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The Birth of Tragedy

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  9,256 Ratings  ·  283 Reviews
A compelling argument for the necessity for art in life, Nietzsche's first book is fuelled by his enthusiasms for Greek tragedy, for the philosophy of Schopenhauer and for the music of Wagner, to whom this work was dedicated. Nietzsche outlined a distinction between its two central forces: the Apolline, representing beauty and order, and the Dionysiac, a primal or ecstatic ...more
Paperback, New Edition, 160 pages
Published November 27th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1871)
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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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Glenn Russell
May 12, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing

With his vivid, passionate language, 19th century German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche wrote his books as a way to pry open a space in a reader’s psyche, a space empowering an individual to embark on a journey of inner exploration. This is precisely why I think any attempt, no matter how well intended, to rephrase, paraphrase or synopsize Nietzsche, without including a fair amount of Nietzsche’s actual words, is a terrible injustice committed against one of the greatest literary stylists in the
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
Roy Lotz
Feb 17, 2014 Roy Lotz rated it really liked it
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
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

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
Brian Michels
Nov 26, 2016 Brian Michels rated it it was amazing
Before Nietzsche became unhinged he wrote this great work. It took a toll on me after I read it because it was my introduction to Nietzsche and everything of his that I read afterwards was miscued; it scattered my thought process for a few years. The Joyful Wisdom, filled with remarkable poetry, was nearly like an acid trip. Thank goodness young minds have the capacity of recovering.

At its simplest, The Birth of Tragedy is a foundation for drama - that which captures you and also moves you, wax
Matthew Hartley
Oct 26, 2012 Matthew Hartley rated it it was amazing
‘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
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
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
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
Altay Aktar
Apr 20, 2017 Altay Aktar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Şunu da söyle ama, ey tuhaf yabancı: ne kadar çok acı çekmesi gerekmişti bu halkın, bu kadar güzel olabilmek için! Hadi, şimdi peşimden tragedyaya gel ve benimle birlikte iki tanrının tapınağına da kurban ver!"
25 bölüm. Niçe amcanın ilk kitabı imiş. Doktora teziymiş aynı zamanda. O dönemde sanata özellikle Apollon ve Dion olarak (somut-soyut/superego-ego /akılcılık-aşırılık vb farklarla) ayırıp ele almış mis gibi. Severseniz bir taraftan da Wagner (Parsifal, Tannhauser, Tristan & Isolde...)
Jose Gaona
Jan 02, 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
Jul 30, 2012 Stephen rated it liked it
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.
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
Po Po
May 08, 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.
Kyle van Oosterum
Aug 15, 2015 Kyle van Oosterum rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
In a work, originally intended to outline the genesis of an art-form, Nietzsche has created what we can liken to the most fascinating conceptual coin. On one side of the coin, we have the 'Apolline', a term which loosely relates to our love for the rational and the beautiful, for systematising reality and cherishing illusion. On the other side, we have the 'Dionysiac', a term which accurately encapsulates a primal frenzy, a chaotic revelry under which "man is no longer an artist, but a work of a ...more
Apr 23, 2011 Lorraine rated it it was amazing
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
This took me almost a year (9.5 months) to finish! I read 3- 5 pages every few days because it's hard to understand otherwise. The Birth of Tragedy is a very dense piece of literature. Nietzsche pretty much talks about how Greek tragic art was controlled by two forces - the rational, light of Apollo versus the drunken insanity of Dionysus. I liked the concept that the world is meaningless and so we create art and music to give it a meaning.
Probably my favorite part was Nietzsche's little anec
Feb 29, 2016 Lorraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O Herr Nietzsche, hypocrite lecteur, mon sembable, mon frere! I, too, am fighting hard for the aesthetic, but I find it difficult to extend the same belief as you do. You are fervent, and truly crazy. And you lived before WWII. How, now, can we talk of art? Adorno says that there can be no writing of poetry after Auschwitz...

Also you are truly nutty. It shows in your prose. Not tortured-nutty (which is common, see Kierkegaard), or paranoid-nutty (Philip K. Dick) but manic-nutty. That's kinda rar
Nov 06, 2007 Leah rated it it was amazing
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.
Bryn Hammond
Apr 01, 2016 Bryn Hammond rated it it was amazing
I almost threw this mess of pottage aside as unnecessary in my life at this point in time, but then I dipped into sections 7 and 8 and they are sheerly wonderful.
Apr 14, 2015 Domhnall rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 02, 2017 kasia added it
It is probably some kind of failing on my part that my favorite section was the Attempt at Self-Criticism.
Mar 01, 2015 Жор rated it it was amazing
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
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
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.
Julie Rylie
Mar 26, 2010 Julie Rylie rated it liked it
A origem da tragédia mostra as duas facções da tragédia grega: a apolínia e a dionisíaca, como um ying yang, os dois opostos que se completam.

É efectuado um paralelo entre a cultura alemã e a Grécia Antiga. Critica ferozmente Richard Wagner e as suas óperas também ligadas com a antiguidade.
Ali Reda
Sep 11, 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
Jul 20, 2013 John rated it did not like it
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
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  • Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics
  • The Greeks and the Irrational
  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • Critique of Judgment
  • The Concept of Irony: With Continual Reference to Socrates/Notes of Schelling's Berlin Lectures
  • Phaedo
  • Poetry, Language, Thought
  • The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences
  • On the Aesthetic Education of Man
  • The Essence of Christianity
  • Poetics
  • The Blue and Brown Books
  • The World as Will and Idea: Abridged in 1 Vol
  • Fragments
  • Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles/Eperons: Les Styles de Nietzsche
  • 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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