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The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,655 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
Translated by Ian C. Johnston The Birth of Tragedy (Die Geburt der Tragodie aus dem Geiste der Musik, 1872) is a 19th Century work of philosophy by Friedrich Nietzsche. The full title translates as The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music. It was reissued in 1886 as The Birth of Tragedy, Or: Hellenism and Pessimism (Die Geburt der Tragödie, Oder: Griechentum und Pessi ...more
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Published (first published 1872)
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Mishou If you've never read Nietzsche before the worst possible thing you can do is read Thus Spoke Zarathustra. That is his final complete piece of writing…moreIf you've never read Nietzsche before the worst possible thing you can do is read Thus Spoke Zarathustra. That is his final complete piece of writing with so much weight and hardiness after writing complex pieces previous to it. Yes The birth of Tragedy is his first published work but it is still quite an undertaking and not to be read lightly. If you truly want to experience and appreciate his thoughts and philosophy properly, the best thing you can do is read a secondary source to get a sense of the matter without having to jump through fiery hoops to understand it. I'm a minor in Philosophy and my boyfriend is a 3rd year Major. Trust me you'll be doing yourself a favor and will have better success in excelling with Nietzsche. A great secondary source is "The Importance of Nietzsche" by Erich Heller. Then, if you want to move on past Secondary sources I suggest (smaller than The Birth of Tragedy) "Human, All-Too-Human". (less)
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Riku Sayuj

Apollo Vs Dionysus: A Darwinian Drama

Nietzsche never struck me as a real philosopher. He was too much the story-teller.

This is probably his most a-philosophical (?) work. But it is my favorite. It was the most accessible to me and it was the most relevant of his works. It helped me form my own convictions. It was universal and yet not choke full of platitudes. It was forceful but not descending into loud (almost incomprehensible) invectives. (you know which works I subtly allude to)

'Birth of Tra
Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy

In Helen Morales' introduction to Tim Whitmarsh's fine new translation of Leucippe and Clitophon ,

written by the Alexandrian Greek Achilles Tatius in the 2nd century CE, she mentions that Nietzsche condemned the ancient Greek novels as a final sign of the degeneration of Greek literary art. I had forgotten all about that, so I thumbed through Die Geburt der Tragödie to find what he said in context and was pul

The Birth of Tragedy is by far the better written and useful of the three works by Friedrich Nietzsche that I have so far read. Thus proving that when he is not angrily ranting about religion and morality, that Nietzsche does have important points to make about humanity. That is not to say that Nietzsche does not have his own pointed comments about religion in this narrative argument that he creates, more that these comments are superseded by the other arguments created by Nietzsche.

In the fore
Mar 10, 2015 Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prose-style
A few weeks ago, I finished Marx’s Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right. It strikes me now that that book and this one are similar, in that they shed light on the two thinkers as young men. In Marx’s Critique, we see the twenty-something grappling with the tentacled beast of Hegel; in The Birth of Tragedy, we see young Nietzsche taking his first bold step off the straight-and-narrow path of academia into his own world of thought. Both books are, to put it delicately, ‘young men’s books’—bold, ...more
Matthew Hartley
Oct 27, 2012 Matthew Hartley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified.’

In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche’s first book, he describes what he believes are the two central forces in art and how they merged to form Greek tragedy. The two forces are the Dionysian and the Apolline. The Dionysian is wild, formless and is associated with music, the will and breaking through cultural norms. The Apolline deals with sculpture, dreams, poetry, restraint and the individual.

The ancient Gree
Jun 29, 2010 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is less a review than ponderings and comments after having finished the book.

Could it legitimately be argued that, as in Western culture individualism is increasingly valued, the necessity for Dionysian communal frenzy becomes increasingly imperative for psychological wholeness? Hence, for example, all those phenomena of “mob” emotion - sporting events, militant nationalism, partisan politics and political polarization, any group identifications.

