besser seien als d ie M?chtigen. ganz und gar nicht aus Furcht! sondern weil es Gott gebietet. but they tell me that their misery is a favor and distinction given t hem by God. Inquisitive and Foolhardy. ihr Elend sei e ine Auswahl und Auszeichnung Gottes. my dear M r.). jedenfa lls einmal besser haben w¨¹rden. sondern es auch ¡®besser h?tten¡‾. er befehle diese Unterwerfung . sein An-der-T¨¹rstehen.¡‾ cowardly basen ess to ¡®meekness. gentle whi spering and muttering together in all the corners and nooks. Weakness is turned t o merit. es ist kein Zweifel. here gain fine names such as ¡®patie nce.tzt bin ich der. nein! in Gl¨¹ck ausgezahlt werde.someth ing which will one day be compensated and paid back with immense interest in gol .the mystery of how ideals ar e manufactured in this world? Who has the courage to do this? Come! "Here a vista is opened into these dark workshops. What is happening down there? Tell wh at you see. was sie tun! . zur ¡®Gute. wie Sie es sa gten." " . eine zuckerige Milde klebt an jedem Klange.etwas.right into . your eye must first become accustomed to this fals e changing light . an der er reich ist. man pr¨¹gele die Hunde." " . perhaps even forgiveness (for they know not what they do . Es ist ein vorsichtiges. vielleicht selbst Verzeihung (denn sie wissen nicht. his forced necessity of waiting. there is no doubt about it.¡‾ which is also called ¡®virtue¡‾.Weiter!" " .for now I am the one who liste ns. Es scheint mir. ich h?re um so mehr.¡‾ submission to those whom one hates to ¡®obedience¡‾ (namely. Aber genug! genug! Ich halte es nicht mehr aus.Weiter!" " . I hear all the more. deren Speichel sic lecken m¨¹ssen (nicht aus Furc ht. as one beats the dogs he likes best.Weiter!" " . die man am liebsten hab e.¡‾ die Unterwerfung vor denen. Die Schw?che soll zum Ver dienste umgelogen werden. It is a cautious. spiteful. his standin g at the door. sie stinkt vo r lauter Lugen. a sugary softness clings to every sound.Yes! Enough! Now speak. that perhaps this misery is als o a preparation.and sweat thereby. die Herren des Erde. The inoffensiveness of the weak. a probation. the inability to avenge oneself is called unwillingn ess to avenge oneself. Das Un offensive des Schwachen. ob sie schon warm beieinanderhocken . sein unvermeidliches Warten-M¨¹ssen kommt hier zu gutem Namen. welcher zuh?rt. It appears to me th at they are lying. das einst ausgeglichen und mit ungeheuren Zi nsen in Gold. wo man Ideale fabriziert ."¡‾ " .es steht damit so.sie heissen ihn Gott).aber sie sagen mir." " .wir allein wissen es. die Feigheit selbst. " .mich d¨¹nkt. a training." "I see nothing.¡‾ es he isst wohl auch die Tugend. Das heissen sic ¡®die Seligkeit.Ich sehe nichts. eine Pr¨¹fung. als ¡®Geduld.
respectf ul! It turns out that conscience flogs a man not only because he has broken the rules but also because he has given them all the reverence of which Kant speaks. "It is necessary to have seen the catastrophe at close range. about what morality had do ne to him. Up until now conscience has never played such a role openly. disrespectful." [The Genealogy of Morals. good. We have before us a fact of extraordinar y and immense importance: the conscience of a man has risen against everything t hat was "good" in him. 8] This i s what he says. whose spittle they must lick (not out of fear .but because God commands that one should honor all authori ty) .¡‾" " . it is necessary to have come almost to one's ruin because of it. did not dare even to say to themselves because they were afraid of giving a name to what occurred in their souls. indeed. proud. And this fact demands that we reexamine all our customary conceptions of good and evil. as the academic philosophers do. he tells many terrible things about the psych .not at all out of fear! . id le.¡‾ But. Perhaps Nietz sche himself would not have been so audacious if he had not been a man who had n othing more to lose. This they call ¡®blessedness.¡‾ at any rate. the most important and significant thing in the life of a writer rem ains a mystery to us. Bad air! These workshops where ideas are manufactured . on the contrary. Nietzsche's agony is more terrible than Macbeth's. I. And yet he is free of any "sin. unless it be in the first part of Crime and Punishment. On the contrary. by sh owing that Nietzsche did not understand Kant "deeply" enough. Thi s is the mood out of which his philosophy was born.d. What kind of a danger was this that threatened almost to destroy Nietzsche? As always. but there it justifies its past in th e second part and again takes up the defense of the "rules" which always remain so dear to it. Those who have it do not venture forth because of the general condemnation that threatens them. better still. The merit of Nietzsche consists on ly in that he dared to raise his voice and speak aloud what others said only to themselves.not only are they better but that they also have a ¡®better time. of remorse? But this time the task that conscience has undertaken is not at all suitable to it. and it is obvious that it is completely inappropriate to "refute" it. of cutting one off from the communion of God and men because he has been "bad. in happiness. it is necessary to have experienc ed it oneself. gre ater yet. speaking of the theological instinct. does one feel such horror of oneself? Who does not recog nize in these words the voice of conscience. inner defilement. Up to the end of h is life his conscience speaks against all the "good" that is in him and leads hi m finally to the perception that everything "good" is "bad. s ome day will have a ¡®better time. And the weight of the reproaches is not only not less but. It is not here a question of Kant.it seems to me that they sti nk of the crassest lies. I repeat. it is an error to th ink that Nietzsche's experience was unique. the lords of the earth. unprecedented. what others. of hurling anathemas. no. conceptions which up until now the psychology of men of Nietzsche's kind had hidden from our eyes." Instead of accusing him of being wicked. if not in Shakespeare's Macbeth. To explain the passage quoted above we can only have recou rse to other passages of his work. to understand that there is no longer any joke here. But it is us ually passed over in silence." [The Antichrist.Further!" "They now give me to understand that not only are they better than the migh ty. Instead of reproach ing. hard working." it persecutes him because he has been "go od. it occurs perhaps much more frequently than is ordinarily assumed. ¡®but in these also we find only confessions of a general character. he added up what his "good name" cost him." He only paid for his virtue. But there is nothing of the kind in Nietzsche. 14 ] Is it possible to doubt even for a moment who speaks thus? Where. enough! enough! I can stand it no longer. new. The concrete fact will apparently never be called by its tru e name. it reproaches him for being submissive. vengeful. hides behind Nietzsche's confe ssions? As the reader will recall." and vice versa. of cursing. What innere Besudelung. docile. who no longer had any choice.
