masterwork was never completed. Provisionally it was to be entitled The Will to Power and subtitled "Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values."

As a young man Nietzsche was already familiar with the disturbing thought of the death of a God and the mortality of the gods. In a note that dates from the time he was drafting his first work The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche wrote (in 187o): "I believe in the ancient German saying: all gods must die." At the end of his treatise Faith and Knowledge (1802), the yom1g Hegel identifies the "feeling on which the religion of the modem age rests — the feeling that God Himself is dead . . ." Hegel's word thinks something different from what Nietzsche thinks in his. Nonetheless, between the two there is an essential connection that conceals itself in the essence of all metaphysics. Plutarch's remark, cited by Pascal - "Le grand Pan est mort" (Pensées , 695) - belongs, though for contrary reasons, in the same domain.

Let us, first of all, listen to the complete text of section 125 of La Gaya Scienza. The section is entitled "The madman" and runs:

The madman. — Haven't you heard of that madman who lit a lamp in the bright morning, ran to the market, and cried out ceaselessly: "I'm looking for God􀆈 I'm looking for God!" — As there were a number of people standing about just then who did not believe in God, he aroused a good deal of laughter. "So did he get lost?," someone said. "Has he lost his way, like a child?," another asked. "Or maybe he's in hiding?" "Is he afraid of us?" "Gone to sea?" "Emigrated?" — so were they shouting and laughing riotously. The madman jumped into the midst of them and his eyes transfixed them: "Where did God go?," he cried, "I'll tell you where. We've killed him — you and I. We are all his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink the sea dry? Who gave us the sponge to wipe the entire horizon away? What did we do when we unchained this earth from its sun? Where is it moving to now? Where are we moving to? Away from all the suns? Is there no end to our plummeting? Backwards, sidewards, forwards, in every direction? Is there still an up and a down? Aren't we astray as in an endless nothing? It's the empty space, isn't it, we feel breathing on us? It has become colder, hasn't it? Isn't it always nightfall and more night? Don't lamps need to be lit in the morning? Do we not yet hear any of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not yet smell anything of the divine putrefaction? — even gods become putrid. God is dead! God remains dead! And we killed him. How are we to find consolation, we the murderers of all murderers? The holiest and mightiest that the world has hitherto possessed has bled to death under our knives. What water can cleanse us? What ceremonies of expiation, what sacred games, will we have to invent? Isn't the greatness of this deed too great for us? Don't we have to become gods ourselves in order merely to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed — and whoever will be horn after us will partake, for this deed's sake, of a history higher than all history in times past!" — Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his audience; they