An artist is he for whom the goal and center of life is to form his mind.

What men are among the other formations of the earth, artists are among men.

Many works of the ancients have become fragments. Many works of the moderns are fragments at the time of their origin.

All men are somewhat ridiculous and grotesque, just because they are men and in this respect artists might well be regarded as man multiplied by two. So it is, was, and shall be.

What is called good society is usually nothing but a mosaic of polished caricatures.

In the world of language, or in other words in the world of art and liberal education, religion necessarily appears as mythology or as Bible.

Man is a creative retrospection of nature upon itself.

Nothing is more witty and grotesque than ancient mythology and Christianity; that is because they are so mystical.

A definition of poetry can only determine what poetry should be and not what poetry actually was and is; otherwise the most concise formula would be: Poetry is that which at some time and some place was thus named.

If you want to see mankind fully, look at a family. Within the family minds become organically one, and for this reason the family is total poetry.

Women are treated as unjustly in poetry as in life. The feminine ones are not idealistic, and the idealistic not feminine.

Wit as an instrument of revenge is as infamous as art is as a means of sensual titillation.

Women do not have as great a need for poetry because their own essence is poetry.

Versatility of education can be found in our best poetry, but the depth of mankind should be found in the philosopher.

A so-called happy marriage corresponds to love as a correct poem to an improvised song.

The surest method of being incomprehensible or, moreover, to be misunderstood is to use words in their original sense; especially words from the ancient languages.

Novels tend to end as the Paternoster begins: with the kingdom of God on earth.

Nothing truly convincing - which would possess thoroughness, vigor, and skill - has been written against the ancients as yet; especially not against their poetry.

From what the moderns want, we must learn what poetry should become; from what the ancients did, what poetry must be.

Irony is the form of paradox. Paradox is what is good and great at the same time.

Where there is politics or economics, there is no morality.

Aphorisms are the true form of the universal philosophy.

As the ancient commander addressed his soldiers before battle, so should the moralist speak to men in the struggle of the era.

In actual life, every great enterprise begins with and takes its first forward step in faith.

Mathematics is, as it were, a sensuous logic, and relates to philosophy as do the arts, music, and plastic art to poetry.

Morality without a sense of paradox is mean.

A critic is a reader who ruminates. Thus, he should have more than one stomach.

The genuine priest always feels something higher than compassion.

Wit is an explosion of the compound spirit.

Wit is the appearance, the external flash of imagination. Thus its divinity, and the witty character of mysticism.

There is no self-knowledge but an historical one. No one knows what he himself is who does not know his fellow men, especially the most prominent one of the community, the master's master, the genius of the age.

The difference between religion and morality lies simply in the classical division of things into the divine and the human, if one only interprets this correctly.

Novels are the Socratic dialogues of our time. Practical wisdom fled from school wisdom into this liberal form.

A priest is he who lives solely in the realm of the invisible, for whom all that is visible has only the truth of an allegory.

The subject of history is the gradual realization of all that is practically necessary.

Since philosophy now criticizes everything it comes across, a critique of philosophy would be nothing less than a just reprisal.

He who does not become familiar with nature through love will never know her.

The main thing is to know something and to say it.

It is as deadly for a mind to have a system as to have none. Therefore it will have to decide to combine both.

An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog.

Whoever does not philosophize for the sake of philosophy, but rather uses philosophy as a means, is a sophist.

Reason is mechanical, wit chemical, and genius organic spirit.

God is each truly and exalted thing, therefore the individual himself to the highest degree. But are not nature and the world individuals?

Many a witty inspiration is like the surprising reunion of befriended thoughts after a long separation.

The German national character is a favorite subject of character experts, probably because the less mature a nation, the more she is an object of criticism and not of history.

What is lost in the good or excellent translation is precisely the best.

Plato's philosophy is a dignified preface to future religion.

About no subject is there less philosophizing than about philosophy.

One has only as much morality as one has philosophy and poetry.