U.S. Intellectual History Blog

A Quote for Tuesday

“The body of knowledge keeps increasing at incredible speed, but the literature of nonknowledge grows even faster. Books multiply like mushrooms, or rather like toadstools–mildew would be still more precise–and even those who read books come perforce to depend more and more on knowledge about books, writers, and, if at all possible–for this is the intellectual, or rather the nonintellectual, equivalent of a bargain–movements. As long as one knows about existentialism, one can talk about a large number of authors without having actually read their books.”

Walter Kaufmann, “Editor’s Introduction” to Friedrich Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals (New York: Vintage, 1989), 6-7.