The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner Quotes

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The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner by Friedrich Nietzsche
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The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner Quotes (showing 1-27 of 27)
“Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“In this sense the Dionysian man resembles Hamlet: both have once looked truly into the essence of things, they have gained knowledge, and nausea inhibits action; for their action could not change anything in the eternal nature of things; they feel it to be ridiculous or humiliating that they should be asked to set right a world that is out of joint. Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion: that is the doctrine of Hamlet, not that cheap wisdom of Jack the Dreamer who reflects too much and, as it were, from an excess of possibilities does not get around to action. Not reflection, no--true knowledge, an insight into the horrible truth, outweighs any motive for action, both in Hamlet and in the Dionysian man.

Now no comfort avails any more; longing transcends a world after death, even the gods; existence is negated along with its glittering reflection in the gods or in an immortal beyond. Conscious of the truth he has once seen, man now sees everywhere only the horror or absurdity of existence; now he understands what is symbolic in Ophelia's fate; now he understands the wisdom of the sylvan god, Silenus: he is nauseated.

Here, when the danger to his will is greatest, art approaches as a saving sorceress, expert at healing. She alone knows how to turn these nauseous thoughts about the horror or absurdity of existence into notions with which one can live: these are the sublime as the artistic taming of the horrible, and the comic as the artistic discharge of the nausea of absurdity. The satyr chorus of the dithyramb is the saving deed of Greek art; faced with the intermediary world of these Dionysian companions, the feelings described here exhausted themselves.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“it is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Morality negates life.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Socrates, the dialectical hero of the Platonic drama, reminds us of the kindred nature of the Euripidean hero who must defend his actions with arguments and counterarguments and in the process often risks the loss of our tragic pity; for who could mistake the optimistic element in the nature of the dialectic, which celebrates a triumph with every conclusion and can breathe only in cool clarity and consciousness.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“One cannot refute Christianity; one cannot refute a disease of the eye.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“They believe one becomes selfless in love because one desires the advantage of another human being, often against one's own advantage. But in return for that they want to possess the other person.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“One puts to one’s lips what drives one faster into the abyss”.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Let us imagine a coming generation with such intrepidity of vision, with such a heroic penchant for the tremendous; let us imagine the bold stride of these dragon-slayers, the proud audacity with which they turn their back on all the weakling's doctrines of optimism in order to 'live resolutely' in wholeness and fullness: would it not be necessary for the tragic man of such a culture, in view of his self-education for seriousness and terror, to desire a new art, the art of metaphysical comfort, to desire tragedy as his own proper Helen, and to exclaim with Faust:

Should not my longing overleap the distance
And draw the fairest form into existence?"


