Ramble. Focus. Ramble.

From The Birth of Tragedy to Human, All too Human

Nietzsche wrote more about Christianity in discussions with his sister and his early writings. He spoke of how truth may be ugly but man is always in search for peace, pleasure and beauty and wrongly takes it as his quest for truth. In his letter to his sister in 1865, Nietzsche declares his loss of faith.

“Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire..”

In his early 20s when Nietzsche started teaching philology, he compiled some essays concerning the Greek era. The time of his life he concerned himself with philology, he spent most of it reading the Greeks. A deeper look into Homer, Plato, Socrates had a profound effect on his writings. Nietzsche began to wonder why contest is discouraged in the current era when in Homer’s era it was thought to be the best thing. Contest would bring the best out of person. His essays “Homer’s Contest” which was compiled in 1868 was about how modern man needs to bring back contest in his life because it is the way of nature.  About this same time Nietzsche develops the very strong love for Wagner, the composer. And in 1872, he publishes his first book called The Birth of Tragedy. This book is almost a love letter to Wagner and is written in the form of an essay instead of aphorisms.

Around this time, Nietzsche is ecstatic about Wagner and  in The Birth of Tragedy he compares Wagner to the Greek s He talks about the passion in Wagner’s music and compares him to the biggest names of the century in arts. He speaks highly of art and artists in his book.

Nietzsche writes Human, All Too Human in 1878 when his friendship with Wagner dissolves. Here, we see him switch to the aphoristic style of writing and he is touching human psychology more deeply than ever before.

Nietzsche is often erroneously identified as a nihilist. This point is arguable. In Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche labors endlessly to break through that sheltered self and to bare witness to a life without assumption. Our individual human experience is always seen through the filters of our institutions whether it is science, religion, philosophy, etc. That is why we are Human, All Too Human.

In Human, All Too Human, we see Nietzsche mock all those Christians and Platonists that believe in transcendental realities by saying that where they see ideals, he sees things that are only too human. The best part of the book is that the aphorisms explain how Nietzsche broke off with Wagner. Nietzsche is studying his own psychology and calls himself a free spirit who has managed to be free once again and he is in his purest nature, no assumptions left. We see he has done it again, he once managed to break off Schopenhauer and now it was Wagner.


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This entry was posted on July 22, 2012 by in Philosophy and tagged , , .
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