James Alday

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Joseph de Maistre
“In the whole vast dome of living nature there reigns an open violence. A kind of prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom: as soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom you find the decree of violent death inscribed on the very frontiers of life. You feel it already in the vegetable kingdom: from the great catalpa to the humblest herb, how many plants die and how many are killed; but, from the moment you enter the animal kingdom, this law is suddenly in the most dreadful evidence. A Power, a violence, at once hidden and palpable. . . has in each species appointed a certain number of animals to devour the others. . . And who [in this general carnage] exterminates him who will exterminate all others? Himself. It is man who is charged with the slaughter of man. . . The whole earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the death of death.”
Joseph de Maistre, St Petersburg Dialogues: Or Conversations on the Temporal Government of Providence

Friedrich Nietzsche
“One has to test oneself to see that one is destined for independence and command—and do it at the right time. One should not dodge one’s tests, though they may be the most dangerous game one could play and are tests that are taken in the end before no witness or judge but ourselves. Not to remain stuck to a person—not even the most loved—every person is a prison, also a nook.

Not to remain stuck to a fatherland—not even if it suffers most and needs help most—it is less difficult to sever one’s heart from a victorious fatherland. Not to remain stuck to some pity—not even for higher men into whose rare torture and helplessness some accident allowed us to look.

Not to remain stuck to a science—even if it should lure us with the most precious finds that seem to have been saved up precisely for us. Not to remain stuck to one’s own detachment, to that voluptuous remoteness and strangeness of the bird who flees ever higher to see ever more below him—the danger of the flier.

Not to remain stuck to our own virtues and become as a whole the victim of some detail in us, such as our hospitality, which is the danger of dangers for superior and rich souls who spend themselves lavishly, almost indifferently, and exaggerate the virtue of generosity into a vice.

One must know how to conserve oneself: the hardest test of independence.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

81 A Novel Idea: a NYC Bookclub — 634 members — last activity Apr 04, 2019 11:49AM
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