Skip to main content
Read page text

action, of all things we kept ourselves furthest from the happiness of the weaklings, from “resignation”. . . . There was a thunderstorm in our air, the nature which we are grew dark – for we had no road. Formula of our happiness: a Yes, a No, a straight line, a goal. . . .

[The Anti-Christ 1]

In a passage such as this the distinction between “prose” and “poetry ” has been narrowed to a merely technical one; and if a kind of poetry is envisaged – a kind usually called “free verse” – of which the only regulator is cadence, then there are many passages in Nietzsche’s writings (principally though not only in Zarathustra) where all distinction between prose and poetry has disappeared:

Allein bin ich wieder und will es sein, allein mit reinem Himmel und freiem Meere; und wieder ist Nachmittag um mich.

Allein bin ich wieder und will es sein, allein mit reinem Himmel und freiem Meere; und wieder ist Nachmittag um mich. I am again alone and willingly so, alone with the pure sky and the open sea; and again it is afternoon around me.

[Zarathustra III, Von der Seligkeit wider Willen] Strongly cadenced prose and the style of compressed metaphor combined together define the “free verse” style of the Dithyrambs of Dionysus.

5 Nietzsche’s posthumously published notebooks contain many book-titles for which there are no corresponding books; and several of his published books received their final titles only after several provisional titles had been rejected. It is therefore not in itself surprising to find that the Dithyrambs of Dionysus

15

My Bookmarks


Skip to main content