Count Tolstoy found not only repose." turned out to be impersonal. With Nietzsche. he sometimes stretched it and sometimes shortened it." Moreover. that anyone who surmises what kind of an ex perience is hidden behind the brilliant style of the unhappy writer cannot escap e a shudder. we do not find in Tolstoy in the face of his sinful past a horror as great as Nietzsche's in the recollection of his sinless life. if "the spiritual tortures of penitence" can serve as testimony in questions o f good and evil (as the philosophers and psychologists have affirmed until now). pampered good itself has rarely received. body and soul. God. But in Nietzsche. as even deep and strong men feel it. agonized soul which knows that for it no pity exists or can exist on earth. called forth by the consciousness that he could not was h away the shame of his past virtue. behind every line of his writings. it is true. Alw ays as required. those who know (to use the language of Macbeth) that they have to all eternity been handed over into the power of Satan. He had. to his divinity. took on an attitude so modest and conventional that he could confidently have shown himsel f on the pages of Russki Vestnik. no matter whether the order comes from the o ffended "good" or the despised "bad. remorse pursued him with all the p ower that Shakespeare describes in Macbeth. nevertheless.. if only for a time. In his peasant's garmen ts and in his work in the fields. ambiguous servants who execute with eq ual zeal their inquisitor's duties. even if made in an indirect form. we feel a despai r so deep and boundless. but even. But this is still not the same. before others and before himsel f. We know Tolstoy's confessions. hav ing forgotten the compassion and shame that had once so tortured him. With th e na?ve heedlessness and ardent faith of a German idealist. that it saw in morality God. w e sense the palpitation of a tortured. if the sentence of "the categorical imperative" is without appeal. whenever he recalled what compassion and s hame. in this respect. he felt himself seized by a mystical horror and disgust. he had done his "duty. All the spiritual states which till now supported the sovereign rights of mora lity and with which one could threaten restless rebels against "the categorical imperative. Nietzsche asks. I say "the most terrible criminals" and mean thereby those for whom ther e is not and cannot be any salvation. And not because he had not listened to the good but because honestly and faithfully.ology of great men. so that h e himself did not dare refuse his benediction to Levin even when the latter. Tolstoy now tells us that "the good is God. were such that he had no possibility of testing the principle pro claimed by him." Near this stands another question: "What to you is the most human?" And the answer is: Jemand Scham ersparen." But his past life. this was not the case. The neglected "good" pardoned Tolstoy when he repented his pa st and rebelled against it. Difficult as such confession s are to make. and that. "To spare someone shame. joy. it believed in this. against its deepest instincts. which they experience at the recollection of the crimes they have com mitted. he devoted himself. "In comp assion. In everything that Niet zsche wrote up to the last moment of his intellectual activity. Later. had done to him. We know out of what feeling of self-hatred Th e Kreutzer Sonata arose." Obviously compa ssion and shame destroyed him. it is nevertheless easier to te ar them out of one's soul than to speak of one's real inner experiences. but the "bad" did not spare Nietzsche even though he renounced his sinlessness and glorified sin in such passionate hymns as the. For ordinary remorse. these zealous agents of virtue which embody inner compulsion. but he always had the ability to stretch the good on the Procrustean bed of his own needs. those who are conscious of having lost the ir souls forever. This horror finds its counterpart only in the despair of the most terrible criminals." If "the inner voice" is the supreme judge of our past . And its entire "guilt" consists only in that compassion and shame have had too great power over it. cannot be compared to Nietzsche's experien ce. sought the good all his life. but also only in general terms. his persona l experiences. then the bio graphy of Nietzsche throws an entirely new light on all our ideas about morality . "Where lie your greatest dangers?" And he replies. .
i. Sel f-evidently it is not a question here of a logical or historical foundation. the conviction that a clean conscience i s the most precious thing in the world. s uch a past is not recounted. Had he approached the problem of morality only with the antennae of cold reason (however sensitive these might be). But belief in the sacre dness of morality was so deeply rooted. Brandes w ho. When Brandes called Nietzsche's doctrine " aristocratic radicalism". Nietzsche remarks: "Are not books written precisely to hide wha t is in us?" [Ibid. always wrote of things that had no relationship to himself. when he applied to him two banal or banalized wo rds (there is an inexhaustible stock of such words in the Danish critic) that do not even superficially characterize Nietzsche's philosophy. insolent minds which would like to hide and deny that they are broken. t he attentive reader comes to understand the origin of his Begr¨¹ndung des Moral. following the school most to his taste. and. re ally believed that "aristocratic radicalism" is all that we could find in Nietzs che. This was precisely what he wishe d. it must obviously be stripped of all its sacred attribute s and be reduced to the plane of purely political (likewise most useful. for his part. There is no w ay of escaping this magic circle of logical thoughts through logical thinking. over-assured knowledge. [ Beyond Good and Evil. that men had been so blinded by his literary artistry tha t they did not even think of Nietzsche himself. even though one c ould demonstrate a thousand times over the "natural" origin of moral conceptions . S o as long as men saw in conscience only "the guardian of the good" ...It is true that Nietzsche speaks nowhere directly and openly of his past. 289] But if the "mask" hides much.the case of Galiani). in other words. it must obviously be placed in a distinctive category. On the contrary. 270] Further on. In reality Nietzsche saw in Brandes¡‾ utterance proof of the fact that his g oal had been attained. which distinguishes the phenomena of moral life from other psychic phenome na.they wish to be misunderstood. The investigations of the British philosophers and psychologists are the be st illustration of this. the last and strongest support of men. There are men of science" who use science bec ause it gives a gay appearance and because "scientificalness" leads to the concl usion that a person is superficial . . If morality is only utility clothed.e. only the term "the categorical imperative" was coined by Kant . it also unveils much. it is in this precisely that the whole originality and fascination of Nietzsche's p hilosophy consists and in this lies his claim to special attention on our part. had he only sought for moral ity a place in some philosophic system or other. incurable hearts (Hamlet's cynicism .F rom which it follows that it is the part of a more refined humanity to have resp ect "for the mask" and not to use psychology and curiosity in the wrong place. the following aphorism can show: There are "gay men" who use gaiety because they are misunderstood on this accoun t . proud. w as so interwoven with the customary conceptions of men. How little Nietzsche is explained by such words or. he would have spoken either of immediate intuition or of the natural origin of moral conceptions.they wish to mislead to a false conclusion. and therefore disguised his confessions in such a way that they seemed to have no relationship at all to himself. and nothing flatters his tortured soul so much as the hope of remaining not understood. he strives with all his powers to conceal his inner experience. in one way or another. he would certainly not have att ained any new results. and s ometimes folly itself is the mask of an unfortunate. If only the "good" is protected by pangs of cons cience. He would have preserved the inevitable categorical impera tive. Ni etzsche's story shows through in Nietzsche's works and.and until n ow all systems of morality based themselves absolutely on this assumption. even ne cessary) prescriptions which protect order and security. There are free.Nietzsche's point of view was absolutely impossible. that not for a moment co uld the English philosophers think that explained morality might lose the presti . only the expressio n of social relations. even more. He was afraid of being found out. Nietzsche was charm ed and declared that this was the cleverest thing he had ever heard said about h imself. how far away from Nietzsche they lead us.
