|Original title||Nietzsche contra Wagner|
|Translator||Thomas Common, Walter Kaufmann|
|Subject||Richard Wagner, anti-semitism, philosophy of art|
|Media type||Paperback, hardcover|
|Preceded by||Ecce Homo (1888)|
|Followed by||The Will to Power (1901)|
Nietzsche contra Wagner is a critical essay by Friedrich Nietzsche, composed of recycled passages from his past works. It was written in his last year of lucidity (1888–1889), and published by C. G. Naumann in Leipzig in 1889. Nietzsche describes in this short work why he parted ways with his one-time idol and friend, Richard Wagner. Nietzsche attacks Wagner's views, expressing disappointment and frustration in Wagner's life choices (such as Nietzsche's mistaken belief that Wagner had converted to Christianity, perceived as a sign of weakness). Nietzsche evaluates Wagner's philosophy on tonality, music and art; he admires Wagner's power to emote and express himself, but largely disdains what the philosopher deems his religious biases.
The sections are as follows:
Nietzsche explains that this book consists of selections from his previous writings. They show that he and Wagner are opposites. Nietzsche states that a reader of this book will conclude that it is for psychologists and not for Germans. He says that he has readers almost everywhere, in New York and in Europe, but not in Germany.
Nietzsche admires Wagner's ability to express his own suffering and misery in short musical creations. He criticizes Wagner's attempt to produce large works.
Nietzsche's objections to Wagner's music were physical. His lungs, feet, stomach, heart, intestines, and throat were uncomfortably affected. He was disappointed to find that the music had no pleasing rhythm or melody. Nietzsche claimed that Wagner's music was a mere means to enhance theatrical posing and gesturing. Wagner was more of an actor than a composer.
Nietzsche wants music to be cheerful, profound, unique, wanton, tender, roguish, and graceful. These qualities are lacking in German music, except for the works of Bach, Handel, and also in Wagner's Siegfried Idyll. He praises Liszt, Chopin, Peter Gast, and Rossini, as well as all Venetian music. The Intermezzo ends with Nietzsche's poem “Venice.”
1. The concept of Wagner's “unending melody” is used to designate what Nietzsche regards as the chaotic degeneration of rhythmic feeling. This tendency results in a dangerous use of music to merely produce a dramatic effect. 2. Wagner's music tries to produce a physically jarring effect on the Biedermeier audience. Mozart's opera ‘’Don Giovanni’’, in contrast, had a serious music that was cheerful and tender.
Music expresses the decline of a culture. Wagner's music, in its relation to old Germanic and Scandinavian myths and sagas, is the song of a dying swan.
Nietzsche admitted that he had mistakenly thought that Schopenhauer’s philosophy was the result of a strong attachment to life that enabled him to acknowledge life's horrors. He also thought that Wagner's music expressed a vital life force. But Nietzsche later realized that he was only attributing his own qualities to those men's works. Both Schopenhauer and Wagner were against life. Other such decadents were Epicureans, Christians, Pascal, and Flaubert. Nietzsche, in contrast, celebrated the egoistical Dionysian Greek who affirmed life in spite of its many horrors and terrors.
Unlike Germans, the sick, artistic French appreciate Schopenhauer and Heine because they value pessimistic, refined culture. Wagner belongs with the French. He is more of a Parisian Romantic than a German. French art, like Wagner's, is based on world literature. Wagner and the French have an expressive talent for producing sensational artistic effects. Both are sick artists who stupefy mass audiences with their spectacular dramatic shows.
1. Nietzsche warned, in poetic verse, that Wagner's art is not Germanic. Instead, it is similar to Italy's Roman Catholic religion. 2. Why did Wagner write Parsifal and present the contrast between sensuality and chastity? 3. Did Wagner, in old age, parody tragedy by freely showing a simple country boy as the ideal embodiment of ascetic chastity? If Parsifal was, however, meant seriously, then it is an expression of Wagner's late hatred of sensuality, egotism, and life. It would then be considered to be bad art.
1. By 1876, Wagner had moved to Germany and had become a decaying anti–Semitic Christian. Nietzsche expressed his disappointment and feeling of loss. 2. Nietzsche then became a solitary, courageous pessimist and he completely dedicated himself to his life's arduous task.
1. Sympathy interferes with the psychological analysis of great, higher humans. Psychologists should be cheerfully unsympathetic. Revered, great people always eventually decay. This realization might remind the psychologist of his own decadence and may contribute to his own corruption. The great human's work, not his own person, should be venerated. 2. Great artists and other higher humans create works in order to forget their own decadent flaws. Revering higher people with feminine sympathy is detrimental to them. 3. When a higher human knows deep, heart–breaking suffering, there develops immunity to receiving sympathy from lower humans. Noble, profound sufferers feign cheerfulness in order to ward off unwanted pity.
1. From a universal perspective, deep suffering is necessary, healthful, and beneficial, if it doesn't kill. Great pain is useful and should be welcomed. Amor fati [love your fate]. It makes a philosopher deeply profound. Questions arise concerning beloved life itself. 2. After experiencing profound pain, a taste for artificial, cheering art is acquired. The horror of life is ignored. Like the ancient Dionysian Greeks, we have known the terrible truth about life and now appreciate the effects of an artist's false, wonderful tones, fictional words, and fascinating forms.
