Quotation by Friedrich Nietzsche

Almost everything we call "higher culture" is based on the spiritualization of cruelty, on its becoming more profound: this is my proposition. That "savage animal" has not really been "mortified"; it lives and flourishes, it has merely become—divine. What constitutes the painful voluptuousness of tragedy is cruelty; what seems agreeable in so-called tragic pity, and at bottom in everything sublime, up to the highest and most delicate shudders of metaphysics, receives its sweetness solely from the admixture of cruelty. What the Roman in the arena, the Christian in the ecstasies of the cross, the Spaniard at an auto-da-fe or bullfight, the Japanese of today when he flocks to tragedies, the laborer in a Parisian suburb who feels a nostalgia for bloody revolutions, the Wagnerienne who "submits to" Tristan and Isolde, her will suspended—what all of them enjoy and seek to drink in with mysterious ardor are the spicy potions of the great Circe, "cruelty."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 5, p. 166, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980); Beyond Good and Evil, pp. 158-159, trans. by Walter Kaufmann, New York, Vintage Books (1966). Beyond Good and Evil, "Seventh Part: Our Virtues," section 229 (1886).
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