Subjects — I
If it is true that there is always more than one way of construing a text, it is not true that all interpretations are equal.
All meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation.
If there’s any excuse at all for making a record, it’s to do it differently, to approach the work from a totally recreative point of view … to perform this particular work as it has never been heard before. And if one can’t do that, I would say, abandon it, forget about it, move on to something else.
— The Glenn Gould Legacy, 1, 1968
Facts do not speak. (Les faits ne parlent pas.)
There are no moral phenomena, but only moralistic interpretations of phenomena.
— Beyond Good and Evil, 4
But today — shouldn’t we have reached the necessity of once more resolving on a reversal and fundamental shift in values, owing to another self-examination of man, another growth in profundity? Don’t we stand at the threshold of a period which should be designated negatively, to begin with, as extra-moral? After all, today at least we immoralists have the suspicion that the decisive value of an action lies precisely in what is unintentional in it, while everything about it that is intentional, everything about it that can be seen, known, “conscious,” still belongs to its surface and skin — which, like every skin, betrays something but conceals even more. In short, we believe that the intention is merely a sign and symptom that still requires interpretation — moreover, a sign that means too much and therefore, taken by itself alone, almost nothing. We believe that morality in the traditional sense, the morality of intentions, was a prejudice, precipitate and perhaps provisional — something on the order of astrology and alchemy — but in any case something that must be overcome. The overcoming of morality, in a certain sense even the self-overcoming of morality — let this be the name for that long secret work which has been saved up for the finest and most honest, also the most malicious, consciences of today, as living touchstones of the soul.
— Beyond Good and Evil, 32