Friday, May 07, 2021

Manners, Readers, and Honest Books

Books and Readers


Readers' bad manners. --- A reader is doubly guilty of bad manners against the author when he praises the second book at the expense of the first ( or vice versa ) and then asks the author to be grateful for that.


The worst readers. --- The worst readers are those who proceed like plundering soldiers: they pick up a few things they can use, soil and confuse the rest, and blaspheme the whole.


Value of honest books. --- Honest books make the reader honest, at least by luring into the open his hatred and aversion which his sly prudence otherwise knows how to conceal best. But against a book one lets oneself go, even if one is very reserved toward people.

On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche, Walter Kaufmann & R. J. Hollingdale, trans. Vintage, 1989 (1887). p 175


mudpuddle said...

unusual pov, it seems... dare i note a soupcon of hostility toward readers?

James said...

It sometimes seems like Nietzsche has hostility towards almost everything.