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  • Writer's pictureCorbin Allardice

Commonplace Book 4: Nietzsche

And if that is my alpha and omega, that all heaviness becomes light, all body dancer, all spirit bird – and truly, that is my alpha and omega! –

(Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Seven Seals (Or: the Yes and Amen Song), Trans. Adrian Del Caro)*


Der onheyb un sof fun mayn hokhme iz--az ales shvere darf laykht vern, yeder layb--tantsn, un yeder gayst--a foygl zayn.

Und wenn Das mein A und O ist, dass alles Schwere leicht, aller Leib Tänzer, aller Geist Vogel werde: und wahrlich, Das ist mein A und O!—

(Also sprach Zarathustra. Die sieben Siegel (Oder: das Ja- und Amen-Lied))


whoever does not believe himself always lies.

(Thus Spake Zarathustra, On Immaculate Perception, trans. Walter Kauffman)


Ver s’gloybt nit in zikh leygt shtendik.

wer sich selber nicht glaubt, lügt immer.

(Also sprach Zarathustra, Von der unbefleckten Erkenntniss)


ultimately one experiences only oneself.

(Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Wanderer, Trans. Adrian Del Caro)


Sof-kol-sof lebt men iber nor zikh aleyn.

man erlebt endlich nur noch sich selber.

(Also sprach Zarathustra, Der Wanderer)


and where there is great love of oneself it is the sign of pregnancy

(Thus Spake Zarathustra, On Unwilling Bliss, trans. Walter Kauffman)

Groyse libe tsu zikh iz a simn fun shvangershaft.

und wo grosse Liebe zu sich selber ist, da ist sie der Schwangerschaft Wahrzeichen

(Also sprach Zarathustra, Von der Seligkeit wider Willen)


O my brothers, am I cruel? But I say: what is falling,we should still push.

And he whom you cannot teach to fly, teach to fall faster!

(Thus Spake Zarathustra, From Old and New Tablets, trans. Walter Kauffman)


O brider mayne, bin ikh den nit an akhzer? Nor ikh zog: dos vos falt, darf men a shtoys ton.

Un kent ir emetsn nit oyslernen flien, lernt im oys gikher faln.

Oh meine Brüder, bin ich denn grausam? Aber ich sage: was fällt, das soll man auch noch stossen!

Und wen ihr nicht fliegen lehrt, den lehrt mir—schneller fallen!—

(Also sprach Zarathustra, Von alten und neuen Tafeln)


By Friedrich Nietzsche

Yiddish Translation by Moyshe Varshe

Arranged by Corbin Allardice


*- It’s worth noting that an abridged Yiddish translation of Thus Spake Zorathrustra already existed at this time, published by the anarchist Rudolph Rocker in 1910. It would be very interesting to compare the two’s translations, but, alas, I have not yet had time.

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