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Nietzsche's exuberent though at times naive first work
on 7 September 2001
The Birth of Tragedy is Nietzsche's first work, and in his 'Attempt at Self-criticism' he was subsequently to reject its naïve tone, raw style and bald assertions of a Germanic cultural rebirth under the aegis of Wagner, whose influence Nietzsche had by that time repudiated. It is evidently the work of a young thinker whose opinions were not yet fully formed, yet to escape from influence of Schopenhauer. In comparison then, to his later masterpieces Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Beyond Good and Evil, the Birth of Tragedy lacks Nietzsche's trademark vision and audacity.
That said, The Birth of Tragedy stands well as a work of its own accord; Nietzsche's war on Socratic optimism is began in this work, and the brilliant and influential Appollinian and Dionysian dialectic makes it first appearance here. Anyone interested in Greek tragedy or in Attic culture in general will undoubtedly benefit from reading the thoughts of a great thinker on the subject. Indeed it very difficult to dislike or dismiss Birth of Tragedy as a whole, despite the fact that it is flawed in parts. As with Nietzsche's other works, the sheer exuberance and intellectual excitement of the author enthuses the reader - and for this reason, recommends the work to anyone with taste for ancient Greece, or for Friedrich Nietzsche.