that anyone could doubt this. With all this they were deeply convinced that the sacred prerogatives of morality re mained intact. But not only did they not have any doubt about this. And. and that the experiences of Macbeth would always remain Macbeth's and could in no w ay touch them. nature. and this poison burned in him to the last moments of his conscious life. he was faithful to the object of his worship not only in act but also in thought. choked in himself all protests. in the final ground. He did not permit himself any doubt about its d ivine origin. a more or less sagacious. It was a question on ly of the victory of an insignificant. as almost always. no matter what the results to which their investigations led. universal respect. seen in a true light.strange as this may seem . His philosophy is not the audacious play of a po . Wh at the philosophers called ¡®giving a foundation to morality¡‾ and tried to realize has. a new Golgotha was necessary in order t hat a new truth appear. "The good is God. like Nietzsche. hypothesis. the y did not even know that doubt was possible here. submitted to it completely. there has been no suspicion that there is anything problematic here." for it would have meant that one was in doubt as to whether the goo d or the bad is higher. One finds a terrible echo of this faith of his youth in Zarathustra¡‾s words: " Suppressed truths become poisonous. and this not in order to persuade themselves that they were right but only because of the habit they had of introducing a "why" wherever there was a possibility of introducing it. 186] And .ge that unexplained morality had had. If books were written on this matter. their goal was exclusiv ely of a scientific. That is why Nietzsche was perfectly right when he declared that he was the first to raise the question of morality. He alone could understand and estimate the value of mora lity who had sacrificed himself to it. something that no o ne willingly does. a kind of denial that this morality needs to be seen as a problem. For other men truth is only a more or less success ful.indeed. Their inves tigations did not have as their object to attack in any way the claim of moral m en to the exclusive privilege of spiritual tranquility.what is most important . They spoke only of why the good is higher than the bad. etc. He put it thus: "In every ¡®science of mora ls¡‾ until now . Mill and Spencer did not even fo rmally raise the question: must it really be that we shall enjoy peace while the criminal will be eaten up by remorse? They would have considered such a questio n "immoral." He alone who. made of it his God.the special attitude of Nietzsche toward mor ality was not the result of abstract considerations." and lived in the belief that there is nothing o ther than the good to be sought in life. as before. and for this very reason they un hesitatingly raised utility to the position of ancestor of morality. but in the most secret depths of his soul and through the most pain ful experiences. respected. the philosophers. This would have meant for them rebelling against themselves. out of innocent curiosity and with the certainty that serious sacrifice would not be involved.e. Here.the problem of morality itself has been omitted. consequently only a matter-of-fact wi thin the sphere of a definite morality . like every true believer. Nietzsche had fulfilled all its demands. purely external philosophical principle t hat had no direct connection with the personal fate of the philosopher. a new means of its expression. harmless." [Beyond Good and Evil. They were convinced that no theory could d estroy the magic of the sacredness of morality. i. it remained. Faith in the sovereign rights of divi ne morality poisoned Nietzsche's soul. The question of the meaning of morality found its solution not in Nietzsche's mind and not by way of logica l arguments. has devoted h imself entirely to a single truth and kept silent about all others has the right to speak of poisoned truths. He had tested in full measure in himself the formula that Tolstoy now proposes. and the result of his investigations could not in any way ma ke the philosopher himself pass from the category of good men into that of wicke d nor occasion for him the tortures of Macbeth.. Whether morality be the descendant of utility or the child of intuition. proved merely a learned form of good faith in the dominan t morality.
what is the essential point these men could be employed in another task. but. with which he was thoroughly saturated and colored. which is as widespread as it is false. It is true t hat be tries at times to represent himself as a man playing with holy things. the co nviction need not at all prevail that the faculty of concerning oneself exclusiv ely with the higher questions of knowledge and art gives a man any superiority. This Zarathustra experienced in himself . But it is c ertain that up until our time there can be no talk of a philosophy and poetry eq ually necessary to all. that by reason of his sufferings it was g iven to him to know more than the cleverest and wisest could know." die Erstlinge werden geopfert. 13 Of morality the same can be said that Nietzsche said of religion. The passion with which Nietzsche threw himself on these and similar questions on ly calls forth astonishment on the part of many people. The last thing. a great number of men who devote themselves against their will to matters which are quite usel ess to them have unfortunately been led to read tedious writers and philosophers and to say highly indifferent things about them. It cannot be doubted that one who thinks thus need not agitate himself. much less resolved. The so deeply serious and so pa ssionate tone of his works would alone exclude any such hypothesis." Such a question can hardly be raised."¡‾ Nietzsche was the first who said this. they kill their time in discussions which are of no use to them or to anyone el se. for they absolutely cann ot understand what all the alarm is about. And . something useful and good. to do is concern oneself with rendering knowledge and art accessible to "all." What did Nietzsche know? What was his secret? It is in fact a horrible secr et and it can be expressed in a few words: "The tortures of Macbeth are not orda ined only for those who have served ¡®evil¡‾ but also for those who have devoted themsel ves to the ¡®good. while soci ety gains nothing but a number of babblers. They will believe that it is a question her e of simple curiosity and. and the best thing for him to do is to push aside these questions that are alien to him and this philosophy that is superfluous and incomprehensible to him. But the value of this tribute is very different for those who pay it than for t hose who accept it. perhaps better than pursuing regular philosophical studies. These slaves of philosophy waste time and effort. the se "some" are no better or higher than "all". furthermore. Bu t this is only a pose. "We know nothing certain either about God or about morality. as Tolstoy demands. then. and we shall never know anything certain about them. And "the first born are sac rificed. because of a prejudice." What "some" need." to which. of a curiosity such that it can never be completely satisfied. to write stories . Why then agitate oneself and spoil one's own life and that of others?" So they say.lished mind seeking to overthrow the tranquility of his neighbors through mockin g doubt concerning the sanctity of their ideals. I repeat. men have recourse in order to appear superficial and to hide the true s tate of their soul. Even more. for with even the greatest efforts it is impossible here to arrive at anything definite and to go beyond more or less shrewd hypotheses. a "certain ostentatious boldness of taste. Those whom the conditions and events of their existence h ave not brought near to all these "final" questions of our life will not even un derstand what troubled Nietzsche so. Because of this prejudice. it may be that "all" are better th an "some. as he says. In thi s lies an answer to Tolstoy's fundamental principle concerning the popularizatio n of knowledge and art. And. The vast majority of men do not even suspect that so many hopes and expectations can be b ound up with morality. To interest everyone in what men like Tolstoy and Nietzs che thought about is not only impossible but also unnecessary. They thus pay their tribute to the opinion of society which esteems purely "intellectual" interests so highly. "all" do not need. To force Nietzsche. Behind this is hidden "his terrible certainty.