"Would it not be necessary?"--No, thrice no! O you young romantics: it would not be necessary! But it is highly probably that it will end that way, that you end that way--namely, "comforted," as it is written, in spite of all self-education for seriousness and terror, "comforted metaphysically"--in sum, as romantics end, as Christians.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“For it is the fate of every myth to creep by degrees into the narrow limits of some alleged historical reality, and to be treated by some later generation as a unique fact with historical claims...this is the way in which religions are wont to die out: under the stern, intelligent eyes of an orthodox dogmatism, the mythical premises of a religion are systematized as a sum total of historical events; one begins apprehensively to defend the credibility of the myths, while at the same time one opposes any continuation of their vitality and growth; the feeling for myth perishes, and its place is taken by the claim of religion to historical foundations.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Dionysus had already been scared form the tragic stage, by a demonic power speaking through Euripides. Even Euripides was, in a sense, only a mask: the deity that spoke through him was neither Dionysus nor Apollo, but an altogether newborn demon, called Socrates.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“It is an eternal phenomenon: the insatiable will always finds a way to detain its creatures in life and compel them to live on, by means of an illusion spread over things.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“For, confronted with morality (especially Christian, or unconditional, morality), life must continually and inevitably be in the wrong, because life is something essentially amoral--and eventually, crushed by the weight of contempt and the eternal No, life must then be felt to be unworthy of desire and altogether worthless.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Where we encounter the "naïve" in art, we should recognize the highest effect of Apollinian culture--which always must first overthrow an empire of Titans and slay monsters, and which must have triumphed over an abysmal and terrifying view of the world and the keenest susceptibility to suffering through recourse to the most forceful and pleasurable illusions.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“One might be tempted to extol as an advance over Sophocles the radical tendency of Euripides to produce a proper relation between art and the public. But "public," after all, is a mere word. In no sense is it a homogeneous and constant quantity. Why should the artist be bound to accommodate himself to a power whose strength lies solely in numbers? And if, by virtue of his endowments and aspirations, he should feel himself superior to every one of these spectators, how could he feel greater respect for the collective expression of all these subordinate capacities than for the relatively highest-endowed individual spectator?”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“As long as the sole ruler and disposer of the universe, the nous, remained excluded from artistic activity, things were mixed together in a primeval chaos: this was what Euripides must have thought; and so, as the first "sober" one among them, he had to condemn the "drunken" poets. Sophocles said of Aeschylus that he did what was right, though he did it unconsciously. This was surely not how Euripides saw it. He might have said that Aeschylus, because he created unconsciously, did what was wrong. The divine Plato, too, almost always speaks only ironically of the creative faculty of the poet, insofar as it is not conscious insight, and places it on a par with the gift of the soothsayer and dream-interpreter: the poet is incapable of composing until he has become unconscious and bereft of understanding.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Whoever approaches these Olympians with another religion in his heart, searching among them for moral elevation, even for sanctity, for disincarnate spirituality, for charity and benevolence, will soon be forced to turn his back on them, discouraged and disappointed. For there is nothing here that suggests asceticism, spirituality, or duty. We hear nothing but the accents of an exuberant, triumphant life in which all things, whether good or evil, are deified.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Thus do the gods justify the life of man: they themselves live it--the only satisfactory theodicy!”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“The bright image projections of the Sophoclean hero--in short, the Apollinian aspect of the mask--are necessary effects of a glance into the inside and terrors of nature; as it were, luminous spots to cure eyes damaged by gruesome night. Only in this sense may we believe that we properly comprehend the serious and important concept of "Greek cheerfulness." The misunderstanding of this concept as cheerfulness in a state of unendangered comfort is, of course, encountered everywhere today.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“In the heroic effort of the individual to attain universality, in the attempt to transcend the curse of individuation and to become the one world-being, he suffers in his own person the primordial contradiction that is concealed in things, which means that he commits sacrilege and suffers.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“He who has perceived the material out of which the Promethean tragic writers prior to Euripides formed their heroes, and how remote from their purpose it was to bring the faithful mask of reality onto the stage, will also be aware of the utterly opposite tendency of Euripides. Through him the everyday man forced his way from the spectators' seats onto the stage; the mirror in which formerly only grand and bold traits were represented now showed the painful fidelity that conscientiously reproduces even the botched outlines of nature.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“So long as the spectator has to figure out the meaning of this or that person, or the presuppositions of this or that conflict of inclinations and purposes, he cannot become completely absorbed in the activities and sufferings of the chief characters or feel breathless pity and fear.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Plato's objection to the older art--that it is the imitation of a phantom and hence belongs to a sphere even lower than the empirical world--could certainly not be directed against the new art; and so we find Plato endeavoring to transcend reality and to represent the idea which underlies this pseudo-reality.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Plato has given to all posterity the model of a new art form, the model of the novel--which may be described as an infinitely enhanced Aesopian fable, in which poetry holds the same rank in relation to dialectical philosophy as this same philosophy held for many centuries in relation to theology: namely the rank of ancilla.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“Whenever the truth is uncovered, the artist will always cling with rapt gaze to what still remains covering even after such uncovering; but the theoretical man enjoys and finds satisfaction in the discarded covering and finds the highest object of his pleasure in the process of an ever happy uncovering that succeeds through his own efforts.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“The tremendous historical need of our unsatisfied modern culture, the assembling around one of countless other cultures, the consuming desire for knowledge--what does all this point to, if not to the loss of myth, the loss of the mythical home, the mythical maternal womb?”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner
“the existence of the world is justified only as an aesthetic phenomenon.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy/The Case of Wagner

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