The birth of tragedy - PDF book (1923) by Friedrich Nietzsche

The birth of tragedy, or Hellenism and pessimism

The birth of tragedy
The birth of Tragedy

'The Birth of Tragedy presented a view of the Greeks so alien to the spirit of the time and to the ideals of its scholarship that it blighted Nietzsche's entire academic career.'

  • Biographical introduction vii
  • In an attempt at self-criticism - - I
  • Foreword to Richard Wagner - 19
  • The Birth of tragedy - - 21

From the introduction;

Friedrich Nietzsche was born at Rocken near Ltitzen, in the Prussian province of Saxony, on the 15th of October 1844, at 10 a.m. The day happened to be the anniversary of the birth of Frederick-William IV., then King of Prussia, and the peal of the local church bells which was intended to celebrate this event, was, by a happy coincidence, just timed to greet my brother on his entrance into the world. 

In 1841, at the time when our father was tutor to the Altenburg Princesses, Theresa of Saxe- Altenburg, Elizabeth, Grand Duchess of Olden burg, and Alexandra, Grand Duchess Constantine of Russia, he had had the honour of being presented to his witty and pious sovereign. 

He received his early schooling at a preparatory school, and later at a grammar school in Naumburg. In the autumn of 1858, when he was fourteen years of age, he entered the school, so famous for the scholars it has produced. 

There, too, very severe discipline prevailed, and much was exacted from the pupils, with the view of inuring them to great mental and physical exertions. Thus, if my brother seems to lay particular stress upon the value of rigorous training, free from all sentimentality, it should be remembered that he speaks from experience in this respect. At Pforta he followed the regular school course, and he did not enter a university until the comparatively late age of twenty. His extraordinary gifts manifested themselves chiefly in his independent and private studies and artistic efforts. 

As a boy, his musical talent had already been so noticeable, that he himself and other competent judges were doubtful as to whether he ought not perhaps to devote himself altogether to music. It is, however, worth noting that everything he did in his later years, whether in Latin, Greek, or German work, bore the stamp of perfection subject of course to the limitation imposed upon him by his years. 

His talents came very suddenly to the fore, because he had allowed them to grow for such a long time in concealment. His very first performance in philology, executed while he was a student under Ritschl, the famous philologist, was also typical of him in this respect, seeing that it was ordered to be printed for the Rheinische Museum. 

Of course, this was done amid general and grave expressions of doubt; for, as Dr Ritschl often declared,. it was an unheard-of occurrence for a student in his third term to prepare such an excellent treatise.

the book details :
  • Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Edited and Translated by Oscar Levy
  • Publication date: 1923
  • Company: London: G. Allen & Unwin; New York: Macmillan

  • Download The birth of Tragedy - 7.4 MB

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