Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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referred, in order to be
refuted, to the musician who writes music to existing lyric poems; for
after all that has been said we shall be compelled to assert that the
relationship between the lyric poem and its setting must in any case
be a different one from that between a father and his child. Then what

Here now we may be met on the ground of a favourite æsthetic notion
with the proposition, "It is not the poem which gives birth to
the setting but the _sentiment_ created by the poem." I do not
agree with that; the more subtle or powerful stirring-up of that
pleasure-and-displeasure-subsoil is in the realm of productive art
_the_ element which is inartistic in itself; indeed only its total
exclusion makes the complete self-absorption and disinterested
perception of the artist possible. Here perhaps one might retaliate
that I myself just now predicated about the "Will," that in music
"Will" came to an ever more adequate symbolic expression. My answer,
condensed into an æsthetic axiom, is this: _the Will is the object of
music but not the origin of it,_ that is the Will in its very greatest
universality, as the most original manifestation, under which is to
be understood all Becoming. That, which we call _feeling,_ is with
regard to this Will already permeated and saturated with conscious and
unconscious conceptions and is therefore no longer directly the object
of music; it is unthinkable then that these feelings should be able
to create music out of themselves. Take for instance the feelings of
love, fear and hope: music can no longer do anything with them in a
direct way, every one of them is already so filled with conceptions.
On the contrary these feelings can serve to symbolise music, as the
lyric poet does who translates for himself into the simile-world of
feelings that conceptually and metaphorically unapproachable realm
of the Will, the proper content and object of music. The lyric poet
resembles all those hearers of music who are conscious of an _effect
of music on their emotions;_ the distant and removed power of music
appeals, with them, to an _intermediate realm_ which gives to them
as it were a foretaste, a symbolic preliminary conception of music
proper, it appeals to the intermediate realm of the emotions. One might
be permitted to say about them, with respect to the Will, the only
object of music, that they bear the same relation to this Will, as the
analogous morning-dream, according to Schopenhauer's theory, bears to
the dream proper. To all those, however, who are unable to get at music
except with their

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Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

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The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche The First Complete and Authorised English Translation Edited by Dr Oscar Levy Volume One T.
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eloquently of a psychological question so difficult as the origin of tragedy among the Greeks.
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You will thus remember that it was at the same time as your magnificent dissertation on Beethoven originated, viz.
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[1] The beauteous appearance of the dream-worlds, in the production of which every man is a perfect artist, is the presupposition of all plastic art, and in fact, as we shall see, of an important half of poetry also.
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This apotheosis of individuation, if it be at all conceived as imperative and laying down precepts, knows but one law--the individual, _i.
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of Haldane and Kemp's translation.
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Perhaps we shall get a starting-point for our inquiry, if I put forward the proposition that the satyr, the fictitious natural being, is to the man of culture what Dionysian music is to civilisation.
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The _chorus_ of Greek tragedy, the symbol of the mass of the people moved by Dionysian excitement, is thus fully explained by our conception of it as here set forth.
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" .
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We are pierced by the maddening sting of these pains at the very moment when we have become, as it were, one with the immeasurable primordial joy in existence, and when we anticipate, in Dionysian ecstasy, the indestructibility and eternity of this joy.
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Euripides, who, albeit in a higher sense, must be designated as a thoroughly unmusical nature, is for this very reason a passionate adherent of the New Dithyrambic Music, and with the liberality of a freebooter employs all its effective turns and mannerisms.
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But what is to be expected for art itself from the operation of a form of art, the beginnings of which do not at all lie in the æsthetic province; which has rather stolen over from a half-moral sphere into the artistic domain, and has been able only now and then to delude us concerning this hybrid origin? By what sap is this parasitic opera-concern nourished, if not by that of true art? Must we not suppose that the highest and indeed the truly serious task of art--to free the eye from its glance into the horrors of night and to deliver the "subject" by the healing balm of appearance from the spasms of volitional agitations--will degenerate under the influence of its idyllic seductions and Alexandrine adulation to an empty dissipating tendency, to pastime? What will become of the eternal truths.
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What a spectacle, when our æsthetes, with a net of "beauty" peculiar to themselves, now pursue and clutch at the genius of music romping about before.
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Schopenhauer was such a Dürerian knight: he was destitute of all hope, but he sought the truth.
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the veins of the world, would he not collapse all at once? Could he endure, in the wretched fragile tenement of the human individual, to hear the re-echo of countless cries of joy and sorrow from the "vast void of cosmic night," without flying irresistibly towards his primitive home at the sound of this pastoral dance-song of metaphysics? But if, nevertheless, such a work can be heard as a whole, without a renunciation of individual existence, if such a creation could be created without demolishing its creator--where are we to get the solution of this contradiction? Here there interpose between our highest musical excitement and the music in question the tragic myth and the tragic hero--in reality only as symbols of the most universal facts, of which music alone can speak directly.
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symbolic picture passed before us, the profoundest significance of which we almost believed we had divined, and which we desired to put aside like a curtain in order to behold the original behind it.
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I had for my own inmost experience _discovered_ the only symbol and counterpart of history,--I had just thereby been the first to grasp the wonderful phenomenon of the Dionysian.