The World as Will and Idea - Vol. 2

The World as Will and Idea - Vol. 2

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The World as Will and Idea - Vol. 2

The World as Will and Idea - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It is much easier to point out the faults and errors in the work of a great mind than to give a distinct and full exposition of its value. For the faults are particular and finite, and can therefore be fully comprehended; while, on the contrary, the very stamp which genius impresses upon its works is that their excellence is unfathomable and inexhaustible. Therefore they do not grow old, but become the instructor of many succeeding centuries. The perfected masterpiece of a truly great mind will always produce a deep and powerful effect upon the whole human race, so much so that it is impossible to calculate to what distant centuries and lands its enlightening influence may extend. This is always the case; for however cultivated and rich the age may be in which such a masterpiece appears, genius always rises like a palm-tree above the soil in which it is rooted.

But a deep-reaching and widespread effect of this kind cannot take place suddenly, because of the great difference between the genius and ordinary men. The knowledge which that one man in one lifetime drew directly from life and the world, won and presented to others as won and arranged, cannot yet at once become the possession of mankind; for mankind has not so much power to receive as the genius has power to give. But even after a successful battle with unworthy opponents, who at its very birth contest the life of what is immortal and desire to nip in the bud the salvation of man (like the serpents in the cradle of Hercules), that knowledge must then traverse the circuitous paths of innumerable false constructions and distorted applications, must overcome the . . .

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