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What a Philosopher IsBecoming Nietzsche$
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Laurence Lampert

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226488110

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226488257.001.0001

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What an Artist Is: Richard Wagner in Bayreuth

What an Artist Is: Richard Wagner in Bayreuth

Chapter:
(p.102) Chapter 4 What an Artist Is: Richard Wagner in Bayreuth
Source:
What a Philosopher Is
Author(s):

Laurence Lampert

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226488257.003.0005

This chapter begins with Nietzsche’s “foreword” to Richard Wagner in Bayreuth in Things Human All Too Human Vol. 2: the occasion for the book was the first Bayreuth Festival in the summer of 1876, but Nietzsche claims that it was an expression of gratitude for an event already long past, his years of close association with Wagner in Tribschen, and that it was already a leave-taking. The chapter examines a workbook from two years earlier to show that Nietzsche’s leave-taking was already present in early 1874. This book on “The Artist” is also an exercise in Jesuitism: it consciously passed over Wagner’s deficiencies in order to display the highest function of the artist as the creator/purveyor of the cultural norms capable of creating/sustaining a people. The chapter emphasizes the parallels Nietzsche believed he saw between the Bayreuth Festival and the Dionysian festival in Athens, both four days of immersion in communal events forging or renewing a people’s purpose. Nietzsche already knew that his view of things—the tragic view—was not shared by Wagner. This chapter begins a theme developed through the rest of the book: Nietzsche’s life of suffering out of which his affirmation of life arose.

Keywords:   artist, modernity, suffering, Wagner, Dionysian festival, Jesuitism

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