Birth of Tragedy Quotes

In our dreams we delight in the immediate understanding of figures;; all forms speak to us; there is nothing unimportant or superfluous.

Thus the aesthetically sensitive man stands in the same relation to the reality of dreams as the philosopher does to the reality of existence; he is a close and willing observer, for these images afford him an interpretation of life, and by reflecting on these processes, he trains himself for life.

The higher truth, the perfection of these states in contrast to the incompletely intelligible world, this deep consciousness of nature, healing and helping in sleep and dreams, is at the same time the symbolical analogue of the soothsaying faculty and of the arts generally, which make life possible and worth living.

… Schopenhauer has depicted for us the tremendous terror which seizes man when he is suddenly dumbfounded by the cognitive form of phenomena because of the principle of sufficient reason, in some one of its manifestations, seems to suffer an exception

With respect to these immediate art-states of nature, every artist is an “imitator,” that is to say either and Apollonian artist in his dreams, or a Dionysian artist in ecstasies; so we may perhaps picture him sinking down in his Dionysian intoxication and mystical self-abnegation, alone and apart from the surging revellers and we may imagine how, through Apollonian dream inspiration, his own state, i.e. his oneness with the inmost ground of the world, is revealed to him in a symbolical dream image.

The essence of nature is now to be expressed symbolically; we need a new world of symbols; and the entire symbolism of the body is called into play, not the mere symbolism of the lips, the face, and speech, but the whole pantomime of dancing forcing every member into rhythmic movement.

The same impulse which calls art into being, as the complement and consecration of existence, seducing one into a continuation of life, was also the cause of the Olympian world which the Hellenic “will” made use of as a transfiguring mirror.

Only insofar as the genius in the art of artistic creation coalesces with this primordial artist of the world, does he know anything of the eternal essence of art, for in this state he is, in a marvelous manner, like the weird image of the fairy tale, which can turn its eyes at will and behold itself; he is at once, subject and object, at once poet/actor and spectator.


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