I live in my own light; I drink back into myself the flames that break out of me. -> Aber ich lebe in meinem eignen Lichte, ich trinke die Flammen in mich zurück, die aus mir brechen. (Nietzsche, Also sprach Zarathustra II)

jmiller · 11 · 3836

jmiller

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This is my favorite Nietzsche quote.  I believe it expresses the spirit that serves as the foundation for what Aristotle called practiical wisdom; and hence, I'd love to see it translated into acient greek.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers,
John
« Last Edit: 04 Mar, 2009, 23:36:01 by billberg23 »




vmelas

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And I'd love to see it in the original German of Nietzsche.  It's hard to imagine Aristotle having such a thought.

I think jmiller said that it expresses the spirit; not that it's a quote from Aristotle that Nietzsche used. Or am I wrong maybe?


billberg23

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I think jmiller said that it expresses the spirit; not that it's a quote from Aristotle that Nietzsche used. Or am I wrong maybe?
No, I didn't misunderstand Miller that way.  I said "thought," not "statement."  It's hard to imagine any ancient Greek thinking in that "spirit."  So it would be difficult, if not impossible, to convey that thought (= that "spirit") in ancient Greek.  But let's see first what Nietzsche actually said in the beautiful German of his original statement, before we try to force it into the refractory environment of a dead language.  Can anyone (jmiller?) give us the reference?
« Last Edit: 04 Mar, 2009, 17:00:58 by billberg23 »



billberg23

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And here it is, after a bit of judicious googling:

Aber ich lebe in meinem eignen Lichte, ich trinke die Flammen in mich zurück, die aus mir brechen.

It's from Das Nachtlied ("Nightsong") in Book Two of Also sprach Zarathustra ("Thus Spake Zarathustra").  Very lovely, very modern, very German, very Nietzsche.  It would make a great tattoo, for example, in Gothic script!  (-;


jmiller

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First and foremost, I'd like to thank everyone that's contributed by posting their thoughts.  I'm bound and determined to translate the above quote to Ancient Greek; and, I appreciate any further comments and suggestions you may have.

Billberg, in response to your thought that "It's hard to imagine any ancient Greek thinking in that "spirit.":

While many of Aristotle's works laid the groundwork for modern western philosophy, it's important to remind ourselves that prior to Kant, there was no true distinction between the analytic and the post-modern approaches.  By imagining those lines being blurred a bit, one begins to understand why Nietzsche referred to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle as "The Great Ironics".  We'd be mistaken not to recognize that Nietzsche was a master of rhetoric, and--believe me--I was put off by this claim the first time I read "Beyond Good and Evil".  Nevertheless, after re-reading "Nicomachean Ethics" with this interpretation in mind, it became clear to me that Aristotle was aware of the inherent irony that lives in his moral and social frameworks and that he--in a very subtle manner--embraces that irony in his texts.  If you adamantly disagree with the with this interpretation, then I would politely suggest that you contemplate the following: despite his rather scientific/reductionist style in "Nicomachean Ethics,"  Aristotle doesn't make much of an attempt to explain the source of practical wisdom as well as the seemingly random distribution among men. Why?

It's possible that Aristotle believed that those endowed with this wisdom are either blessed by the heavens or maybe simply pure chance to the extent that they are better in touch with a set of innate universal truths that rule our universe and exist independent of us.  But, surely it's also possible that what Aristotle found to be unique about the practically wise is their ability to live in their own light--to appreciate the irony of human tragedy and one's very own system of values but to nevertheless act in a fashion that honors those values and respects the societal practices and traditions that largely gave birth to our common sense of identity; to hold oneself to a code of conduct not because there exists some universal source of enlightenment but because one has come to terms with the likely nonexistence of this source and hence understands the responsibility that one has to oneself.

While there is good reason to disagree with what I have just proposed, let us leave it open to interpretation for Aristotle's writing style undoubtedly leverages the art of esotericism . . . Now, can anyone help me by translating the above quote to Ancient Greek?  Thanks in advance.

John


jmiller

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Oh yeah . . . billberg, I forgot to thank you in particular for finding the accurate orriginal German text.  I would have had no idea what I was looking at.  I agree, it may just be the perfect tattoo.

Cheers,
John


spiros

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Μα ζω μέσα στο δικό μου φως, καταπίνω πάλι τις φωτιές που ξεπηδούν από μέσα μου.

This is modern Greek translation by Άρης Δικταίος.




billberg23

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John, your explanation encourages me to believe that you have a more intimate acquaintance with the text of Aristotle than most of us here.  Please direct us to specific passages that illustrate his perception of "practical wisdom," and we may be able to find in his original Greek some authentic quotation relevant to your needs.

Ideally, of course, you can point out something in Aristotle that corresponds to your Nietzsche citation.  So far, in your postings, I find no connection between what you suggest of Aristotle and what Zarathustra suggests of himself.  Perhaps you can be more specific.


 

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