Book One: History of European Nihilism
§107 Estimated merely for his value for Germany and German culture, Richard Wagner remains a great question mark, perhaps a German misfortune, in any case a destiny: but what does it matter? Isn’t he very much more than merely a German event? It even seems to me that there is no place where he belongs less than Germany: nothing was prepared for him there; his whole type remains simply strange among Germans, odd, uncomprehended, incomprehensible But one is careful not to admit this to oneself: for that one is too kindly, too square, too German. “Credo quia absurdus est”: that is what the German spirit wants and also wanted in this case — and so it believes for the present whatever Wagner wanted people to believe about him. The German spirit has at all times lacked subtlety and divination in psychologicis. Today, under the high pressure of fatherlandism and self-admiration, it is visibly thickening and becoming coarser: how should it be capable of coping with the problem of Wagner!