The Smile of Tragedy
Nietzsche and the Art of Virtue
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Penn State University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
Table of Contents
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List of Abbreviations
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The “ancient world” is one into which, Nietzsche says, “I have sought to find a way, into which I have perhaps found a new way.”1 This study is an attempt to follow the trail. Often the path dissolves into fragments of youthful unpublished text that, as indicators of his direction, leave nothing but...
Chapter 1: Dionysian Pessimism
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Fourteen years after completing The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche “appended”1 his “Attempt at a Self-Criticism,” wherein, despite the defects of this “strange and almost inaccessible book” (BT SC 1), he still recognized the task to which he had “by no means . . . become a stranger” (BT SC 2). This task, though...
Chapter 2: The Good and Beautiful Body
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It would be anachronistic to say that during the tragic age there was a recognized “intimacy” between ethics and aesthetics, since articulating such intimacy hinges on an inclination to distinguish them in the first place. The tendency to separate the “beautiful,” or the central concern of aesthetics, from “the good life,” or the aim of the ethical, is as common among ourselves...
Chapter 3: The Socratic Cure for Life
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We turn now to a pessimism which is perhaps more properly described as a kind of despair. Rife with a cautious and world-weary suspicion of the value of ever having walked the earth, this is the pessimism Nietzsche associates with the decline of Greek culture. For the purposes of clarity, we...
Tomorrow and the Day After Tomorrow
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In taking up what I imagine Nietzsche meant by classical or “Dionysian pessimism,” the event of human suffering is, no less than this pessimism itself, “inseparable” (GS 370) from what we call “Nietzsche’s philosophy.” That there can and, most likely, will be great pain in our lives points to...
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Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Literature and Philosophy