Nietzsche On Bargirls
Perhaps German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) did not have Siamese bar girls on his mind in Basel in the 19th century, but his aphorisms regarding men, women, friendship, love, and marriage are spot on more often than not in the LOS. For fellow Stickmanites I’ve summarized and grouped translations of some quotes relevant in an Asian context. The codes indicate the book (see footnote) and aphorism reference within that book. His aphorisms have stood the test of time and are certified free of political correctness. Read them and reap.
Z076: There was equally good, clear, Asian air; there I was far from cloudy, damp, melancholy old Europe! Then did I love such Asian maidens and other blue kingdoms of heaven, over which hang no clouds and no thoughts.
B238: A man who has depth in his spirit and in his desires can think about woman only in an Asian way: he has to grasp woman as a possession, as a property which he can lock up, as something for service and reaching her perfection in that service. He must stand on the immense reasoning and instinctual superiority of Asia.
H423: Travelers in an exotic land grasp correctly the common, distinctive traits of a people only in the first period of their stay; the more they get to know a people, the more they forget how to see what is typical and distinctive about it.
H424: Marriage entered into for begetting a new generation which uses sensuality as if it were only a rare, occasional means for a higher end must be provided with a natural aid: concubinage. A good wife, who should be friend, helpmate, child-bearer, mother, head of the family, and manager, cannot be a concubine at the same time: it would be asking too much of her. All human institutions, like marriage, permit only a moderate degree of practical idealization, failing which, crude measures become necessary.
G014: Even the most beautiful scenery is no longer assured of our love after we have lived in it for three months, and some distant coast attracts our avarice: possessions are generally diminished by possession.
H402: A marriage is proved good by its being able to tolerate an “exception.”
H421: Once a man’s thoughts have gone beyond the demands of custom, he might consider whether nature and reason do not dictate that he marry several times in succession. First, aged twenty-two, he marries an older girl who is spiritually and morally superior to him and can guide him through the dangers of his twenties. Later this woman would not only tolerate but promote it if the man in his thirties made an alliance with a young girl, whose education he himself would take in hand.
B123: Even concubinage has been corrupted by marriage.
T028: If a woman has manly virtues, one feels like running away; and if she has no manly virtues, she herself runs away.
B237: Dressed in black and speaking never – every woman then looks clever.
D282: This woman is beautiful and clever: but how much cleverer she would have become if she were not beautiful!
G060: The enchantment and the most powerful effect of women is an effect at a distance; primarily and above all: distance!
H377: The perfect woman is a higher type of human than the perfect man, and also something much more rare.
H398: Women’s modesty generally increases with their beauty.
H413: Sometimes a stronger pair of glasses will cure an amorous man; and if someone had the power to imagine a face or form twenty years older, he might go through life single.
Z020: Careful, have I found all buyers, and all of them have astute eyes. But even the most astute buys his wife in a sack.
B144: When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her sexuality.
H356: It shows a lack of noble character when someone prefers to live in dependence at the expense of others and usually with a secret bitterness towards those on whom she is dependent. This kind of character is much more common in women than in men, and much more forgivable.
H389: Marriages that are made for love have “Error” as their father and “Need” as their mother.
H394: Men generally sink somewhat when they take wives, while wives are somewhat elevated.
H396: Fiancés who have been brought together by convenience often try to be in love in order to overcome the reproach of cold, calculating advantage.
H404: The girls who want to owe their whole life’s maintenance to their youthful charms alone, and whose cunning is prompted by their shrewd mothers, want the same thing as courtesans – only the girls are more clever and less honest.
H412: An indication of the cleverness of women is that almost everywhere they know how to have others support them like drones in a beehive. Through submission, women know how to secure the advantage, indeed domination.
H432: Women want to serve, and therein lies their happiness; and the free spirit wants not to be served, and therein lies his happiness.
H492: Men seldom endure a profession if they do not believe or persuade themselves that it is more important than all others. Women do the same with their lovers.
Z018: Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman has one solution: pregnancy. Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child.
H323: The man who gives a great gift encounters no gratitude because the recipient, simply by accepting it, already has too much of a burden.
H059: One must have a good memory to be able to keep the promises one has given. One must have strong powers of imagination to be able to have pity. So closely is morality bound to the quality of the intellect.
H054: If a child has been raised in complicated domestic circumstances she will employ the lie naturally, and will always say instinctively that which corresponds to her interests. A feeling for truth, a distaste for lying in and of itself, is alien to her and inaccessible; and so she lies in complete innocence.
H419: Because women are so much more personal than objective, their range of ideas can tolerate tendencies that are logically in contradiction with one another.
B085: The same emotions in man and woman are different in tempo: therefore man and woman never cease to misunderstand one another.
B120: Sensuality often makes love grow too quickly, so that the root remains weak and is easy to pull out.
D309: Love contains a secret impulse to see as much beauty as possible in the other or to elevate her as high as possible: to deceive oneself here would be a joy and an advantage and so one does so.
D479: For the sake of love we are inveterate transgressors against truth and habitual deceivers. That is why the thinker must always from time to time drive away those people he loves (they may not be those who love him), so that they may display their malice and cease to seduce him.
