The Birth of Tragedy

You've been talking about it, so here we go. The first fifteen chapters deal with the nature of Greek Tragedy, which Nietzsche claims was born when the Apollonian worldview met the Dionysian - the principles of dream and ecstasy.   

 How do the Apollonian and Dionysian play out as fundamental responses to the problem of being?   What truth does Nietzsche see in tragic art forms?   What relationship does this have to life at its fullest? What is the contrast with "the Socratic"?

This will be a free discussion in light of Nietzsche's writing - the primary focus being on our own understanding.  I.E., Definitely don't worry if you don't follow everything Nietzsche throws at you.  

The first 6 chapters are most important for our discussion.  

Book is free online HERE.

Short helpful podcast HERE   **recommended** (the first half)

“I am convinced that art is the highest task and the essential metaphysical capability of this life."

-Nietzsche

 

Raphael's "Transfiguration"

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  • Isabella

    As therefore the Demiurge brings together the causal action of these two Gods, He divides the whole and harmonizes the Soul. And in fact, these two Gods (Dionysus and Apollo) have in common the number seven, as also the Theologians say that, when Dionysus was divided, it was in seven parts: 'into seven parts they divided the child'; and these same Theologians have consecrated the ebdomade to Apollo, believing that it brings together all the tunes: as the double octave consists of a monad, a dyad and a tetrad from which comes the ebdomade (the first octave 2:1 and the second octave 4:2 > 1 +2 +4 = 7 ) . That is why they call the God 'Born on the seventh day' and consecrate this seventh day to him: ' On that day Leto gave birth to Apollo of the golden sword', as the sixth is consacrated to Artemis." (Proklos in Tim. III 197 )

    June 4

    • Brian

      This is all from Proclus on Timaeus?? Hmm

      June 4

    • Isabella

      Yeah, I'll do more research

      June 6

  • Isabella

    Brian! Someone posted this on FB:
    "We must consider how the work of the Demiurge is presented as twofold. In fact, He divides the Soul into parts, then harmonizes the divided parts, and tunes up the parts with each other and, in doing so, He acts on the one hand in the manner of Dionysus, on the other in the manner of Apollo. Since split, reduce the wholes into parts and preside over the distribution of the forms is just of Dionysus, while harmoniously bring together the parts in full wholes is just of Apollo.

    June 4

  • Brian

    So I decided to bring up Nietzche's Apollo to my Lucid Dream group. We got lots out of it. . . Cool

    1 · June 3

  • Brian

    I think we did a pretty great job with this. Looking forward to the sequel. Thanks everyone

    May 31

  • Mike B.

    I just happened upon a reference to Habermas's characterization of Nietzsche's project of saying no to "the dialectic of enlightenment," and I was wondering if we could see modernism (Descartes, Kant, et al.) as hung up on achieving certainty by and through Reason, while Nietzsche senses that Reason is not enough.

    2 · May 30

    • Poe

      Nietzsche tried to extirpate the Enlightenment and prop new roots that didn't stem from the old. The pursuit of knowledge & reason during the Enlightenment wasn't just not enough, but it was also wrong. Nietzsche did not believe that sitting in a room and coming to 'x' or 'y' was an absolute truth that could be explained through rational principles.

      1 · May 30

    • Isabella

      Nietzsche very much reveals the fullness and contradictions of our natures and does not deny nor cover these. It is much like reading the ancient warring elements in action. But all of them form a unity.

      May 31

  • Isabella

    So in some of this, like the below quote, it seems he has illustrated an inner urge towards unity and wholeness. While he identifies this as a loss of self and becoming one with nature, nature seeking to be whole, I see it as evidence of something in our nature that seeks for that unity and wholeness. Not necessarily to be one with nature at large, this is just a way that this inclination towards wholeness manifests itself and through it we come closer to awakening that latent wholeness within us.

    May 31

  • Isabella

    "But if we momentarily look away from our own “reality,” if we grasp our empirical existence and the world in general as an idea of the primordial oneness createdin every moment, then we must now consider our dream as the illusion of an illusion, as well as an even higher fulfilment of the original hunger for illusion. For this same reason, the innermost core of nature takes that indescribable joy in the naive artist and naive work of art, which is, in the same way, only “an illusion of an illusion.”