Nietzsche’s vision and argument, while derive
Feb 14, 2011 Art rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author, who certainly knew his Greek history, argues that early classical Greek tragedies (i.e. written by Aeschylus and Sophocles) demonstrated an heroic effort to understand and affirm human suffering and existence in a meaningless world. Greek culture was a blend between the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Apollo, the sun god, sought to bring order, meaning, and form to the harsh world people saw around them. Dionysus, the god of wine, sought to immerse people in the immediate changing worl ...more
Jose Gaona
Jan 05, 2015 Jose Gaona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-ficción

Nietzsche construyó un ensayo muy ambicioso. El nacimiento de la tragedia no es solamente un tratado acerca de cómo y por qué surgió, vivió y murió sin reproducirse la tragedia clásica griega sino que, al mismo tiempo, fue también una valoración en pequeñito de toda la cultura occidental hasta el momento. Quizá ese sea su mayor problema: la oposición entre lo dionisíaco y lo apolíneo le proporcionó a Nietzsche una dicotomía cuya potencia explicativa rebasa
Rowland Bismark
Jun 03, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As The Birth of Tragedy was Nietzsche's first published book, it is a rather awkwardly written representation of his early ideas. Nietzsche lamented as much in a supplementary preface, which he wrote fifteen years later in 1886. The older Nietzsche looks back, as we all do, with embarrassment on his younger self. He writes, "Today I find it an impossible book: I consider it badly written, ponderous, embarrassing, image-mad and image-confused, sentimental, in places saccharine to the point of e ...more
Nietzsche. Years ago, all I knew about him was that overused quote that says “Without music, life would be a mistake”. A couple of days ago, I found a funny picture that reminded of that.


Ha! Ok, maybe not funny ha-ha. If you speak Spanish...

Anyway. The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche's first work. I read it years ago (the great Schopenhauer led me to him) but I didn't remember much. Since I want (or wanted, I don't know) to start with Thus spoke Zarathustra, I figured I should begin with something s
Apr 23, 2011 Lorraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting insights. His reading of tragedy is absolutely superb, although I think there is a little irony in conceptualising the dinoyesian. I like that he privileged music above other forms; it seems intuitively true. I also think this whole 'hatred of rationality' shite is... well, shit. If you read him carefully, he's saying that the best art has an unmixable mix of the 2 forces. I think that he's saying it's impossible to be either 'completely', or if you are, art loses out. He was ab ...more
Po Po
May 11, 2015 Po Po rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An examination of the origins and essence of Greek tragedy as the duality of two interwoven artistic impulses: Apollonian versus Dionysian.

Apollonian: represents apotheosis of individuation
Dionysian: represents agonies of individuation

Very yin-yang-y. Overly simplistic. Sophisticated versus primal. Good versus evil. Pure versus impure. Rational versus irrational. Cerebral versus emotional.

Inaccessible, excessively wordy. Needless repetition of ideas.
Apr 16, 2015 Domhnall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
S5: .... we know the subjective artist only as the poor artist, and throughout the entire range of art we demand first of all the conquest of the subjective, redemption from the “ego,” and the silencing of the individual will and desire. Indeed, we find it impossible to believe in any truly artistic production, however insignificant, if it is without objectivity, without pure contemplation devoid of interest. [Note - a concept from Schopenhauer] Hence our aesthetics must solve the problem of how ...more
Nov 06, 2007 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, philosophy
A great introduction to Nietzsche. If you want to understand him at all, you have to understand the tension and balance between the Apollonian and Dionysian forces and this is where he clearly explains that dynamic. This is the book that started my love affair with all things Nietzsche.
A young, bookish moustachioed professor, newly appointed to a provincial chair of philology, falls under the spell of a mysterious, scheming and possibly malevolent composer, whose unholy music break all the boundaries of taste or custom. Our hero soon suspects a dark secret at the heart of his mesmerizing arrangements – but enamored of the composer's innocent wife, the professor descends further and further into the primal madness of music, exploring ancient nameless wisdom so terrible mankind ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Жор rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Знаех, че "Раждането на трагедията (от духа на музиката)" е своеобразен cultural milestone за изкуствата изобщо, а по специално и за литературата. Но не очаквах, че е написана със страст, която по принцип не е подходяща за формата на философското съчинение. Първата книга на Ницше е едновременно просветляваща, вдъхновяваща и поетична. Очевидно вдъхновена от древногръцката трагедия и поставяща тъкмо нея на пиедестала над всички други изкуства, "Раждането на трагедията" говори за Аполоново и Дионис ...more
Momo García
Sep 20, 2015 Momo García rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me gusta pensar que los libros de Nietzsche son como los discos de cualquier banda de rock que me gusta. Éste es el primero y por eso suena rudo, tosco y excesivo.