H058: A promise to love someone forever means as long as I love you I will render unto you the actions of love; if I no longer love you, you will continue to receive the same actions from me, perhaps for other motives. The illusion remains that love is unchanged.
H603: Love desires; fear avoids. That is why it is impossible, at least in the same time span, to be loved and respected by the same person.
Z018: Man’s soul is deep, its current gushes in subterranean caverns: woman surmises its force, but cannot understand it.
B075: The degree and kind of a man’s sexuality reaches up into the topmost summit of his spirit.
B094: Mature manhood is to have rediscovered the seriousness one had as a child at play.
Z018: In the true man there is a child hidden: he wants to play. A plaything let woman be, pure and fine like the precious stone.
D327: He does not love the things he knows, but has spirit for and enjoyment of the chase and intrigues of knowledge up to the highest and remotest stars of knowledge until at last there remains to him nothing of knowledge left to hunt down except the absolutely detrimental.
H426: Will free spirits live with women? In general, I believe that, as the true-thinking, truth-speaking men of the present, they must, like the prophetic birds of ancient times, prefer to fly alone.
H495: People are always angry at anyone who chooses very individual standards for his life; because of the extraordinary treatment which that man grants to himself, they feel degraded, like ordinary beings.
Z018: What is woman for man? The true man wants two things: danger and diversion. Therefore he wants woman – most dangerous plaything.
Z018: The happiness of man is, “I will.”
Z018: Man shall be trained for war, and woman for the recreation of the warrior: all else is folly.
H084: Men are not ashamed to think something dirty, but they are ashamed when they imagine that others might believe them capable of these dirty thoughts.
T008: What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.
H421: For one’s twenties, marriage is a necessary institution; for one’s thirties, it is useful, but not necessary; for later life, it often becomes harmful and promotes a husband’s spiritual regression.
D151: We ought not to be permitted to come to a decision affecting our life while we are in the condition of being in love, nor to determine the company we keep on the basis of a whim: the oaths of lovers ought to be declared invalid and marriage denied them: the reason being that one ought to take marriage more seriously.
D276: How many married men there are who have experienced the morning when it has dawned on them that their young wife is tedious and believes the opposite, not to mention those whose flesh is willing but whose spirit is weak!
T039: You do not base marriage on love: you base it on the sex drive; on the drive for property (woman and child as property); on the drive to dominate that needs children in order to maintain man’s measure of power, influence, and wealth.
H388: A few men have sighed because their women were abducted; most, because no one wanted to abduct them.
H399: A marriage in which each wants to attain an individual goal through the other holds together well, for example, when the woman wants to be famous through the man, or the man popular through the woman.
H406: When entering marriage, one should ask: do you think you will be able to have good conversations with this woman right into old age? Everything else in marriage transitory, but most of the time in interaction is spent in conversation.
H427: Everything habitual draws an ever tighter net of spiderwebs around us; then we notice that the fibers have become traps, and that we ourselves are sitting in the middle, like a spider that got caught there and must feed on its own blood. From this one can judge whether he is cut out for the happiness of marriage.
Z024: Give us a set term and a small marriage, that we may see if we are fit for the great marriage!
B136: One seeks a midwife for his thoughts, another someone to whom he can be a midwife: thus originates a good conversation.
H499: Shared joy, not compassion, makes a friend.
H390: Women can very well enter into a friendship with a man, but to maintain it a little physical antipathy must help out.
H378: The best friend will probably get the best wife, because a good marriage is based on a talent for friendship.
H428: If we live too close to a person it is as if we keep touching good artwork with our bare fingers; one day we have dirty paper in our hands and nothing more. One always loses by all-too-intimate association with women and friends.
Z018: Surface is woman’s soul, a mobile, stormy film on shallow water.
B131: The sexes deceive themselves about one another. Man wants woman to be peaceful, but woman is essentially unpeaceful, like the cat, however well she may have trained herself to present an appearance of peace.
D227: Clever women who have been banished by fate to narrow and dull surroundings, amid which they grow old, lie in the sun, apparently lazy and half-blind; but at every unknown step, at everything unexpected, they start up to bite: they revenge themselves on everything that has escaped their kennel.
H414: When feeling hatred, women are more dangerous than men. Once their hostile feeling has been aroused they are inhibited by no considerations of fairness but let their hatred swell undisturbed to the final consequences.
Z018: Let man fear woman when she loves, makes every sacrifice, and regards everything else as worthless. Let man fear woman when she hates: for man in his innermost soul is merely evil; woman, however, is mean.
B084: Woman learns how to hate to the extent that she unlearns how to charm.
B115: Where neither love nor hate is in the game a woman is a mediocre player.
B139: In revenge and in love woman is more barbarous than man.
B239: Woman is losing her shame. She is forgetting to be afraid of man. The woman who forgets fear abandons her most womanly instincts.
Z018: The happiness of woman is, “He will.”
Z018: Are you visiting women? Do not forget your whip!
Nietzsche stayed single. Read more in the following books, all public domain now:
B: Beyond Good & Evil
H: Human, All Too Human
G: The Gay Science
T: Twilight of the Idols
Z: Thus Spake Zarathustra
“God is dead” – Nietzsche, 1882
“Nietzsche is dead” – God, 1900