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Nietzsche And Wagner Essay

5162 words - 21 pages

Nietzsche and Wagner

In terms of artists and their influences, the case of Nietzsche and Wagner has been the focal point of discussion between many great academic minds of the last century. The controversy surrounding the relationship has led many to postulate that the eventual break between the two men may have contributed to the untimely death of Wagner in 1882, and Nietzsche's eight-year writing spurt from 1883 - 1888.
While investigating the details of this peculiar relationship, I was struck by the historical and philosophical depth of several discoveries, the fundamental question being this: Why was Nietzsche's perception of both Wagner's music and his character upset simply because Wagner declared his return to God? I envisioned that this question would provide a rather simple essay, one aimed at declaring the cause of the quarrel as a basic Christian vs. Atheist dispute among oversensitive philosophical minds - but this paper has turned out to be a wealth of thought, knowledge, and chance that I can't possibly express in five to eight pages.
What struck me as odd throughout my research, aside from many eerie coincidences in the progression of their lives, was how many times the subject of Ludwig van Beethoven appeared in my research, as he was Wagner's first real musical inspiration and various references are made to him. I was able to make many parallels between the life of Nietzsche and Beethoven, and it is in my opinion that the similarities between these two men are even more profound than the parallels between Wagner and Neitzsche. As academic interest in the comparison between these two men is buried beneath an overwhelming amount of material relating Nietzsche and more directly related historical characters (i.e. Wagner, Hitler), much of my paper is based purely on my own speculation and inference (I only found one useful website). I have found that the two men's lives are undeniably a subject worthy of comparison; the phases of life of Nietzsche's overman that he prescribes as the camel, the lion, and the child befit the artistic and rhetorical stages of each man's respective life with an uncanny resemblance.
With regards to popular comparison's made between Nietzsche and Wagner, Nietzsche and Hitler, Hitler and Wagner, Napoleon and Hitler, Napoleon and Beethoven, I developed an unprovable, yet intriguing, theory of how these men were all connected through a reincarnation of ideas and personalities. This theory, upon further research, has manifested itself as an integral part of Karmic New Age esoteric philosophy. In short, an ongoing practice and belief in this philosophy predicts the dawning of a new era for mankind, and I believe that the men I will discuss play an integral part in the coming of this alleged era.
I.
"The problem I thus pose is not what shall succeed mankind in the sequence of living beings (man is an end), but what type of man shall be bred, shall be willed, for being higher in value, worthier...

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