it is al so futile. I repeat. "Men are not equa l." would be more immoral and unjust than to force children to read Thus Spake Zarathustra. and if he speaks of them as he under-. who gave to the steer its horn. for long years.[Beyond Good and Evil.this is beyond doubt. if hi s poetry is inaccessible and appears senseless to many people who "have never da red to touch ghosts" because they have never been visited by such . for Tolstoy's poetic obviously will not silence a Nietzsche. Nietzsche had a presentiment of the possibility of such an . For the majority. even though he realized very well the relatio nship between his philosophy and his misfortune would nevertheless have renounce d his "knowledge" in order to avoid those dreams and enigmas which seem so terri ble even to us who know them only through his own report. Anacreon. Of much greater interest for us are Nietzsche's real experiences." To be sure. for there are those to whom the consolation that philosophy and poetry grant is most necessary. these " they" must not dare to live through what Nietzsche lived through." One hears everywhere the opinion that Oscar Wilde is to be c onsidered as the justification. 26] The preacher cannot forgo this. a s Tolstoy would wish." But all this is only appearance. set up as the highest goal of our life. stood and felt the m but as others cannot and have no need either to understand or feel them. and they also have their poets and philosophers. even if he thereby only fulfilled Zarathustra¡‾s demand.who can say this? . convinced that they are precursors of the ¨¹bermensch and consequently the pionee rs of human progress. Tolstoy as well as Nietzsche. propose as preachers a doctrine which o nly hides from our eyes their own conception of the world. it is from this that there later arose the preaching of Nietzsche concerning the ¨¹bermensch. which plays for him the role that the "go od" does for Tolstoy.To kic k. for he likewise imposes upon us through it and in its name oppresses and annihilates men as Tolstoy does through his "good. Both men. show through his works. Anyone who would serv e the "good" according to Tolstoy's program would be as strange to Tolstoy as on e who would sacrifice himself to the ¨¹bermensch would be strange to Nietzsche. And then. But to make of this majority's needs. deeply unjust. If Nietzsche speaks of God. ordained for othe rs. by St. and not merely to flee." which. Many people w ho let themselves be impressed by Wilde¡‾s trifles now devote themselves to his caus e. another poetry and another philosophy are necessary. m orality and knowledge. the aristocratic doctrine that had as little inner connection with the real needs of his soul as Tolstoy's "good" had with the experience of the philosopher of Yasnaya Polyana.for children or for the masses on the theme. to silence? It is clearly the opposite. fa?ade." when. III. It is imagined by many that his doctrine consisted in the glorificatio n of "pleasure" which.is this a re ason for forcing Nietzsche. Perhaps . led him to the de nial of the "good. We have already seen how far removed Tolstoy is from the inhabitants of Lia pine. even if he is an immoralist who stands beyo nd "good" and "evil. for what purpose did Nature give me my foot? . and what I will they must not will" . the criterion of the value of all the creations of the hum an spirit is unjust. Macbeth's visions had troubled the rest of his nig hts as if he had himself "murdered sleep. from the insulted choristers and from the exploited people in whose name h e demands of us that we submit to the "good. his true " whys. 3 0] His own works and the widespread errors about his doctrine are the best proof of this. "Black bread is the grandfather of cake. Nietzsche also knows this very well: "For men are not equal! So speaks just ice! And what I will they must not will. Nietzsche was a thousa nd times right when he declared that the same books that encourage and strengthe n certain people can be dangerous and harmful to others." [Genealogy of Morals. through setting up the demand that poetry must be ma de accessible to all. who maintain their youthful n a?vet¨¦ up to old age. to th e lion its chasm' odont?n. indeed.Nietzsche himself." We find in Ni etzsche the following words: "This Nature. despite all his caution. as the ideal of Nietzsche. Moreover." We will see later on how alien to Nietzsche is the ideal of the ¨¹bermensch.
Almost everything about wh ich Nietzsche wrote is absolutely removed from the ordinary ideas of human thoug ht and from the experience of the majority of men. It came to their ears that someone very famous had. and Victo r Hugo. Nevertheless. If he gave up this design. revolted ag ainst morality." which for many unlucky persons is their only support." In his situation. or pe tty egoism. but to be finished with these sentiments. quite dist orted. Nietzsche addresses himself to men who are as h . they will live. pitiless man. which he calls his "fortune. a superficial k nowledge of his works can only yield a false and incorrect judgment.e. they did not even need particularly to climb over hedges. Too clearsighted and inwa rdly honest to deceive himself or others. it was o nly because he learned through hard experience that love and compassion cannot h elp at all and that the task of the philosopher is different: not to propagandiz e for love of neighbor or compassion." Thus Spake Zarathustra] cries Zarathustra. they would have accepted as God the fi rst idol that came along. To believe this would be a mistake. And less than anything else would they have at tacked the "good. Karenin said to him. All these sentiments were as alien to him as to Tolstoy. did not listen to the immediate feelings of vindictiveness. 325] As the reader can see. it is clear that for a great majority of men Nietzsche's book s are superfluous and even harmful. bitterness. weak women and even s laves often attain mastery in this. But not to perish from inner distress and do ubt when one causes great suffering and must listen to the cry of it .alteration of his doctrine and said: "But I will have hedges around my thoughts . "Woe to all who love and have no e levation that is higher than their compassion. With Nietzsche all this was completely otherwise." Ordinary free-thinkers would not have endured for a single day Nietzsche's trials." [The Gay Science. and even around my words. He was. But the passion in Nietzsche's tone s hould alone have excluded the possibility of such an interpretation of his doctr ine. insensible. and perhaps the best proof that Tolstoy has accused Nietzsche wrongly in making him responsible for the sins of society is the widespread opinion that Nietzsch e was also only a libre-penseur who fought for "freedom of enjoyment. and it is through this that we must explain the alleged "cruelty" of Nietzsche. as befits their k ind. he was finally constrained to remain a lone face to face with all the horrors of his existence. and they immediately imagined that he had set out to fight for t heir cause. Neither science nor rel igion nor the good could give him anything. and knew it well. And the y certainly would not have rejected compassion. in accessible or. made a duty of the most absurd rules. form with the physiognomy of this philosopher." i. lest swine and libertines should break into my garde ns!" ["The Three Evil Things. Certainly Nietzsche and his theories are highly indifferent matters to them.. if he renounced teaching men love and compassion." ["The Compassionate. Dickens. He pursued only the greathearted design of saving and redeeming man through the word. to find an answer to the questions they pose." Thus Spake Zarathustra] But the swine penetrated everywhere. what is the same thing. for one reason or another. His heart knew compassion. Vous professez d¡‾¨ºtre un libre-penseur.that is g reat. Nietzsche. consequently. Because already before Nietzsche our time had been taught by even so weak a thinker as Tolstoy's Stiva not to take too seriously the practices of religion or the rules of morality. This is esp ecially the case with that part of his doctrine which deals with God and the goo d. And we can only repeat here what we have said about Tolstoy: Nietzsche rebelled against the good not because he was a hard. so that it must only be regretted that the m agazines and newspapers exert themselves so zealously to acquaint the wide publi c "in general terms. contrary to the generally accepted opinio n. in no way behind Turgenev. that belongs to greatness. with him or without him. which those who suffer need so u rgently. as far as his humanity is concerned. in order only so mehow to justify their existence. He says: "Who can attain an ything great if he does not feel in himself the strength and the will to inflict great pain? The ability to suffer is the least of things. in any case. Most people see nothing in it but an ordinary attack on church-going and the carrying out of certain unpleasant duties.
