Nietzsche on the Apollonian and the Dionysian - Denis Dutton
Visconti, who was an intelligent man, doubtless understood thecomplexities of Mann's work, but it is these very complexities whichmake it difficult to adapt for the screen. The contrast betweenApollonianism and Dionysianism is not a naturally cinematic subject,and the complicated inner life of an intellectual writer or musician,unaccompanied by some dramatic outward action, is equally difficult todramatise. Visconti is never able to find a substitute for Mann'sideas. The lengthy debates between Aschenbach and a fellow-composerabout musical aesthetics do not add much interest; they simply help tomake a lengthy and tedious film even more so. The film may bebeautiful, but it is also dull and long-winded, and in such a contextits beauty becomes something excessively rich and cloying. In Mann'sstory Aschenbach dies after eating an overripe strawberry, and thisbecomes an appropriate image for an overblown film in which DirkBogarde appears to die of a surfeit of overripe beauty. Too muchVenice, and too much Mahler, can be bad for your health. 5/10
Essay Archive - Nietzsche and Apollonianism and Dionysianism
Nietzsche believed that both forces werepresent in Greek tragedy, and that the true tragedy couldonly be produced by the tension between them. He used thenames Apollonian and Dionysian for the two forces becauseApollo, as the sun-god, represents light, clarity, andform, whereas Dionysus, as the wine-god, representsdrunkenness and ecstasy.
Then came Friedrich Nietzsche. Today he’s known for Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil more than his other writings. But his very first book–composed by a 27-year-old university professor, which differs sharply in style from the later writings–actually presents some of Nietzsche’s most radical and novel thinking. And it gives a central role to music. He calls it The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music and that precisely describes his thesis. He puts forward the idea that the heyday of classic Athenian drama, the age of Aeschylus and Sophocles, was a logical development from Greek traditions of music, song and dance. He breaks this tradition into two tendencies, the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Apollonian follows Schopenhauer’s principle of individuation, it stresses the gentle reign of reason and intellect, pushing life to a somewhat unnatural ordering. The Dionysian is its exact opposite–it is governed by emotions and particularly passions, sometimes whipped to a self-destructive frenzy of excess. The Dionysian suppresses his intellect to live as one with nature, and wine plays an essential role in his cult. In the quoted passage, Nietzsche looks at the exuberance of the Dionysian spirit and he traces it through history. It is, he says a sort of springtime’s awakening (incidentally, this is the line from which the German-American playwright Frank Wedekind takes the title of his important play–in which youthful sexuality faces the suppression of a rigidly Apollonian school system). The age of Aeschylus marks an important synthesis between these Apollonian and Dionysian tendencies–a synthesis that dissolved with the rise of Euripides and Socrates, with their elevation of the Apollonian over the Dionysian. But Nietzsche understands the totality of European intellectual and artistic tradition as the product of interaction between the Apollonian and Dionysian tendencies–the greater the friction between them, the greater the art which results.
Nietzsche's "Apollonianism and Dionysianism" is one of the philosophy in which he has presented serious concept of two forces prevalent in the human world. They are Apollonianism and Dionysianism they come from the word Apollo and Dionysus. They are the names of Gods worshiped by Greek people and these two Gods represent two different qualities. Apollo stands for beauty, order, harmony, love, progress, serenity, calmness and individualism while Dionysus stands for ugliness, disorder, hatred, passion, emotion, intoxication and group.Even an artist can be either Apollonian or Dionysus art because Apollo and Dionysus are art sponsoring Gods. The Apollonian art is plastic while Dionysian art is non-plastic. In Nietzsche’s view, the naive art is the non-plastic. In Nietzsche’s view, the naïve art is the dualistic combination with balance between Apollonianism and Dionianism. In other words, what Nietzsche says that the balance of Apollonianism as well as Dionysianism in an art makes it as the credit example of the best art. Tragedies as the examples of naïve art as in this tragedies there is dualistic balance between Apollonian and Dionysian qualities. Such reconciliation between Apollonian and Dionysus quality gives birth not only to the best art but also to the best culture development.Nietzsche studies about such opposite feature in these two Gods and made a theory that there are Apollo like as well as Dionysus like qualities found everywhere in the human world. All the qualities of Apollo are called Apollonianism and qualities of Dionysus are Dionysianism. He also says that such contradiction qualities are found everywhere; they are psychological forces alternatively dominating individual mind, the culture as well as the art and the artist. Nietzsche says that human mind is sometimes Apollonianism and sometimes Dionysianism even a culture is the product of both Apollomianism & Dionysianism.This discussion of what the humanities is all about leads us into how we discover how the humanities can work for us. We forge into the discovery of ourselves, by better understanding ourselves with the help of the Apollonian and Dionysian chapter.Nietzsche would like to create a balance between two forces, Apollonianism and Dionysianism, in which intellect and passion work together. Dionysianism relates to passion and hysteria, and Apollonianism relates to education and art. Buddha includes no need for the Dionysian side in his essay, he would agree with Apollonianism except art, for it deals with the sensual aspects of life which should not exist...
Showed next 250 charactersBefore we designate this otherspectator by name, lets linger here a moment to reconsider that characteristicduality and incommensurability at the heart of Aeschylean tragedy (something wedescribed earlier). Let us think about how strange we find the chorus and thehero of those tragedies, which were not able to reconcile with what we are usedto or with our traditions, until we recognized that duality itself as the originand essence of Greek tragedy, as the expression of two artistic drives woventogether, the Apollonian and the Dionysian.Nietzsche believed that in order to achieve this a person had to obtain a balance of two parts of his mind, Apollonianism and Dionysianism. Apollonian intellectuality is very clear, calm, and full of reason. Dionysian passion, on the other hand, is full of obscurity, disorder, irrational behavior, and even hysteria. In ancient Greek mythology Apollo and Dionysus were two gods who grew up side by side. The two contained more differences than any two beings ever. They saw everything as a competition between them selves (par.1).