The Good and the Beautiful

Artists continually glorify—they do nothing else—all those states and things that are reputed to give man the opportunity to feel good for once, or great, or intoxicated, or cheerful, or well and wise. These select things and states, whose value for human happiness is considered safe and assured, are the artists’ objects. Artists always lie in wait to discover such objects and draw them into the realm of art. What I mean is that they themselves are not the appraisers of happiness; rather they try to get close to those who make the appraisals, with the utmost curiosity and the urge to utilize these appraisals immediately. Since they have, in addition to this impatience, also the big lungs of heralds and the feet of runners, they are also always among the first to glorify the new good; and they therefore appear to be the first to call it good, to appraise is good. But this is, as I have said, an error: they are merely quicker and louder than the real appraisers. —But who are the real appraisers?—The rich and the idle.

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, Book Two, 85


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