Nietzsche contra Wagner


Nietzsche contra Wagner
Nietzsche contra Wagner  
Author(s) Friedrich Nietzsche
Translator Thomas Common
Country Germany
Language German
Subject(s) Richard Wagner, anti-semitism, philosophy of art
Genre(s) philosophy
Publication date 1895
Media type Paperback, hardcover
ISBN ISBN 978-9871139156 (2004 Quadrata ed.)
Preceded by Ecce Homo (1888)
Followed by The Will to Power (1901)

"Nietzsche contra Wagner" is a critical essay by Friedrich Nietzsche, composed of recycled passages from his past works, written in his last year of lucidity (1888–1889). It was not published until 1895, six years after Nietzsche's mental collapse. In it Nietzsche describes why he parted ways with his one-time idol and friend, Richard Wagner. Nietzsche attacks Wagner's views in this short work, expressing disappointment and frustration in Wagner's life choices (such as his conversion to Christianity, perceived as a sign of weakness). Nietzsche evaluates Wagner's philosophy on tonality, music and art; he admires Wagner's power to emote and express himself, but largely disdains what Nietzsche calls his religious biases.

The work is significant for a number of reasons. It illustrates Nietzsche's evolution from a younger philosopher. It also gives the lie to those that would label Nietzsche as anti-Semitic, as is often alleged, and instead makes clear Nietzche's opposition to such ideas: "[Wagner] had condescended step by step to everything I despise — even to anti-Semitism."

References

"Nietzsche". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24. Britannica. 2006. 


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