30+ quotes from The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche

Quotes from The Birth of Tragedy

Friedrich Nietzsche ·  160 pages

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“Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Christianity was from the beginning, essentially and fundamentally, life's nausea and disgust with life, merely concealed behind, masked by, dressed up as, faith in "another" or "better" life.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“نسمع في لحظات الفرح الغامر صرخات الرعب أو البكاء الموجع اشتياقاً إلى شيء ما فقدناه بلا رجعة”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Suppose a human being has thus put his ear, as it were, to the heart chamber of the world will and felt the roaring desire for existence pouring from there into all the veins of the world, as a thundering current or as the gentlest brook, dissolving into a mist—how could he fail to break suddenly? How could he endure to perceive the echo of innumerable shouts of pleasure and woe in the "wide space of the world night," enclosed in the wretched glass capsule of the human individual, without inexorably fleeing toward his primordial home, as he hears this shepherd's dance of metaphysics? But if such a work could nevertheless be perceived as a whole, without denial of individual existence; if such a creation could be created without smashing its creator—whence do we take the solution of such a contradiction?”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“I fear that, with our current veneration for the natural and the real, we have arrived at the opposite pole to all idealism, and have landed in the region of the waxworks.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“What does our great historical hunger signify, our clutching about us of countless cultures, our consuming desire for knowledge, if not the loss of myth, of a mythic home, the mythic womb?”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Without myth, however, every culture loses its healthy creative natural power: it is only a horizon encompassed with myth that rounds off to unity a social movement.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“The images of myth must be the daemonic guardians, omnipresent and unnoticed, which protect the growth of the young mind, and guide man's interpretation of his life and struggles.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“The best of all things is something entirely outside your grasp: not to be born, not to be, to be nothing. But the second best thing for you is to die soon.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Besides this I place another equally obvious confirmation of my view that opera is based on the same principles as our Alexandrian culture. Opera is the birth of the theoretical man, the critical layman, not of the artist: one of the most surprising facts in the history of all the arts. It was the demand of throughly unmusical hearers that before everything else the words must be understood, so that according to them a rebirth of music is to be expected only when some mode of singing has been discovered in which textword lords it over counterpoint like master over servant: For the words, it is argued, are as much nobler than the accompanying harmonic system as the soul is nobler than the body.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Why does Homer give us descriptions so much more vivid than all the poets. Because he sees so much more around him. We speak about poetry so abstractly because we all tend to be poor poets. The aesthetic phenomenon is fundamentally simple: if someone
simply possesses the capacity to see a living game going on continually and to live all the time
surrounded by hordes of ghosts, then the man is a poet; if someone simply feels the urge to change himself and to speak out from other bodies and souls, then that person is a dramatist.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“In truth, nothing could be more opposed to the purely aesthetic interpretation and justification of the world which are taught in this book than the Christian teaching, which is, and wants to be, only moral and which relegates art, every art, to the realm of lies; with its absolute standards, beginning with the truthfulness of God, it negates, judges, and damns art.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“For the true poet the metaphor is not a rhetorical figure but a representative image that really hovers before him in place of a concept. For him, the character is not a whole laboriously assembled from individual traits, but a person, insistently living before his eyes, distinguished from the otherwise identical vision of the painter by his continuous life and action.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“... all life rests on appearance, art, illusion, optics, the need for perspective and for error...”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Language can never adequately render the cosmic symbolism of music, because music stands in symbolic relation to the primordial contradiction and primordial pain in the heart of the primal unity, and therefore symbolizes a sphere which is beyond and prior to all phenomena. Rather, all phenomena, compared with it, are merely symbols: hence language, as the organ and symbol of phenomena, can never by any means disclose the innermost heart of music; language, in its attempt to imitate it, can only be in superficial contact with music; while all the eloquence of lyric poetry cannot bring the deepest significance of the latter one step nearer to us.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Man is no longer an artist, he has become a work of art.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“أيها البشر الزائلون التعساء، يا أبناء المخاطر والشدائد! لماذا تجبرونني على قول ما قد يكون الأفضل لكم ألا تسمعوه؟ إن أفضل الأشياء هو الشيء الذي يوجد خارج قبضتكم كليةً: ألا تولدوا، ألا تكونوا، أن تكونوا لا شيء. ولكن ثاني أفضل الأشياء لكم هو أن تندثروا في أقرب وقت.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“IT is an eternal phenomenon: the insatiate will can always, by means of an illusion spread over things, detain its creatures in life and compel them to live on. One is chained by the Socratic love of knowledge and the delusion of being able thereby to heal the eternal wound of existence; another is ensnared by art’s seductive veil of beauty fluttering before his eyes; still another by the metaphysical comfort that beneath the flux of phenomena eternal life flows on indestructibly: to say nothing of the more ordinary and almost more powerful illusions which the will has always at hand. These three planes of illusion are on the whole designed only for the more nobly formed natures, who in general feel profoundly the weight and burden of existence, and must be deluded by exquisite stimulants into forgetfulness of their sorrow.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Every culture that has lost myth has lost, by the same token, its natural healthy creativity. Only a horizon ringed about with myths can unify a culture. The forces of imagination and the Apollonian dream are saved only by myth from indiscriminate rambling. The images of myth must be the daemonic guardians, ubiquitous but unnoticed, presiding over the growth of the child's mind and interpreting to the mature man his life and struggles.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“The satyr, as the Dionysiac chorist, dwells in a reality sanctioned by myth and ritual. That tragedy should begin with him, that the Dionysiac wisdom of tragedy should speak through him, is as puzzling a phenomenon as, more generally, the origin of tragedy from the chorus. Perhaps we can gain a starting point for this inquiry by claiming that the satyr, that fictive nature sprite, stands to cultured man in the same relation as Dionysian music does to civilization. Richard Wagner has said of the latter that it is absorbed by music as lamplight by daylight. In the same manner, I believe, the cultured Greek felt himself absorbed into the satyr chorus, and in the next development of Greek tragedy state and society, in fact everything that separates man from man, gave way before an overwhelming sense of unity that led back into the heart of nature. This metaphysical solace (which, I wish to say at once, all true tragedy sends us away) that, despite every phenomenal change, life is at bottom indestructibly joyful and powerful, was expressed most concretely in the chorus of satyrs, nature beings who dwell behind all civilization and preserve their identity through every change of generations and historical movement.