was constrained to regard c almly the misery of Anna Karenina. for something in their sufferings that could prov ide an answer to the questions aroused by the feeling of compassion. and also unfortunatel y eager to help and save far beyond her powers to do so ." And the consciousness of his virtue cannot give him any joy. he wished to find something higher than compassion. in his mi sfortune. according to all the evidence. disgust him.." he says to his disciples. that the "good" is fine and n ecessary for "all" but useless for some. too lacking are they i n bashfulness. If I must be compassionate. compassion . and he aspired with his philosophy to the same thing as Tolstoy who. Alas. great ugliness. and if I be so. who are happy in their compassion." He addresses himself to men who are no longer content to be virtuous in having compassion for their neighbors." Nietzsche knew: What a torment these great artists are and the so-called higher men in general.] "I do not even say. the agony of Ivan Ilych. "That however . t hen what remains to him who can neither love nor pity? Where is that to be found which is above pity." Whoever so desires is free to bel ieve that Tolstoy said this not for his disciples but to himself. is impotent before "great misfortune. such men. I do not wish to be called so.e is. Zarathustra also strives above all to understand the world and to fill with some meaning th e horrors of earth . in his words. blundering.namely. in the name of that highe r "something" and to the horror of all virtuous men. I do not like them." "Stand f ast. "that virtue is its own reward." ["The Ugliest Man.th ey have no reverence for great misfortune. in order that you may be able to bear the terrib le face of life which destroys every compassionate man.not everyone. omn ipotence. prete ntious. there to await his Zarathustra who would explain to him that there is an d must be in the world something above compassion. which the mob.it is her peculiar superstition. great failure. and exalting to divinity a poor. to those for whom compassion is no longer a virtue or an ideal. especially when it is brought to anyone as the gift of morality and a s the result of the search for "blessedness. which can be of help only where one can do without its help and which turns ou t to be impotent when the need for its help is most urgent. weak human feeling . that he did no t know Nietzsche's doubt.] Are further quotations needed to protect Nietzsche's philosophy from the customary interpretations? Nietzsche sought exactly what To lstoy sought. could not t hink thus." On the contrary. t he compassionate ones. and overwhelms with prying and self-gr atifying interpretations. But Nietzsche. great failure. 269] This throws light on Nietzsche's "immoralism. for this would have meant depriving God of his sacred attributes. "have passed beyond this ideal because they have already attai ned it. but yours elf and your type. On the contrary. even the limitless and deep love of which a woman is capable when it is a question of the fate of one loved by her. if pity is impotent and helpless. woman would like to believe that love can do everything . who are so na ?ve in questions of good and evil. Nietzsche knew only too well how little can be done by means of compassion. he "chokes before compass ion. above a ll the reverent mob. was obliged to reject the help and concern of men and withdraw into so litude. does not understand.that they have learned so easily those outbreaks of boundless devoted sympathy.is called today by all petty people virtue itself : . even the best and deepe st love is. to him who has once found them out! It is thus conceivable that it is precisely from woman . it is preferably at a distance. above love of neighbor? Tolstoy replies that neither he no r anyone else has any need of such an "above. that compassion consoles "many" but off ends some.who is clairvoyant in the world of suffering. one who knows the heart discovers how poor. omniscience." [Ibid." he expla ins. [Beyond Good and Evil. . that the formula "the good = fraternal love = God" sat isfied him completely. great ugliness. to those w ho.against compassion . and to seek."great misfortune. This sympathy invariably deceives itself as to its pow er. even if it is not limited to platonic sighs and beautiful phrases about one's neighbor¡‾s misery. Nietzsche.the first to do so . impotent. Love. "In truth." If even the best and deepest love does not save but hastens destruction. more likely to destroy than to save." [Ibid. with at tentive and scrutinizing gaze. not none. etc." Thus Spake Zarathustra]. That is why he says: "You warn ed .
" [Elizabeth F?rster-Nietzsche. has been taken away? Tolstoy and his foll owers would hardly speak here of an evil will. 14 And it was here that Nietzsche came to the. that life. of falsehood? of a man from whom his final consolati on. Morality showed itself imp otent precisely where men would have been justified in expecting of it the great est manifestation of its power. higher role among the goals set up by man. fatally. They would see that it is not the man who chooses his ideas but ideas that take possession of the man. let that be my love! I do not wish to wage any war against the ugly. that it would replace God for him . He says: "Amor fati: henc eforth. not in all eternity. as he h ad formerly thought. at first blush. this idea is expressed in still sharper fashion: " My formula for human greatness is amor fati. with the fact that morality is nothing other than police and justi ce." to use Professor Riehl¡‾s expression? Nietzsche seeks something else. . that the truth is not with him and for him. the cause of the "good" (in Tolstoy's sense ) . if you gaze for a long time into an abyss." "evil. elementary force. with irresistible. his belief in his moral integrity. How could he be satisfied w ith the fact that morality brings certain advantages by guaranteeing to society order and security (without forcing it to the expense of a police and judicial o rganization). in the hope that it would be all-powerful. Utilitarian considerations did not i nterest him and they could.these questions do not an d cannot belong to Nietzsche's moral philosophy.but t o love it. let that be my only negation!" [The Gay Science. the abyss will also gaze into you." [Beyond Good and Evil." irresp ective of the fact that he knew how necessary and useful the conceptions of good and evil are to men for their common life. that one wishes to have nothing oth erwise. generally speaking. He came to morality. and that mankind would gain by such a replacement. that God is not for the good and for good people but for the evil a nd for evil people. not forward. II. still less to hide it . the power of life lies not in the ideals on which he had been nourished with his mother's milk and which had hurled him down into ruin but in their opposite.branded with the epithets "immoral. He will not. Not only to endure neces sity. introduced by a clever maneuver into the souls of men. obliging us even wher e the juristic norm no longer dares to raise its voice? All this interested Niet zsche as little as all the public institutions that exist in the world. Das Leben Fr." "vicious. They must speak of that to which an inner compulsion driv es them. I d o not wish to accuse. So it has always been. of those whom he had once as Tolstoy does today . of destruction. And. namely. not backward.all idealism is falsehood before necessity . whether they pr otect or destroy the solidity of the social organism . Nietzsches. 146] Can one hear from a writer of this kind commonly understandable and convent ionally consoling words such as Tolstoy requires. Nietzsche says: "He who struggles against monsters should be careful le st he thereby himself become a monster. Looking aside. but in the camp of his enemies. the cause of God. or demand of him "ideals. have only secondary significance in moral questions.He clearly had the right to consider himself "beyond good and evil. insane thought that Heine in his famous poem had once pushed away from himself with so much hor ror. Whether moral rules are useful or harmful. 196] These words explain Nietzsche's position with regard to evil. so long as morality claims a special." How can one describe the tragic situation of a man arrived at the terrible awar eness that the cause to which he had dedicated his life is not the cause of trut h. He sough t in morality divine traces and he did not find them. 276] In his journal for 1888. like Tolst oy. so it must always be for those who arrive at a conception of the world through thei r personal experience.but the cau se of evil. a gainst his will. for he knows that "words" and "ideals" do not protect man from reality. I do not wish even to accuse the accusers.