In a "Dionysian Dithyramb," Nietzsche used poetic imagery from Thus Spoke Zarathustra. This is an example of his new taste for cheerful art after having known the seriousness and horror of life. Following many years of solitude, Zarathustra now wants to share the riches of his wisdom. In order to be loved and appreciated, he will leave his lonely cave in order to generously and completely give of himself.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, writer, and philologist whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest person ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889, at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward a complete loss of his mental faculties. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900.
Pessimism is a negative mental attitude in which an undesirable outcome is anticipated from a given situation. Pessimists tend to focus on the negatives of life in general. A common question asked to test for pessimism is "Is the glass half empty or half full?"; in this situation, a pessimist is said to see the glass as half empty, while an optimist is said to see the glass as half full. Throughout history, the pessimistic disposition has had effects on all major areas of thinking.
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Parsifal is an opera in three acts by German composer Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach, a 13th-century epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival (Percival) and his quest for the Holy Grail.
The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music is an 1872 work of dramatic theory by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. It was reissued in 1886 as The Birth of Tragedy, Or: Hellenism and Pessimism. The later edition contained a prefatory essay, "An Attempt at Self-Criticism", wherein Nietzsche commented on this earliest book.
Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future is a book by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that expands the ideas of his previous work Thus Spoke Zarathustra with a more critical and polemical approach. It was first published in 1886.
Arthur Schopenhauer's aesthetics result from his philosophical doctrine of the primacy of the metaphysical Will as the Kantian thing-in-itself, the ground of life and all being. In his chief work, The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer thought that if consciousness or attention is fully engrossed, absorbed, or occupied with the world as painless representations or images, then there is no consciousness of the world as painful willing. Aesthetic contemplation of a work of art provides just such a state—a temporary liberation from the suffering that results from enslavement to the will [need, craving, urge, striving] by becoming a will-less spectator of "the world as representation" [mental image or idea]. Art, according to Schopenhauer, also provides essential knowledge of the world’s objects in a way that is more profound than science or everyday experience.
"God is dead" is a widely quoted statement made by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche used the phrase to express his idea that the Enlightenment had eliminated the possibility of the existence of God. However, proponents of the strongest form of the Death of God theology have used the phrase in a literal sense, meaning that the Christian God, who had existed at one point, has ceased to exist.
Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits is a book by 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, originally published in 1878. A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims, was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow, followed in 1880.
The Antichrist is a book by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, originally published in 1895. Although it was written in 1888, its content made Franz Overbeck and Heinrich Köselitz delay its publication, along with Ecce Homo. The German title can be translated into English as either The Anti-Christ or The Anti-Christian, depending on how the German word Christ is translated.
Walter Arnold Kaufmann was a German-American philosopher, translator, and poet. A prolific author, he wrote extensively on a broad range of subjects, such as authenticity and death, moral philosophy and existentialism, theism and atheism, Christianity and Judaism, as well as philosophy and literature. He served more than 30 years as a professor at Princeton University.
Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is is the last original book written by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche before his death in 1900. It was written in 1888 and was not published until 1908.
The Case of Wagner is a book by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, originally published in 1888. Subtitled "A Musician's Problem", it has also been known as The Wagner Case in English.
This is a list of writings and other compositions by Friedrich Nietzsche.
Friedrich Nietzsche developed his philosophy during the late 19th century. He owed the awakening of his philosophical interest to reading Arthur Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung and said that Schopenhauer was one of the few thinkers that he respected, dedicating to him his essay Schopenhauer als Erzieher, published in 1874 as one of his Untimely Meditations.
Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer is a book by Friedrich Nietzsche, written in 1888, and published in 1889.
Untimely Meditations, also translated as Unfashionable Observations and Thoughts Out Of Season, consists of four works by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, started in 1873 and completed in 1876.
Friedrich Nietzsche's influence and reception varied widely and may be roughly divided into various chronological periods. Reactions were anything but uniform, and proponents of various ideologies attempted to appropriate his work quite early.
The ideas of 19th-century German philosophers Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche have often been compared and many authors have discussed apparent similarities in their writings, sometimes raising the question of influences. In Germany, during the early years of Nietzsche's emergence as a well-known figure the only thinker discussed in connection with his ideas more often than Stirner was Arthur Schopenhauer. It is certain that Nietzsche read about Stirner's book The Ego and Its Own, which was mentioned in Friedrich Albert Lange's History of Materialism and Critique of its Present Importance (1866) and Eduard von Hartmann's Philosophy of the Unconscious (1869), both of which young Nietzsche knew very well. However, there is no irrefutable indication that he actually read it as no mention of Stirner is known to exist anywhere in Nietzsche's publications, papers or correspondence.
Dionysian-Dithyrambs is a collection of nine poems written in second half of 1888 by Friedrich Nietzsche under the nom de plume of Dionysos. The first six poems were published in the 1891 edition of Also sprach Zarathustra. The other three poems are compositions drawn from those found in Also sprach Zarathustra only slightly altered. Ruhm und Ewigkeit was published at the finis of the 1908 first edition of Ecce Homo; however, it is now deemed to be a requisite part of Dionysos-Dithyramben.