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Nietzsche – Why he forgave the Greeks

September 22, 2014

“And as for Aristophanes – that transfiguring, complementary spirit for whose sake one forgives everything Hellenic for having existed, provided one has understood in its full profundity all that needs to be forgiven and transfigured here – there is nothing that has caused me to meditate more on Plato’s secrecy and sphinx nature than the happily preserved petit fait that under the pillow of his deathbed there was found no ‘Bible,’ nor anything Egyptian, Pythagorean, or Platonic – but a volume of Aristophanes. How could even Plato have endured life – a Greek life he repudiated – without an Aristophanes?”

(from Jenseits von Gut und Böse [Beyond Good and Evil, 1886], translated by John Sallis)

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