Nietzsche Reading Circle
When I imagine a perfect reader, they always turn into a monster of courage and curiosity; moreover, supple, cunning, cautious; a born adventurer and discoverer.
He writes with blood, and promises that if we read him with our blood—boiling? pumping? spilling?— “you will discover that blood is spirit.”
But let us beware! Because “it is not easy to understand the blood of another,” our guide, Friedrich Nietzsche “hates the idle reader!”
So, this reading group will be a Temple of Lento.
Lento? (slow, slow!)
I must write. I can’t write. I will write. I’ll write lento my brothers and sisters—lento!
In our temple, in our reading sanctuary, we will don the mask fo the philologist.
It is not for nothing that one has been a philologist, perhaps one is still a philologist, that is to say, a teacher of slow reading: — in the end one also writes slowly. Now it is not only my habit, but also my taste — a malicious taste, perhaps? — no longer to write anything which does not bring every kind of person who “is in a hurry” to despair. For philology is that venerable art which demands of its devotees one thing above all, to go aside, to take one’s time, become silent, become slow — for a goldsmith’s art and connoisseurship of the word, which has nothing but delicate, cautious work to do, achieves nothing if it does not achieve it lento. But for precisely this reason it is more necessary than ever today, by precisely this means does it entice and enchant us the most, in the midst of an age of “work,” that is to say: an age of hurry, of indecent and perspiring haste, which wants everything “to get done” at once, including every old or new book: — it itself does not so easily get anything done, it teaches to read well, which means slowly, deeply, carefully and considerately, with reservations, with doors left open, with delicate fingers and eyes … My patient friends, this book wants for itself nothing but perfect readers and philologists: learn to read me well!