I have used these weeks to "transvaluate values."MDo you understand this trope?—At bottom, the goldmaker is the most worthy human type there is: I mean him who out of next to nothing, out of what is despicable, makes something valuable, even gold. He alone enriches, the others only exchange. My task is absolutely singular this time: I have asked myself what it is that has been must hated, feared, and despised by mankind up to now—and out of this I have made my "gold."
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture. Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Briefe: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 8, p. 318, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1986). Letter to Danish literary critic Georg Brandes dated May 23, 1888.
An earlier variant meant to be used in the "Preface" to The Wagner Case (1888) appears among Nietzsche's notebook entries dating to SpringSummer 1888.