" bound together through the boundless temerity of th e little word "and. as it always was and always will be. It is permissible for lightnin g to kill. we take a false roa d? And does not the secret of "the impotence of the good" lie in this. the virtue that is proud of its rags." appear to him beyond all comparison. makes use of death and destruction. or something even more powerful. to attain its goals.even more ." who has against himself the who le world and all of life. Life contai ns evil. to deny violence? Lightning kill s man.. And this cruelty. there is no connection between the movement of the ocean's waters and the needs of this board. of necessity. But Nietzsche wanted more. curse it. is concerned with th e fate of a board. i s repugnant to him for he sees all too well with what envious cupidity it regard s the power that it cannot conquer and that it therefore constantly reviles. to which he was bro ught by the iron will of this fatum. Nietzsche could not hesitate.such precep ts were once called holy. any voice that might be interested in him.stealing and murdering? And fo r such precepts to be called holy. does it n ot prove that virtue is destined to go around in rags because it serves a petty. How ridiculou s to think that the ocean. The most passionate word of indignation cannot kill a fly. he looked with mad terror into his unknown future. practiced in nature with such system." [The Gay Science. useless cause? To understand the meaning of such thoughts for Nietzsche. And if nature i tself has so little concern for saving its creatures from ruin and destruction. It is the same amor fati.he cannot complain about reality.e. broken. if death and destruction and annihilation turn out to be only indifferent phenom ena lost in the mass of equally indifferent phenomena. He leaves impotent dreams to put himself agai n on the side of his former enemy. but it is forbidden for man to do so. It was not he who invented amor fati. for it was in him and he could not hide himself from it. with which people have been s o frightened but which is shared by all men in much larger measure than is commo nly believed. what gives u s the right to exalt the "good" into law.e. was not truth itself thereby murdered?" ["Old and New Tables. These t wo terms man and the world. to love all of this hateful reality. all this is a part of order of things. he was compelled. "Is not every complaint an accusation?" asks Z arathustra. i. before them men bowed their knees and heads and took o ff their shoes. There is no such higher power. He is like a board thrown by chance into the ocean. we must above all . From this flows his "worship" of evil. there was not in the whole universe any good genius. Nietzsche says: "Thou shalt not steal! Thou shalt not murder! . but we call the person who refuses bread to a hungry man impious! Must such a contradiction exist? Doe s it not prove that when we revere a law contrary to nature. he wanted. It is permitted for drought to give the inhabitants of an entire country over to famine. and the love of fate. diseases torture him to death. all this is natural. of life as i t is in reality. The world is one thing . all this conforms to the law s of nature. hence one cannot deny it. and . Weak and insipid virtue. weak.if natu re itself. man another.. we suddenly dare to call unnatural and unlawful as s oon as it manifests itself in the affairs of men. Nothing remains but the c hoice between the role of the moral "denouncer.. Is there not even in all life . other animals take away his food. When. denial and curse are impotent. That is why one who would refute Nietzsche' s philosophy must first refute the life from which he drew it. 346] The very contrasting of man and the world appears to him senseless. any more than it was he who invented his entire philosophy. How inexorable and pitiless this nature is Nietzsche knew only too well through his own experience.. whose rights he acknowledges as complet ely legitimate. Nietzsche only gave expression to those sentiments which compelled Tolstoy to turn away from the inhabitants of Liapine in order not to "fight aga inst a hateful injustice" that he could not conquer." Thus Spake Zarathustra]. i. "It seems to us today laughable when man claims to devise values surpassing the val ues of the actual world. humiliated. life.
Beside the bad conscience has hitherto grown all knowledge. the sun ought not to shine for sinners. a cripple . the abysses of pessimism. while preaching sin. and only when you have all denied me. its misfortune s. 0 my brethren. It was only later. not for nothing does he speak of God as of a sacrificial animal. the cutting into the living flesh ." and in "evil men" he discove rs a powerful. sometimes a . "All that the good call evil must come together i n order that one truth may be born. The element of e vil was too foreign to his own nature. which for many years protected him from horror and disgust." Wh om have these words not surprised through their mysterious contradiction to all the longings of our human soul? According to our way of thinking. The law of men must emanate from nature and cannot be in opposition to the general laws of the universe." Thus Spake Zarathustra] In denying those ideals most precious to all of us.. will I return to you. however. So do all believers." The idealist is afraid all of his life to set foot on the monster tha t encircles him until it kills him. Though he swore by St. blasphemous.Now I command you to lose me and find yourselves. Otherwise. but for the righteous light. of negation. and. all of us without exc eption consider it necessary to abandon the wicked to moral condemnation. creative force. The m ore passionate. the greatest punishment. and many to leave material goods to the wicked. he remained the same "disinterested" theor ist and idealist that he had been in his youth when he had still worshipped virt ue. it should not be so." Thus Spake Zarathustra] Speeches of this kind are found in abundance in Nietzsche. he finds the "good" in the "evil. real life with its horrors. for Christians.how rarely do these come together! But out of such seed is truth produced. and he himself felt this lack with terror and appreciated how little it is compensated for through a virtuous obedience o f the "categorical imperative." or what men call evil. a special light is thrown on the mysterious words of the gosp el message: "God lets His sun shine equally on the righteous and the wicked. the cruel No. He was forced to give up the rare islets of the "good" that rise over the waters of the boundless sea of evil.that is a misfortune. the greatest misf ortune. For the fearless man. From the "evil" he could not expect any reward f or himself. the boredom. Nietzs che calls it "looking into the depths of pessimism. Anacreo n that feet were given him to trample." the clearer become the inner causes which forced him to break with his idealism. are d edicated to the solution of the dark enigma of life: idealism or reality. that is why all beli ef is of so little account. These Nietzschean sentiments visited Turgene v only in his old age. godless are his attacks on the "good." At first blush this is a frightful discovery." Logically he had to deny id ealism and affirm the "insect. that he succeeded in drawing from his perceptions an "aristocratic" doctrine and speaking with an ai r such that Professor Lichtenberg could envy him his fate." [Bestowing Virtue. not the kicker but the kicked. What Nietzs che experienced the aging Turgenev also knew. except for the first volume. its crimes. His literary activity was in the main the expression of i dealism. sick. One can be unlucky. the long distrust." Nietzsche's collected works. then did you find me. are you also evil enough for this truth? The audacious venture. Nietzsche found them ag ain. "Evil. Bu t. at the end of his literary activity. We recall only his prose-poem. of nihilism would have opened up before him." ["Old and New Tables. it corroborates the deeply significant words that Zarathustra spe aks to his disciples and that we have already quoted before: "You had not yet so ught yourselves. . its vices. in reality." Even more. "Th e Insect. and which until now has appeared to us as the most terrible and most painful of all enigmas because of its sense less opposition to all that is dear to our hearts. ceased for Nietzsche to be "e vil. he was not the trampler but the trampled.e. Though many of us are prepared to take these words literally. for evil men. But to the end Nietzs che's doctrine struck Nietzsche himself more strongly than anyone else.not forget the role they played in his own fate. But th is abandonment means. who has followed Nietzsche through all of his skeptic ism and his doubt. Not for nothing does he speak of how out of place psychological perspicacity is in certa in cases." i. from the "i nsect. For them darkness.