    May 31

  • Brian

    Nietzsche on Socrates (Gay Science) :The Dying Socrates. I admire the courage and wisdom of Socrates in all that he did, said - and did not say. This mocking and amorous demon and rat-catcher of Athens, who made the most insolent youths tremble and sob, was not only the wisest babbler that has ever lived, but was just as great in his silence. I would that he had also been silent in the last moment of his life, - perhaps he might then have belonged to a still higher order of intellects. "

    May 31

  • Mike B.

    Whether it's dream or drunkenness, Apollo or Dionysius, indulgence or repression, etc., one has to wonder if Nietzsche and his German predecessors were too committed too dualistic thinking.

    May 30

    • Brian

      Mike, some of this relates to your question: "For the true poet, metaphor is not a rhetorical trope, but a representative image which really hovers in front of him in the place of an idea..Why does Homer give us descriptions so much more vivid than all the poets? Because he sees so much more around him. "

      2 · May 30

    • Brian

      (Not because he can see more abstractly)

      May 30

  • Mike B.

    I suspect that one of the driving forces that kept us reading after our introduction to philosophy was a strong desire for certainty, for some authoritative guide--or even a tentative rule of thumb. Now when I take stock of myself, I would have to say certainty is beyond my reach and I cannot locate any authoritative practice or institution. Could this be said how Nietzsche viewed his own situation?

    May 30

  • Mike B.

    Question: Can it be granted that writing philosophy prior to Nietzsche, one had to commit oneself to the declarative mode? The philosopher had to assert something positive; the philosopher had to be a dogmatist; his thought was the truth after all or so he alleged. And so, we would have to see that Nietzsche turned his back on all that--privileged Reason, moral certainty, society's received wisdom. Nietzsche's critique is much more thorough going than anything in Kant. Does this make any sense?

    1 · May 30

  • Brian

    There is some support for Nietzsche's concern that the combined forces of Apollo+Dionysus has become Apollo+Socratic. In the Cratylus, Socrates names the two muses of philosophy: Calliope and Urania - representing Epic poetry and Astronomy. These muses track the Apollonian principle(epic quest, homer) and KNOWLEDGE OF REAL THINGS. I'd agree with socrates that philosophy is a sort of [epic]quest about reality. But does this truly leave out dionysus? After all, what do we make of the fact that these are MUSES?

    May 24

    • Brian

      Haha I love you, brother

      May 29

  • Brian

    Beautiful and true: "This is the phenomenon of the lyric poet: as an Apollonian genius, he interprets the music through the image of the will, while he himself, fully released from the greed of the will, is a pure, untroubled eye of the sun"

    What does Nietzsche say is higher than this?

    May 26

  • Brian

    Thoughts: Despite dionysus being primordial (prior), the book begins with the natural dreamer, Apollo. Naturally, we use our illusion to cover the unthinkable primordial chaos. We all do, no matter how base or nobly we take on everydayness. On reflection, however, implicit in any comfort is the suffering behind it. This recognition is important lest we fortify ourselves, brick by brick, sheilding us from any true redemption. That is, to be taken by the muses into the moods and power of this life.

    May 26

  • Brian

    Wow, I love this passage:


    Like the artist, theoretical man takes infinite pleasure in all that exists. . . but while the artist, having unveiled the truth garment by garment, remains with us gaze fixed on what is still hidden, theoretical man takes delight in the cast garments and finds his highest satisfaction in the unveiling process itself, which proves to him his own power.

    1 · May 25

  • Brian

    On the nature of tragedy - duty comes in conflict with justice: "the contradiction in the heart of the world reveals itself to him as the interpenetration of different worlds, for example, a divine and a human world, each of which is right individually but which must, as one individual alongside another one, suffer for its individuality"

    1 · May 18

  • Brian

    These notes are helping me as I read the chapters: http://www.protevi.com/john/Nie...­

    2 · May 9

  • Poe changed the location to Filter Cafe

    April 18

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