Thursday, June 9, 2011

Life and How to Leave It

"Every author is surprised anew at the way in which his book, as soon as he has sent it out, continues to live a life of its own; it seems to him as if one part of an insect had been cut off and now went on its way. Perhaps he forgets it almost entirely, perhaps he rises above the view expressed therein, perhaps even he understands it no longer, and has lost that impulse upon which he soared at the time he conceived the book; meanwhile it seeks its readers, inflames life, pleases, horrifies, inspires new works, becomes the soul of designs and actions,- in short it lives like a creature endowed with mind and soul, and yet is no human being. The happiest fate is that of an author who, as an old man, is able to say that all there was of him of life-inspiring, strengthening, exalting, enlightening thoughts and feelings still lives on in his writings, and that he himself now only represents the gray ashes, whilst the fire has been kept alive and spread out. And if we consider that every human action, not only a book, is in some way or other the cause of other actions, decisions, and thoughts; that everything that happens is inseparable connected with everything else that is going to happen, we recognize the real immortality, that of movement, -that which has once moved is enclosed and immortalised in the general union of all existence...

...The thinker, as likewise the artist, who has put his best self into his works, feels an almost malicious joy when he sees how mind and body are being slowly damaged and destroyed by time, as if from a dark corner he were spying a thief at his money-chest, knowing all the time that it was empty and his treasures in safety."    

-Friedrich Nietzsche- from Human, All-Too-Human