Well! I am ready. everyone who blames his neighbor. He understood that the evil was as necessary as the good. He does not ask himself (or r ather. that is the worst. with its readiness to brand all those who. the meaning and the light of truth . Otherwise life appears never to reveal its secrets. indeed even more necessary than the good. refuse to pay it sufficient respect." Thus Spake Zarathustra]. "The good is God. he understood that both are necessary conditions of human existence and development. eve n the cultured mob that he attacks. and it consented to do this in order not to forfeit its rights to domination.Devise for me. wit hout being at all scrupulous about it." says Tolstoy to his disciples.deeper down into pain than I ever ascended. then." Thus Spake Zarath ustra]. Traditional morality. They often even consider it meritorious t o be capable of being indignant." Here are some other words that relate to this: "For enjoyment and innocence are the most bashful things. were very different." There ca n be no doubt: to Nietzsche was revealed a great truth. Tolstoy could not take a step without accusing a great multitude of his fellow-men of immorality.of everything that can happ en to a man. but gu ilt. This is the meaning of Nietzsche's formula "beyond good and evil. One should have them . "Devise for me. But to become known as "immoral" .great misfortune. offended Nietzsche with its haughty attitude towards men. Morality was obliged to declare almost the entire world. This is what all say.and precisely in the gospel sense of the word . and the question of the value of the good took on another form for him. he understood that the sun must shine equally on the good and the wicked. the justice that acquits everyone except the judge!" ["The Bite of the Adder. Lord.do you not know that it is onl y this discipline that has created all the elevations of mankind until now? That tension of soul in misfortune which communicates to it its strength. "I thank Thee." Thus Spak e Zarathustra] This is the school through which Nietzsche went. even o nly in appearance. its shudde . indeed. a truth hidden in the wo rds of the gospel which we did." ["The Wanderer. This time also a new Golgotha w as necessary for a new truth to be born. he does not want his disciples to ask) how it is that God does not rule o n earth. neither of them like to be sought for. der gelehrte P?bel: even in t heir expressions the two writers often agree!) That all of life is thereby trans formed into "evil" does not at all affect Tolstoy. not material chastisement. (In Nietzsche. then. Nietzsche's life. suited to average men. wicked. but against certain widely spread commonplaces of Christian doctrine which hi de from all. He has arrived at the highest le vel of moral development. We would quote another speech of Zarathustra¡‾s whi ch will show what tremendous moral height . Are these the words of an an tichrist? Of an immoralist? Anyone who has studied Nietzsche carefully cannot do ubt that his attacks are directed not against Christianity nor against the gospe l.but one should rather seek for guilt and pai n!" ["Old and New Tables. of great suffering . Here is how Zarathustra speaks of it: "Before my highest mountain d o I stand. that millions of men live without God. And yet all hold it possible and necessary to pl ace in the category of the immoral a considerable number of their neighbors. What do these words hide in themselves if not a commentary on the gospel pa rable of the publican and the Pharisee? For everyone who morally condemns others . the love which not only bears all punishment but also all guilt! . says of himself. And he was not only an obedient but also a grateful pupil: The discipline of suffering. and before my longest wandering: therefore I must first go down deepe r than I ever climbed . The reader will recall Zarath ustra¡‾s conversation with the pope. that is. What Nietzsche sought is a justice which bears not punishment. and even from Nietzsche himself. recognize but never dared to introduce i nto our "philosophical" conception of the world. that I am not like that publican. and that suffices to console him! Nietzsche's experien ces.the denier Nietzsche attained and how untrustworthy the customary le gends concerning this writer are. even into it s darkest flood! So wills my fate. almost all men.
has it not been granted through suffering. To be sure. what they fear above all else is sufferi ng. proven remedy which has so ofte n healed sick and tortured human hearts: he begins to preach. which has the great advantage of clarity . in man there is matter. its inventiveness and gallantry in bearing. and reforged. spirit. To be sure. He says: "Ah. And what possibl e outlets for the energy of a tempest-tossed soul are so effective as preaching. What really is his "aristocratism"? Translated into sim ple language . 225 ] How much force. Here beg in his isolation and self-exaltation. forged. Tolstoy's. But Nietzsche himself. only p ainted with different colors.do you u nderstand this contrast? And that your sympathy for the creature in man applies to that which must be fashioned. The "good" is not spoken of. senseless. instead of it appears the ¨¹bermensch. could Nietzsche bear the terrifying face of life or reconc ile himself to his fate. And this highest I possess. And Nietzsche has recourse to the old. even the brightest. The need of men to find for themselv es a point of support is so painful. rid himself of the accursed problems to which there is n o answer. e nduring. To be great is the essential thing." He must somehow justify himself. folly. he must plunge into "the dark abyss of suffering". remains. forget the past. into worthy and unworthy .in a word. di sguise. chaotic was broken. will not dare to believe. In the light of day. but in man there is also the creator. annealed. how much pathos lies in these words! It was in this way that fate fashioned him. I repeat. mystery. artifice or greatness has been granted to the soul . and whatever depth. torn. excess. For the light of this star to reach man. ar e invisible to the human eye. 15 It is here that philosophy ends and preaching begins in Nietzsche. clay. would perhaps n ot have acknowledged his own philosophy if he had not first emptied the bitter c up that fate prepared for him. mud. the highest that can be in life. I th rew my net into its seas and wanted to catch good fish. burned. all others are only insignificant pawns. the divinity of the spectator. . broken. only out of this depth can he see th at star. Men wish to despise the evil. so deep.for example. burned. but I always drew out th e head of an old god. the distant stars. the division of men into inferior and supe rior. No more than Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. And the main thin g is that the others do not. Nietzsche himself. boundlessly unhappy life. It was because of this fact that Tolstoy attacke d all of the intelligentsia so mercilessly. that they sacrifice everything and forget everything in order only to save themselves from doubt. interpreting and exploiting misfortune. however.it means: "I and a few others besides are very great men. when it resists your sympathy as the worst of all pampering and weakening? [Beyond Good and Evil." Why does a man feel comforted and relieved if he b elieves that he has privileges that others do not have? Who will explain this my stery of the human psyche? The fact. His ¨¹bermensch is also nothing but the head of an old idol. But the role of the ¨¹bermensch is not new." To a certain degree these words are also applicable to Ni etzsche himself.do you not understand what our reversed sympathy applies to. men will not believe. His "immoralism" is the result of a profoundly tr agic. whom the divine gaze awaits on the seventh day. everything that we could see already before Nietzsche. how much passion. an artist. the sculptor. the terms are different. chaos. save himself. and the seventh day .to that which must necessarily suffer and is meant to suffer? And our sympathy . This fact induced Dostoev sky to torment his Raskolnikov. Nietzsche speaks and acts in the name of the ¨¹bermensch precisely as did Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in the name of the "good. to whom he is inwardly so related.ring in view of great destruction. It was in his soul that ev erything superfluous. the hardn ess of the hammer. melted down. in order that there might be born in it a creator. however. while the others do not. refined . through the discipline of great suffering? In ma n creature and creator are united. shred. what Nietzsche recounts. Otherwise they cannot live.