With this chorus the profound Greek, so uniquely susceptible to the subtlest and deepest suffering, who had penetrated the destructive agencies of both nature and history, solaced himself. Though he had been in danger of craving a Buddhistic denial of the will, he was saved through art, and through art life reclaimed him.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Ohne Mythus aber geht jede Kultur ihrer gesunden schöpferischen Kraft verlustig: erst ein mit Mythen umstellter Horizont schließt eine ganze Kulturbewegung zur Einheit ab.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Als 'ein Frevel, als ein Raub an der göttlichen Natur' erscheine hier die Aneignung des Feuers, der erste Schritt 'jeder aufsteigenden Kultur', und diesen 'arischen Mythus', der 'den heroischen Drang' darstelle, 'über den Bann der Individuation hinauszuschreiten', stellt er den 'semitischen Sündenfallmythus [entgegen], in welchem die Neugierde, die lügnerische Vorspiegelung, die Verführbarkeit, die Lüsternheit [...] als der Ursprung des übels angesehen wurde'.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“The voice of the Socratic dream vision is the only sign of any misgivings about the limits of logic: Perhaps – thus he might have asked himself – what is not intelligible to me is not necessarily unintelligent? Perhaps there is a realm of wisdom from which the logician is exiled? Perhaps art is even a necessary correlative of, and supplement for science?”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“De esa apariencia se eleva ahora, cual un perfume de ambrosía, un nuevo mundo aparencial, casi visionario, del cual nada ven los que se hallan presos en la primera apariencia - un luminoso flotar en una delicia purísima y en una intuición sin dolor que irradia desde unos ojos muy abiertos.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Наука, подбадана својом силном заблудом, незаустављиво јури ка својим границама, на којима се разбија њен у суштини логике скривени оптимизам, јер, периферија круга науке има бескрајно много тачака, и док се још уопште не да сагледати како ће се тај круг икад моћи потпуно измерити, племенити и обдарени човек ипак, још пре но што стигне на половину свог животног пута и неминовно, наилази на такве граничне тачке периферије и отуд своје запрепашћење угледа како се логика на тим границама увија око саме себе и најзад се уједе за реп - онда пробија нови облик сазнања. Трагичко сазнање којем је да би се уопште могло поднети, потребна уметност као заштита лек.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Alas, the magic of these battles is that whoever looks at them must also fight them.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Večita je to pojava: požudna volja uvek nalazi sredstva da iluzijom prostrtom preko stvari zadrži svoje stvorove u životu i da ih prisili da i dalje žive.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Lo que nosotros esperamos del futuro, eso ha sido ya una vez realidad- en un pasado hace más de dos mil años.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Postojanje i svet izgledaju opravdani jedino kao estetski fenomen: u kom smislu nas upravo tragički mit treba da ubedi kako su čak i rugoba i nesklad umetnička igra koju volja, u večitom preobilju svoje naslade, igra sa samom sobom.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


“Demokratik beğeninin tüm "modern fikirler"ine ve önyargılarına karşın, iyimserliğin zaferi, egemen hale gelmiş akılcılık, kılgısal ve kuramsal yararcılık, onunla eş zamanlı olan demokrasinin kendisi gibi, -gücün azalışının, yaşlılığın yaklaşmasının, fizyolojik yorgunluğun bir belirtisi olabilmişti belki de?”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, quote from The Birth of Tragedy


About the author

Friedrich Nietzsche
Born place: in Röcken bei Lützen, Prussian Province of Saxony, Germany
Born date October 15, 1844
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