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Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy

Narrated by: Ray Childs
Length: 3 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Philosophy
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this, his first book, Nietzsche developed a way of thinking about the arts that unites the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus as the central symbol of human existence. Although tragedy serves as the focus of this work, music, visual art, dance, and the other arts can also be viewed using Nietzsche's analysis and integration of the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Birth of Tragedy stands alongside Aristotle's Poetics as an essential work for all who seek to understand poetry and its relationship to human life.

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Don't read this one first

If you want to learn a bit of Nietzsche, listen to 'Beyond Good and Evil' or 'A Genealogy of Morals' first rather than this one. They're much sharper and make points worth mulling over, adapting or arguing against with some level of seriousness.

I found the writing styles of The Death of Tragedy and also Thus Spoke Zarathustra to be difficult to follow, and I was often shrugging or dismissing at the end of sections. Perhaps the adequately prepared would gain more insight from this, but don't go in cold.

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  • Philo
  • 01-02-2020

Art, song, ecstacy, dance, fear ....

This joins Nietzsche's Zarathrustra as the two most liberating written pieces I've ever heard. At moments I am lifted out of who and what and where I am, lofted into having young eyes in a young world (and not the pitiful domesticated slavery I see so many children being systematically yoked into, and so many adults plodding through). I am reminded of a conversation I had with a young woman (college student) a few days ago, where I posed a world of risk and chance, and ultimate death, she characterized as "depressing." So what then -- blot it out with an anti-depressant? The antidote to that popular framing now is a vivid alternative, captured in this book: tragedy, as transformed for us through art. So much has been tossed aside and the latest "trending" ephemera peddling through these preposterous spy cams we carry around (staring at like perfect fools and oh, so domesticated and now culturally gelded, and actually, I DON'T carry one around) are no improvement. To the contrary. The problem though, is that this work by Nietzsche speaks in reference to the Greek classics, not the shallow (washed out and likewise gelded) tepid photocopies now circulating as "super hero movies." So, the references may escape today's "with-it" consumer/"user." I don't have a classical education. have a fairly shallow knowledge of classical Greek originals referenced here, and that gets me by, but I'm pretty literate. In the discarded old fashioned sense. I'm so uncool and out-of-it I actually GET this.

This book sometimes wanders or talks outside my comprehension and one moment I'm thinking "Wha --?" but in the next moments it abruptly displays such brilliance and virtuosity, some of the most brilliant things I've ever heard about art and culture and human motives and energies, I'm struck silent and agape. If it speaks to you, it will thunder.

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  • Tim Parsons
  • 08-11-2016

boring

the narrator was good but the content...zzzzz... oh! was..zzzzz... oh! uh... something to be desired