The aphorism in which I am the first master among Germans, are the forms of eternity; my ambition is to say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a book — what everyone else does not say in a book.
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- It is my ambition to say in ten sentences; what others say in a whole book.
- In the mountains the shortest route is from peak to peak, but for that you must have long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks: and those to whom they are spoken should be big and tall of stature.
- Without music, life would be an error. The German imagines even God singing songs
- The desire to create continually is vulgar and betrays jealousy, envy, ambition. If one is something one really does not need to make anything –and one nonetheless does very much. There exists above the productive man a yet higher species.
- The significance of language for the evolution of culture lies in this, that mankind set up in language a separate world beside the other world, a place it took to be so firmly set that, standing upon it, it could lift the rest of the world off its hinges and make itself master of it. To the extent that man has for long ages believed in the concepts and names of things as in aeternae veritates he has appropriated to himself that pride by which he raised himself above the animal: he really thought that in language he possessed knowledge of the world.
- What is wanted — whether this is admitted or not — is nothing less than a fundamental remolding, indeed weakening and abolition of the individual: one never tires of enumerating and indicating all that is evil and inimical, prodigal, costly, extravagant in the form individual existence has assumed hitherto, one hopes to manage more cheaply, more safely, more equitably, more uniformly if there exist only large bodies and their members.