Esta vez lo leí en la traducción de Germán Cano y no puedo decidir si esta lectura la disfruté más que con la edición de Sánchez Pascual.
أسماء القناص
التراجيديا الأثينية ماهي إلا تزاوج مابين الفن الديونيسي والأبولوني تصورهما نيتشه كعالمين فنيين متمايزين هما عالم الحلم والنشوة. في التراجيديا كان العنصر الأبولوني من خلال الوهم الذي خلقه طغى وانتصر على الديونيسي الذي هو العنصر الأصلي للموسيقى خلاصة نيتشه أن ديونيزوس الذي يتكلم لغة أبولون وأبولون الذي ينتهي به المطاف إلى تحدث لغة ديونيزوس وهنا في هذه النقطة يتحقق هدف التراجيديا والفن عموما. أما السقراطية ما هي إلا آداة لتشتت شمل الإغريق وكانت نموذج للإنحطاط (العقل ضد الغريزة) لذلك سقراط لم يكن إل ...more
Sep 28, 2015 Esteban rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Es imposible leer El nacimiento de la tragedia como una monografía. Es un ensayo de interpretación y así debería ser juzgado. Y debería ser juzgado muy duramente, porque tampoco dentro de esos parámetros sale bien parado. Sospecho que es más estimado por el atrevimiento de tomar un capítulo fundamental de la historia del arte para inaugurar otra dicotomía en la línea energía/forma, infierno/cielo, emoción/razón, etc. que por sus atendibles reflexiones sobre la individuación. Las particularidades ...more
Recipe for "The Birth of Tragedy":

1. Add one part speculative psychological inquiry into the deepest recesses of Hellenic consciousness.
2. Stir in some rousing and thought-provoking anti-Socratic and anti-Euripidean invective.
3. Season with a pinch of ecstatically Dionysiac rhetoric.
4. If necessary, add more speculative psychological inquiry to taste.
5. Beat vigorously until mixture produces an unqualified dithyrambic adoration of Richard Wagner.
6. Let stand until properly matured.

Serves 1.
فاروق الفرشيشي
لا أستطيع تقييم الكتاب، لما يتضمنه من مقاربة أكاديمية للفن التراجيديّ الإغريقي. و الحقيقة أنني لم أسع من خلال قراءتي للكتاب أن أتبيّن نظرية نيتشه بهذا الخصوص، بقدر ما سعيت لاقتفاء الآثار الأولى لفلسفة نيتشه التي ستغمرنا بها كتبه اللاحقة. كنت أبحث في مولد التراجيديا عن مولد الـ"أرقى من الإنسان" السوبرمان النيتشويّ. و لقد لمست من خلال نظريته حول التراجيديا، بداية خلافه مع سقراط و منهج الجدال، و الطابع المسيحية للرومانية التي يجب أن تتخلّص منها ألمانيا. كما يمكن بيسر لمس تأثره الكبير بشوبنهاور و غو ...more
Jun 17, 2012 Stewart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost 20 years ago, I took a course with the University of California-Berkeley Extension on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, surely one of the most influential thinkers from the 19th century. The class read all or parts of most of his works, including his first book, "The Birth of Tragedy." Although his ideas have influenced me and been reflected in the writings of other philosophers, social critics, and writers of fiction I have read, I had taken on since then only a couple of his books ...more
Ali Reda
Sep 13, 2013 Ali Reda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The death of Greek tragedy, on the other hand, left a great void whose effects were felt profoundly, far and wide; as once Greek sailors in Tiberius' time heard the distressing cry 'the god Pan is dead' issuing from a lonely island, now, throughout the Hellenic world, this cry resounded like an agonized lament: 'Tragedy is dead! Poetry itself died with it! Away, away with you, puny, stunted imitators! Away with you to Hades, and eat your fill of the old masters' crumbs!'

