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248 Book Reviews view. The Goethean text to which the authors chiefly refer is Faust, which they regard as an important common source for Die Geburt der Tragödie and Zarathustra Qi). The authors present intriguing points of comparison, as when they suggest that there is a principle of wagering that structures these two Nietzschean texts in ways that refer us back to Goethe's play (38). Yet there is irony in the choice of this drama as an example of Weimar Classicism, in the authors' dubious categorization of it as "the paradigmatic tragedy in German culture " (49), and in the decision to ignore Nietzsche's one published commentary on the work that extends beyond a brief reference—an ironic, disdainful, and instmctive passage from Schopenhauer als Erzieher (KSA 1:369-71). One thing Üiat the latter text renders clear is that Nietzsche was not inclined to celebrate Faust for having "learned to love life in its full aesthetic mode" (42), nor for having in any way exemplified the positive aesthetic principles of Die Geburt der Tragödie, as the authors here argue. In Nietzsche's reading, Faust learns nothing, and the figure he presents is not tragic, but banal. His final moment (the schöner Augenblick) does not result in what Bishop and Stephenson describe as a higher form of knowledge (42,104); it is arbitrary, and marks the end of a life of aimlessness and inaction (KSA 1:370). Doubtless one can take issue with Nietzsche's interpretation.As I have argued elsewhere, moreover, Goethe's conception of the "moment" does indeed become part of Nietzsche's thought and vocabulary, and it does play a role in Nietzsche's developing philosophy of "eternal recurrence," as the authors suggest (105). Recognizing how this is so, however, involves separating out the significant variations in Goethe's use of the concept throughout his work (here too a substantial secondary literature is available), and recognizing as well the forms of resistance that shape Nietzsche's readings of Goethe's work in both its classical and un-classical forms. Bishop and Stephenson's book strikes me as an opportunity missed. The genealogies that link Weimar classicism, Nietzsche, and contemporary aesthetics do not reflect an unproblematic recycling of unchanging categories and motifs. They reveal instead a history that is neither merely continuous, nor simply consists in so many iterations of a timeless "gospel of beauty."This history lies at the heart of German aesthetics, and might indeed be worth updating. Rutgers University Nicholas Rennte NOTES 1. I refer to volume and page number in: Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Einzelbanden, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, 1988). 2. Ernst Bertram, "Nietzsches Goethebild," Festschrift für Berthold Litzmann (Bonn, 1920); I quote from the slightly revised version of this piece that appears in Bertram, Dichtung als Zeugnis: Frühe Bonner Studien (Bonn: Bouvier, 1967) 258. Peter M. DaIy, Hans Walter Frischkopf, Tmdis E. Goldsmith-Reber, and Horst Richter, eds., Why Weimar? Questioning the Legacy of Weimar from Goethe to 1999. New York: Peter Lang, 2003. McGUl European Studies, vol. 5.341 pp. Warum sollte man Weimar nicht einfach in die Luft sprengen, wie Thomas Alexander Schmidt es in einem Roman von 1997 vorgeführt hat: zuerst das Goethe Yearbook 249 Römische Haus, dann Goethes Gartenhaus, dann Charlotte von Steins Palais, das Goethe-Schiller-Archiv, das Schloßmuseum, das Hotel Elephant, das Goethehaus, das Schillermuseum, das Wittumspalais, das Nationaltheater, die Kunsthalle und schließlich sogar das Goethe-Schiller-Denkmal von Rietschel. Nach dem katastrophalen Brand der Anna-Amalien-Bibliothek im Herbst 2004 erscheint ein solches Gedankenspiel höchst unangebracht. Doch um ein solches Gedankenspiel geht es in diesem Sammelband, wenn auch nicht ganz so radikal wie bei Schmidt, dessen Roman Weimar oder das Ende der Zeit in einem der Beiträge besprochen wird. Seit den sechziger Jahren hat man an der sogenannten Klassik-Legende gerüttelt, doch nach der Brandkatastrophe von 2004 fühlt man sich nicht mehr so sicher, dass die Denkmäler den Sturm der Zeiten überstehen werden und noch zu restaurieren sind. Von Peter M. DaIy und seinen Kollegen ist hier so ziemlich alles zusammengestellt worden, was...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-9087
Print ISSN
0734-3329
Pages
pp. 248-249
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-13
Open Access
No
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