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Nietzsche on art slides

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From a talk at the Barnes Philosophy Club.

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Nietzsche on art slides

  1. 1. Nietzsche on art and life Nick Aldridge
  2. 2. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer.
  3. 3. Nietzsche and Schopenhauer Schopenhauer Nietzsche Is life worth living? No: underlying will = brutal suffering Ditto. Can we overcome the will/truth? Truth comes first: the will cannot be overcome. Maybe we can overcome truth through artistic illusion Tone of response Vengeful relish Despair and fighting What about identifying with the “will”? Must reject will as evil, but find solace in altruism, asceticism. Yes: can re-energise and deepen human experience.
  4. 4. God is dead “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? …What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
  5. 5. Apollo and Dionysus
  6. 6. Apollo and Dionysus Apollonian Dionysian Why this God? Light, fantasy, calm, beauty (Awkwardly also of music) Chaos and intoxication: a chorus of drunken revelers. Art forms Sculpture, also poetry Music, singing, dancing, Experience- metaphor Dreams (Philosopher can see life as a dream. Dreams have meaning.) Drunkenness, (With revelry, sexual licentiousness) Content Beautiful forms, structure (representation) Intoxicated visions of Primordial Unity (the will) Emotion evoked Reassuring: comforting veil. Image of self as opposed to world and others. Ecstasy and terror, awe. Self- forgetting & reconciliation with nature & others. Mystic oneness. Truthfulness No – a veil of maya (appearance), like a fragile boat on stormy seas Yes – veil of maya torn to tatters.”Drunken reality”
  7. 7. Oedipus Rex • Oedipus is cast out of Thebes as a baby. • Unwittingly kills father (in a skirmish) and returns to marry the Queen, his mother. • When they find out, she hangs herself and he blinds himself.
  8. 8. Prometheus • Prometheus , a Titan, brought fire down from heaven to human beings. • Zeus punished him by chaining him on a mountain and sending a vulture to feed on his liver during the day.
  9. 9. Transfiguration, Raphael Apollo: Visionary world of appearances: radiant floating in pure bliss, serene contemplation. Redeeming Vision Dionysis: Possessed boy, despairing bearers, terrified disciples: primal and eternal pain Necessary Suffering
  10. 10. Menander’s comedies Same tone as modern romantic comedies, in which love is nearly thwarted by grouchy parent Stock characters: • Cooks with familiar jokes • “Angry old man", the domineering parent • Bragging soldier • Wise slave • The kind shrewd prostitute
  11. 11. Wagner and rebirth of tragedy “the Meistersingers will acquaint men, even in the remotest ages to come, with the nature of Germany’s soul... It’s very ripest fruit” Wagner at Bayreuth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97eRAFwkYgQ
  12. 12. Saying “yes” to life: "to the poet, to the philosopher, to the saint, all things are friendly and sacred, all events profitable, all days holy, all men divine" Ralph Waldo Emerson, History, 1841
  13. 13. Nietzsche with two friends Lou Salomé Paul Rée Nietzsche
  14. 14. Falling out with Wagner •“Denial, Christianity, medievalism” •Embraced the “ascetic ideal...using Schopenhauer as his front man”
  15. 15. A dialogue of self and soul, W.B. Yeats "I am content to live it all again, And yet again… I am content to follow to its source Every event in action or in thought, Measure the lot, forgive myself the lot! When such as I cast out remorse So great a sweetness flows into the breast We must laugh and we must sing, We are blessed by everything, Everything we look upon is blessed."
  16. 16. Doric Temple (Athens)
  17. 17. Oedipus at Colonus • Death of exiled Oedipus in Athens, while sons are at war over Thebes, and daughters weep • “the lightless depths of Earth bursting open in kindness to receive him” (1886–1887). • “The sound of reconciliation from another world echoes most purely perhaps in Oedipus at Colonus.”
  18. 18. emotions in Archilochus Soul, my soul, don't let them break you, all these troubles. Never yield: though their force is overwhelming, up! attack them shield to shield... Take the joy and bear the sorrow, looking past your hopes and fears: learn to recognize the measured dance that orders all our years.

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