For Nietzsche, artist
David Fulmer
Dec 24, 2013 David Fulmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Birth of Tragedy, the first book written by towering nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, presents a highly individualistic and aesthetically sophisticated interpretation of Attic Tragedy, the Greek plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides which have long occupied an artistic peak of world culture. Nietzsche adopts the spirit of the Greeks, who had a god or goddess for every thing and every idea, and assigns parts of Greek Tragedy to the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus. Apol ...more
Sep 16, 2013 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was certainly an interesting piece. Nietzsche covers a variety of topics, and his writing is magnificent. Nietzshe emphasizes the importance of aesthetics throughout the work. For example, music is described as the thing-in-itself, and all events which occur are phenomena. In a Greek tragic play, the music is the thing-in-itself, and the events which occur are phenomena. Nietzsche also refers to music as "the universal", in that all people understand music - music evokes emotions in people ...more
Andrew Sydlik
I had planned on reading Nietzsche's entire ouevre, in chronological order of being written, since mostly I had read excerpts or quotes of his, or read other people's writings about him rather than by him. However, that plan got shot down when I found how hard it was to find his books in used book stores.

This work, his first major work, is not purely philosophy. As if anything he ever wrote really was - but this is really more historical/art criticism about Greek tragedy, not the human tragedy h
Chris Comis
Good old Nietzsche. Or, not so good old Nietzsche! I dare anyone to try spelling his name without having to look at it on paper-- it's impossible. Anyway, the book was pretty much a bombastic and pretentious attempt to justify Hellenistic culture, as understood through the lenses of the "Germanic spirit," as he liked to label his approach to Aryanism. Very racially motivated in its political aspirations, and also very pagan in its look at the underlying metaphysics of tragedy. Nietzsche despised ...more
Aug 17, 2012 J-Man rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prvo Ničeovo delo, mnogo kritikovano od strane 'stručne javnosti' u vreme kada je objavljeno a i on se kasnije samokritički osvrnuo na njega, pre svega zbog toga što u vreme pisanja još nije raskrstio sa Šopenhaureom i Kantom a čak se i Luter pominje u pozitivnom kontekstu iako su sva trojica u kasnijim njegovim delima oštro kritikovani.
Uprkos svim manama, veoma vredna knjiga koja uspostavlja originalnu dihotomiju apolonsko-dionisko, svet vidi opravdanim jedino kao estetski fenomen i tako na sa
It's more than just craft meets inspiration or something trite. The language is also very colorful in a way that his later work usually isn't. Perhaps his insights are way off base, but what do I know about greek tragedy? I just remember being captivated by the glowing quality of the words and the rush of ideas. You get a sense of a young philosopher utterly engaged by aesthetic and ideological worlds. Besides, he isn't making claims about real history rooted in time and actual peoples and event ...more
Ali Balighi
Aug 07, 2013 Ali Balighi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
زایش تراژدی از روح موسیقی نام اولین کتاب نیچه استکه در سال 1872 خطاب به واگنر نوشته شده.توجه ویژه نیچه در این اثر رو به موسیقی از دیونیزوس دارد و در آن مدعی این مطلب است تراژدی زادهی دیونیزوس و آپولون یا هنرهای قابل دیدن میباشد. در اولین قدم نیچه سعی دارد دیدگاههای خود را از شوپنهاور جدا تلقی کند و در این اقدام بوداگرایی شوپنهاور را نقض میکند و استدلال میکند زندگی ارزش زندگی کردن را با تمام سختیهایش دارد. در کنار مطالبی از این دست، برای شخص خودم ژرف اندیشی نیچه در زمینه اسطوره گرایی و رابطهاش با ...more
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  • Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics
  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • Critique of Judgment
  • Protagoras
  • Papers and Journals: A Selection
  • The World as Will and Idea: Abridged in 1 Vol
  • Poetics
  • On the Aesthetic Education of Man
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • The Essence of Christianity
  • On the Way to Language
  • Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
  • The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche
  • Persuasion and Rhetoric
  • Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900) is a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Central to his philosophy is the ide ...more
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