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Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1889, Kaufmann translation, “The Hammer Speaks”.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, III: On Old and New Tablets, 29.

“Why so hard?” the kitchen coal once said to the diamond. “After all, are we not close kin?”
Why so soft? O my brothers, thus I ask you: are you not after all my brothers?
Why so soft, so pliant and yielding? Why is there so much denial, self-denial, in your hearts? So little destiny in your eyes?
And if you do not want to be destinies and inexorable ones, how can you one day triumph with me?
And if your hardness does not wish to flash and cut through, how can you one day create with me?
For all creators are hard. And it must seem blessedness to you to impress your hand on millennia as on wax.
Blessedness to write on the will of millennia as on bronze—harder than bronze, nobler than bronze. Only the noblest is altogether hard.
This new tablet, O my brothers, I place over you: Become hard! — —

The “hardness” is what a man must become to live in a world where he does not belong and never will. It is, in the end, unclear whether this is a sad or a happy thought. Whether the diamond or the piece of coal has it better.

Posted by luno in Nietzsche (Saturday July 23, 2005 at 2:31 pm)

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