"My means: expression, my awkwardness. The ordinary condition of life: rivalry between various individuals, striving to be the best. Caesar: "... rather than be second in Rome." Men are such—so wretched—that everything seems worthless—unless it surpasses. Often I am so sad that to measure my insufficiency of means without despairing wears me out. The problems which are worth being considered have meaning only on the condition that, posing them, one attains the summit: Mad pride necessary for being torn apart. And at times—our nature slips into dissolution for nothing—one tears oneself apart with the sole aim of satisfying this pride: everything is ruined in an all-absorbing vanity. It would be better to be nothing more than a village pedlar, to look at the sun with a sickly eye, rather than . . ."
and later he says: “One has egotistical satisfaction only in projects; the satisfaction escapes as soon as one accomplishes; one returns quickly to the plan of the project-one falls in this way into flight, like an animal into an endless trap; on one day or another, one dies an idiot.”