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on 26 February 2015
Excellent
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on 18 December 2016
Arrived faster than expected, quality basically perfect.
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on 1 October 2014
WONDERFUL WONDERFUL DEAR GENIUS
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on 14 January 2014
i enjoyed it very much and the book was in excellent condition and I would recommend it to a friend
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on 23 August 2016
Amazing and readable.
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on 28 July 2015
Great read
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on 16 November 2012
Very disappointed - appears on the Kindle as a small scanned page with pale grey text. It's almost illegible, so a waste of time and money.
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on 12 February 2013
You have to be really interested in Nietzsche to enjoy this book - his style is rhetorical, paradoxical, digressive, sometimes contradictory, and difficult to understand without background knowledge. The primary theme is of the lost utopian age of Ancient Greek civilization at its peak, and the role of Greek tragedy in unifying the people in a way which transcended the gloom of mortality. How was this role to be filled in the modern era? By Wagner (whom Nietzsche subsequently despised.) The The second part of the title "out of the spirit of music" misleads. N places emphasis on the role of music in Greek tragedy, but not much is known about it, except the scale (see Sir James Jeans - Science and Music, still the authority,) and the fact that singing was homophonic (no harmonies - Aristotle.) Must have sounded rather different to Wagnerian opera. Nietzsche's fundamental theories are as mad as the man (final insanity through syphillis) - but there are some interesting ideas and quotations, and he has had a great influence on today's world, particularly through the Nazi's abuse of his philosophy, and also his influence on Freud, many of whose ideas he anticipates. N himself was violently opposed to anti-semitism.
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on 7 May 2012
An excellent modern translation of Nietzsche's first book. The translator supplies a very useful contextual essay and helpful notes.

'The Birth of Tragedy' is an unusual book: a work of scholarship that is impatient with scholarship, a polemic about the German present that has deep roots in antiquity. Nietzsche later convicted himself of youthful naivety in this early work, but even he could not deny its energy and impatience. The result is a short but dense and ramifying work that opens a new chapter in cultural criticism and has been profoundly influential, not least on Continental Philosophy in our own time.

I greatly enjoyed my first encounter with this book, some years ago. Readers new to Nietzsche are advised to be prepared to take it slowly and use the scholarly apparatus. As Douglas Smith points out in his Introduction, the later Nietzsche may have distanced himself from its tone and emphases, but its place in the development of his thought is clear and the continuities between this and his later preoccupations is clear.

Introduction (xxx pages), text (131 pages), Explanatory Notes (31 pages), Index.
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on 3 May 2010
F. Nietzsche expresses in a raging and delirious style loudly his vision on life, through his interpretation of the Attic tragedy and its history. He exposes himself as an anti-rational, anti-scientific, amoral romanticist, for whom art is the only truly metaphysical activity of man.

Apollo v. Dionysus
The gods Apollo and Dionysus represent two completely antagonistic lifestyles.
The Apollinian one stands for measured restraint and freedom from wild emotions. It is based on the principium individuationis (the individual). Its main art form is sculpture; in literature the epic form (Homeros).
The Dionysian one stands for ecstasy, intoxication, orgiastic frenzy, sexual licentiousness, savage natural instincts. It is the life of the bearded satyr, a symbol of the sexual omnipotence of nature, of the abolition of the individual man. Its art form is music, song and dance; in literature, it is the poetry of an Archilochus with its cries of hatred and scorn, with his drunken outburst of desire.

Socrates
For Nietzsche, Socrates has the profound illusion that thought, using the thread of causality, can penetrate the deepest abyss of being. He is guided by the instinct of science, which for Nietzsche is a chain for humanity. Socrates stands for morality with its dictum: `knowledge is virtue; man sins only from ignorance; he who is virtuous is happy.' Socratism stands for morality, for `the anarchical dissolution of the instincts.'

The Attic tragedy
For Nietzsche, the Attic tragedy is born out of the Dionysian. It arose from the tragic chorus, the mirror image in which the Dionysian man contemplated himself. It was a chorus of natural beings who were (are) living ineradicably behind all civilization. It represents the rapture of the Dionysian state.
The choral parts gave birth to a dialogue. Drama began with the attempt to show the god in real. The earliest forms of the Greek tragedy had the sufferings of the tragic hero, Dionysus, (the agony of individuation) as sole theme.
The decline began with Sophocles who portrays complete characters and the Attic tragedy ended with Euripides, who draws prominent individual traits of character. Euripides is the exponent of the degenerate culture of Socratism and its morality. For him, `to be beautiful, everything must be conscious.'
Only after the spirit of science and its claim to universal validity is destroyed may we hope for a rebirth of tragedy.

Art, Hellenism and pessimism
The Hellene lost his Dionysian instincts. He became an individual confronted with the horror and absurdity of life. But art was (is) a saving sorceress. She alone knew (knows) how to turn the nauseous thoughts about life into the sublime which tamed the horrible and into the comic which discharged absurdity.

Of course, this book is not Nietzsche's best one. It constitutes a highly personal interpretation of the Greek tragedy. But, its overall vision of art as the savior and the solace of the ex-Dionysians will strongly appeal to many.
Not to be missed.
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