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The Case of Wagner (1888) was one Nietzsche's last books, and his wittiest. In attitude and style it is diametrically opposed to The Birth of Tragedy. Both works transcend their ostensible subjects and deal with art and culture, as well as the problems of the modern age generally.
Each book in itself gives us an inadequate idea of its author; together, they furnish a striking image of Nietzsche's thought. The distinguished new translations by Walter Kaufmann superbly reflect in English Nietzsche's idiom and the vitality of his style. Professor Kaufmann has also furnished running footnote commentaries, relevant passages from Nietzsche's correspondence, a bibliography, and, for the first time in any edition, an extensive index to each book.
Nietzsche's first and last great books sound the themes that remain at the heart of present day philosophical and cultural debates and dilemmas.
Posted April 28, 2001
When I first picked up a copy of Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy I really did not have an idea as to what the book is about. I had never read Nietzsche before and had some of the same misconceptions about his work as most people do. The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche's first book, is a fascinating analysis of the origins of Greek tragedy. There are lots of references to the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, but one does not need to be schooled in Greek drama to undertand the book. Actually, Nietzsche has a tendency in this book to over-explain things which is where this book may fall short and lose some readers. Nietzsche himself acknowledges his faults in the 'Attempt at Self-criticism' he added years after the book was released. The two underlying themes in The Birth of Tragedy are the two elements of art; The Dionysian and the Appolinian. Nietzsche is very poetic in his writing and that alone makes this an interesting book. I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 20, 2011
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