Home » (Quotes) » Nietzschean Advice, Taken As: How to Read a Great Book

Nietzschean Advice, Taken As: How to Read a Great Book

Love as a device.Whoever wants really to get to know something new (be it a person, an event, or a book) does well to take up this new thing with all possible love, to avert his eye quickly from, even to forget, everything about it that he finds inimical, objectionable, or false. So, for example, we give the author of a book the greatest possible head start, and, as if at a race, yearn with a pounding heart for him to reach his goal. By doing this, we penetrate into the heart of the new thing, into its motive center: and this is what it means to get to know it. Once we have got that far, reason then sets its limits; that overestimation, that occasional unhinging of the critical pendulum, was just a device to entice the soul of a thing out into the open.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human 1.9.621

(Translated by Helen Zimmern, with a few alterations)

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