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The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche: Apollo Vs Dionysus: A Darwinian Drama

The Birth of Tragedy (Complete Works)The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche

My Rating★★★★★

Apollo Vs Dionysus: A Darwinian Drama

Nietzsche never struck me as a real philosopher. He was too much the story-teller.

This is probably his most a-philosophical (?) works. But it is my favorite. It was the most accessible to me and it was the most relevant of his works. It helped me form my own convictions. It was universal and yet not choke full of platitudes. It was forceful but not descending into loud (almost incomprehensible) invectives. (you know which works I subtly allude to)

‘Birth of Tragedy’ was his first major work and to me (in contradiction of the previous paragraph) his most philosophical. It seems to me to be the very soul of his philosophy – that was then refined and reformed in the fire of his (self-imposed?) suffering. The later philosophy is the ‘Nietzschian’ one – grand and too powerful to ignore. But, this earlier core is, to me, the real beauty that livens all the later fury.

Nietzsche, already in this, his first work (ostensibly on the source of Greek tragedy), set Dionysus (the god of vitality, ecstasy, thriving life, and of wine) against Apollo (the god of tranquillity, logic, and of contemplation).

According to Nietzsche, in Greek tragedy as in life, it is the unruly chorus who represented Dionysus and was a crying-out of humanity (the species) itself. Apollo, on the other hand, was represented by the human actors and expressed himself through the orderly dialogue. Apollo was designed to be noticed – the conscious story. Dionysus was designed to be evoked – the collective unconscious?

In this early core of Nietzschian philosophy, a philosophy of species vs individuals, of species evolution pitted against human vanity, Dionysus is the strength of the human race, of life itself (vide Darwin) but manifests only as mere background to any given human drama (but still the source of all drama and is THE actual Drama).

Apollo, in contrast, is expressed in any given human drama (composed or lived) – important and represented and thought about. But, always about mere individuals, weak and mortal.

With this early work Nietzsche leapt into the depths and all the later developments was a climb back and proclamations of the reality of the Deep. He adored and embraced the tragic sensibility which is the condition for man – of adoration of life and of its cruel laws, despite all the weakness of the individual – the real genesis of the Superman.

Disclaimer #1: Written more than a year after the original reading and after only a cursory re-reading/re-glancing. Please trust the reviewer when he asserts that the work is powerful enough to stay fresh-to-review even after a year has passed.

Disclaimer #2: Required Expansion of Essay: ‘The Superman as The Buddha: The Inevitable Evolution of Tragic Consciousness’

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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Book Reviews, Books, Philosophy, Thoughts

 

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Killing Time

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Once upon a midnight dreary,

I ambled upon those sands dreamy,

An hour behind the fleeting breath,

I rushed to catch Her fading truth …

The last slender strands of Time slips,

Through my fingers, through this hourglass slim …

 .

Time, such a shadowy being is She,

To be glimpsed only when least desired:

Passion’s startling antipode is She —

By whom when led She droops,

When leading, ascends …

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A good writer possesses not just his,

But also the spirit of all men’s thoughts —

Time is his commerce, Time his grave,

Time is what he will for always crave.

The slips and the streams, they drain, and they drain,

He is left alone, possessing not even his own;

With it the stream of words cease to flow,

With it all voices of melody turns mute …

… I do not wish to make me a laughing-stock,

Before these throngs of idle listeners.

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… Let not sloth dim my horrors new-begot,

Let me discover anew silence wherever I turn.

Help me find that silent thief,

Who steals from me my most precious treasure —

Procrastination, that thief of Time,

Let me collar him and hammer the stake!

 .

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat,

And sneak in with my silent words …

“And form your noose around that neck,”

Said She, in the same hurried passionate whisper,

“And hang him till the fleeting breath flits no more”.

..

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Composed onGoogle Docs Demo: Masters Edition, in collaboration with Edgar Alan Poe, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. So a few quotes from these writers make up some lines here and there, all the better parts actually.

PS. Do share your own collaborations below if you find them interesting.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Creative, Poetry, Thoughts

 

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Book Appreciation: The Story of Philosophy By Will Durant

The Story of PhilosophyThe Story of Philosophy by Will Durant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a long postponed book as I always thought it would be a long and trudging read, hard to comprehend and harder to remember afterwards. But Durant’s treatment of the philosophers and their ideas as organic evolutions of their character and their times was what made the book a joy to read.

The ideas and the long dead philosophers come alive magnificently in these pages and Durant even manages to fill one with the thirst to go ahead and read all these works that are compressed and presented here.

This is one of those books which takes a long time to read not because they are long and arduous but because you end up spending more time thinking about each section than in the reading. The best part of the book was the fact that wherever possible the ideas are put forth in the philosopher’s own words without commentary or interpretation marring the expostulation.

With the right mix of history, biography and philosophy, Durant has achieved a wonderful synthesis and summary of the evolution of thought. It leaves one with a tantalizing glimpse of great minds and a partial open door through which is too filled with riches to be left unexplored.

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Book Reviews, Books, Thoughts

 

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