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Tragedy, Community Art, And Musikorgiasmus: Examining The Language Of Nietzsche’s Die Geburt Der Tragödie

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Chapter Summary

There is no late nineteenth-century book on ancient Greek culture that still succeeds in drawing as large a readership as Friedrich Nietzsche?s Die Geburt der Tragödie (1872). This chapter examines what makes it so easy to read, and misread. The author's initial concern is its linguistic form. The chapter expounds the debate from the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century on the topic of ?community art,? by means of a word count analysis of Die Geburt. Richard Wagner?s ideas on the aesthetic community in particular greatly influenced Nietzsche?s book. Musikorgiasmus is the one word that epitomizes Nietzsche?s reception of Wagner?s community art thesis, and perfectly illustrates the technique of Die Geburt. Next, the chapter investigates how a socially determined concept of culture, developed during the nineteenth century, gave rise to the strong connection between art and community. This serves to elucidate the contemporary validity and use of Nietzsche?s vocabulary.

Keywords: community art; Die Geburt der Tragödie; Friedrich Nietzsche; linguistic form; Musikorgiasmus; Richard Wagner



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