Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Nietzshe on Art and Literature (Routledge Philosophy Guidebooks)
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Nietzsche is one of the most important modern philosophers and his writings on the nature of art are amongst the most influential of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
This GuideBook introduces and assesses:
• Nietzsche's life and the background to his writings on art the ideas and texts of his works which contribute to art, including
• The Birth of Tragedy, Human, All Too Human and Thus Spoke Zarathustra
• Nietzsche's continuing importance to philosophy and contemporary thought.
This GuideBook will be essential reading for all students coming to Nietzsche for the first time.
expression’. The third thought offers to rectify this difficulty, by positing an ‘intermediate sphere’ between the noumenal and phenomenal worlds. What Nietzsche means by this, exactly, is rather hard to say. But we may note, first, that he introduces a new metaphysical category – the ‘essence of things’ – in his efforts to explain himself. This category is not straightforwardly phenomenal: ‘it is not true’, he says, ‘that the essence of things “appears” in the empirical world’ (i.e. in the
reasonably clear that, with whatever warrant, Nietzsche commits himself in it to a metaphysical level intermediate between the noumenal and phenomenal worlds, and that this level – comprising the ‘essence of things’ – is logically prior to any sort of world of stable, coagulated objects (chairs, windows, and whatever might be perceived by insects or birds). So it is a level that undercuts individuality as we would normally understand it (even if it may not, strictly speaking, undercut
The book has some intriguing things to say, and this sort of reading would certainly allow them to come out with a minimum of distraction. But it would be a mistake, even so, to underestimate the amount that would need to be bracketed. In a notorious passage towards the end of the book, Nietzsche remarks, first, that the ‘Dionysian, with its primordial joy experienced even in pain, is the common source of music and tragic myth’, and then goes on: we desire to hear and at the same time long to
this: ‘the strength of a spirit should be measured according to how much of the “truth” one could still barely endure – or to put it more clearly, to what degree one would require it to be thinned down, shrouded, sweetened, blunted, falsified’ (BGE 39) – which is to say, to what degree one would require art. And the late aesthetics is largely devoted to exploring the various artistic moves that might (in good conscience) be made, given these facts about ourselves, to render life bearable. With
all … Is his basic instinct directed towards art, or is it not rather directed towards the meaning of art, which is life? towards a desideratum of life? – Art is the great stimulus to life: how could it be thought purposeless, aimless, l’art pour l’art? (Nietzsche, TI IX.24) In part this passage recapitulates Nietzsche’s earlier account of ‘idealization’; in part, too, it underlines the essential ‘interestedness’ of aesthetic experience. But it also draws the artist himself more fully into the