The Twilight of the Idols - The Antichrist Complete Works, Volume Sixteen

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 42

appropriate everything they see
and to suck its blood and make it thinner. This is the case with the
genuine Christian, Pascal for instance. There is no such thing as a
Christian who is also an artist ... Let no one be so childish as to
suggest Raphael or any homeopathic Christian of the nineteenth century
as an objection to this statement: Raphael said Yea, Raphael _did_
Yea,--consequently Raphael was no Christian.


What is the meaning of the antithetical concepts _Apollonian_ and
_Dionysian_ which I have introduced into the vocabulary of Æsthetic, as
representing two distinct modes of ecstasy?--Apollonian ecstasy acts
above all as a force stimulating the eye, so that it acquires the power
of vision. The painter, the sculptor, the epic poet are essentially
visionaries. In the Dionysian state, on the other hand, the whole
system of passions is stimulated and intensified, so What it discharges
itself by all the means of expression at once, and vents all its power
of representation, of imitation, of transfiguration, of transformation,
together with every kind of mimicry and histrionic display at the same
time. The essential feature remains the facility in transforming,
the inability to refrain from reaction (--a similar state to that of
certain hysterical patients, who at the slightest hint assume any
rôle). It is impossible for the Dionysian artist not to understand any
suggestion; _I_ no outward sign of emotion escapes him, he possesses
the instinct of comprehension and of divination in the highest degree,
just as he is capable of the most perfect art of communication. He
enters into every skin, into every passion: he is continually changing
himself. Music as we understand it to-day is likewise a general
excitation and discharge of the emotions; but, notwithstanding this, it
is only the remnant of a much richer world of emotional expression, a
mere residuum of Dionysian histrionism. For music to be made possible
as a special art, quite a number of senses, and particularly the
muscular sense, had to be paralysed (at least relatively: for all
rhythm still appeals to our muscles to a certain extent):. and thus man
no longer imitates and represents physically everything he feels, as
soon as he feels it Nevertheless that is the normal Dionysian state,
and in any case its primitive state. Music is the slowly attained
specialisatio of this state at the cost of kindred capacities.


The actor, the mime, the dancer, the musician, and the lyricist, are
in their instincts fundamentally related; but they have gradually
specialised in their particular branch, and become separated--even
to the point of contradiction. The lyricist remained united with the
musician for the longest

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