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fear of the most unworthy

Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1889, Kaufmann translation, “Skirmishes of an Untimely Man”, sec. 46:

Here the view is free.— It may be nobility of the soul [Höhe der Seele] when a philosopher is silent, it may be love when he contradicts himself; and he who has knowledge maybe polite enough to lie. It has been said, not without delicacy: Il est indigne des grand coeurs de répandre le trouble qu’ils ressentent [It is unworthy of great hearts to pour out the disturbance they feel]. But one must add that not to be afraid of the most unworthy may also be greatness of soul. A woman who loves, sacrifices her honor; a knower who “loves” may perhaps sacrifice his humanity; a God who loved became a Jew …

Evokes a vision worthy of Weininger: what price a woman must pay to love…the price a man must to know…the one God pays for us. Our Lord in heaven will be embarrassed by his immortality, by his having stemmed from our foreheads—–as man from between her legs.

Moral consciousness knows no limits. Nothing, absolutely nothing is sacred. It will consume itself from spite to prove this…

But, to return to the immediate point concerning Weininger and women, greatness of soul is measured by the enormity of sacrifice. This is what saves him, all his gaucherie aside, from the full brunt of the charge of misogyny (as a few perceptive women have seen). In the end her very “inferiority” by all the measures never entirely meant to apply to her in the first place sets her aside from moral judgment. But in a world in which these are seen as the only measures, she has indeed sacrificed and been sacrificed.

Posted by luno in Nietzsche, Moral Consciousness, Weininger (Saturday July 23, 2005 at 1:22 pm)

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