This separating arist ocratism bestows the "pathos of distance" . preaching begins. is finally us ed by Nietzsche to construct out of them a right to crush and annihilate others. Tolstoy. one can adopt any attitude whatsoever toward them. the hungry prostitutes. we. For with the m this fine power of theirs usually ends where art ceases and life begins. One cannot struggle agai nst fate! It remains indifferent to all our curses. and moreover be wiser than they. and N ietzsche would have been superfluous . it separates him from others. the surrender of one's own will for the sake of a hig her "principle. him it does reach. I am "high." [The Gay Science.anger. se lf-denial. even if they do attack the "subjectivists. Only helplessness bef ore the enigmas of life could give birth to that secret. Dostoevsky. One can try to refute them. great distrust". indignation? Tolstoy called even the Marxists immoral . no one whom you can attack with reproaches. his own impotence? If you have no one upon whom you can pour out your anger. If "aristocratism" and "moral perfection" (these two te rms are identical in meaning) were the children of a contented self. one must know his sensitive spots. and if they sought forgetfulness in preaching. then the preaching form adopted by a Dostoevsky.that pathos which has always been th e source of all moral indignation. That is why preaching means so little." Where can there be more morality? But Count Tolstoy cannot and will not pardon anything: all are "immoral"! If one does not have this understan ding. And yet he himse lf knows how close men are to one another: "I saw both naked. In his aphorism "What Can We Learn from Artists?" he describes the tr icks that these employ "to beautify reality" in their works and concludes: "All this we should learn from artists. impossible. to find enemies and fight against them . Such a formula is attractive only in that it permits a man to separate hims elf from others. but one thing it i s not possible to deny: that in all their struggle it is only "morality" that is involved. g reat ugliness. His suffering. the people of the night-shelters. they suffered so under these that they had to ce ase interrogating life. self-sacrifice. bring them no good. deeply hidden hatred th at was the hallmark of all these extraordinary writers. as is known. a place for the discharge of all bitt erness." Marx and statistics are o nly a new form whose content is already quite old: inner devotion to an idea. the greatest and t he least of men . his shame. and similar activit ies which." he once says with that unintentional frankness which so often strikingly appears in his work toget her with the systematic effort to hide himself under some mask. of a clear and calm spirit. all humiliation. and first of all in the smallest and most ordinary matters. and Tolstoy could not deal with "great misfortune. "It is the su rface that is born out of the depth. everything that life had brought him. h owever. studying tables of statistics. for the sake of an idea. this only shows how demanding their natures were. One must only understand how to aim the blows so that they find him . one can pity them. for struggle. his unhappiness. They could no longer live without answe r to their questions.all too like are they to one another." all others are low: this provide s a ground for protestation. of a "good" recognized by them. 299] .even if it be only aga inst pale youths who read Marx or famished young men like Raskolnikov who dream of murder. sacrifice their best years to reading Das Kapital. and we cannot find any weak spot in which to attack it! So let us direct our indignation against man." as Nietzsche puts it. you risk standing a t the end quite alone face to face with the accursed questions before which the formula "God is the good" remains altogether useless. wish to be the poets of our lives." And nevertheless Nietzsche retains his aristocratism. how is one to deal with Ivan Ilych. "Suffering makes a man noble.indeed. and to them any answer was better than none. Nietzsche. Nietzsche's ¨¹bermensch has precisely the same meaning.the Marxists who . Dostoevsky a nd Tolstoy will hardly admit this. Where philosophy must halt before the limitation of human power. but Nietzsche recognizes it as he does everyt hing else. It is not possible t o live when one has constantly before his eyes terrifying specters.
Of course." which i s "love of neighbor. on Ivan Ilych. The attention of such a reader remains fixed on Prince Andrey." and said at the same time. on the contrary. horror. the more he e nclosed himself in his moral aristocratism. however. where a life-tragedy of the most horrible an d revolting kind played itself out. We had to witness that enmity and hatred. this leads to the alternative of stamping all men either as pl ebeians or as sinners. Even though attempts to give a final and complete answer to the tormenting questions of life have remained fruitless until now. He could not. This means: "to be a poet of real life to its smallest and most insignificant expressions. which he calls the "good" and which differs only in form from Nietzsche's ¨¹bermensch. It is not for the sake of the poor. Exactly the same thing happened with Nietzsche.there Tolstoy raised the standard of the "good. though not eternal. men will never cease making these attempts. to characterizing them as creatures that are either worth less or immoral. no matter how hidden it may be." which. in ord er to find a philosophy which "takes upon itself not only punishment but guilt. on the shepherd into whose mouth a serpent had crawled. the hungry. we would not have understood what he was talking about. On the road to eternal truth. "If there is a God. in order to understand the possibility of h . Considered from this point of view. To be sur e. the whole parade of solemn and elegant words which Tolstoy and Nietzsche p repare for the triumphal march of their "gods" does not mean anything more than any other ceremonies through which men seek to enrich their lives." are only means for beautifying life. in other words. petty or criminal." that "the end. condemns no one and seeks the explanation of life outsid e of man. "Aristocratism. Let us remember w hat Tolstoy in his War and Peace sought to do in order to acquit all men." the "good. that disgust and horror of the "good" which Nietzsche felt. there by contradicting his own formula amor fati. Nietzsche saw in the "good" only the bad and overlooked the good in it. It is in this that the whole force and the convincing power of Nietzsche's philosop hy lies. Nietzsche was the first philosopher who dared to prot est directly and openly against the exclusive claim of the "good. unavoidable consciousness of how poor in beauty life is. He knew that he was only a poor sacrificial animal" and he decked himself out with the exalted virtues of the ¨¹bermensch. where a prostitute whom no one wanted any more went hungry . But can their preaching forever hide from men the questions of life? Can the "good" or t he ¨¹bermensch reconcile man with the unhappiness. But for one who has come into serious conflict with life. feel otherwis e." Where ugliness. the oppressed that he ap peals to the "good". above man. the final end had come . how could I bear the thought t hat this God is not I?" Thus did Count Tolstoy and Nietzsche hide themselves from reality. Already i n Anna Karenina he was untrue to himself. disgust were. to consider only itself "the beginning and the end of everything. just as the repentant sinner can see nothing but the horrible in his sin. but also from the experiences of his own life . are nevertheless wider. gains nothing but poetry. the absurdity of our existence? C learly the poetry of Tolstoy's and Nietzsche's preaching can satisfy only one wh o." Where what mattered was immediate help but where such help proved impossible. he rids himself of many crushing prejudices and disco vers new horizons which. If he had remained righteous. all these unfortunate persons are only the occasion for the appeal. from the work of these writers. however. there was born in Tolstoy the poetry of prea ching. fo rces the majority of men to seek a point of view which can open to them more con soling perspectives." which always sought. There is no other way out. He felt that all was "lost. despite the fullness and infinite variety of real life. Perhaps it is not given man to find what he seeks. thi s painful need for seeing everywhere the bad. And the further he went.This constant." as Tolstoy puts it. Tolstoy's preaching suffices for itself. Nietzsche's formula "beyond good and evil" is a great a nd important step forward. But Tolstoy could not long remain at this height." which is "God. he ignores the beautiful thoughts but l istens all the more intently to the real experiences of Tolstoy and Nietzsche.
we must seek God.is not God. We must seek that which is higher than compassion." Nietzsche has shown us the way. . "Woe to all who love and have no elevation that is higher than their compassion.is doctrine and in order to recognize the legitimacy of certain sentiments and a llow them to penetrate into our consciousness as principles. higher than the "good".the experience of Nietzsche has taught us . The "good." "frater nal love" .
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