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by T. K. Seung

ePub Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner: Their Spinozan Epics of Love and Power download
Author:
T. K. Seung
ISBN13:
978-0739111277
ISBN:
0739111272
Language:
Publisher:
Lexington Books (March 27, 2006)
Category:
Subcategory:
History & Criticism
ePub file:
1934 kb
Fb2 file:
1913 kb
Other formats:
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Rating:
4.4
Votes:
988

The author interprets these works as epics of love and power in the Spinozan world. T. K. Seung is Jesse H. Jones Regents Professor in liberal arts, professor of philosophy, professor of government, and professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin.

The author interprets these works as epics of love and power in the Spinozan world. His bold thesis and lucid prose will appeal to students and scholars of philosophy, literature, religion, and European culture. Daniel Conway, Professor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University).

He further contends that Wagner and Nietzsche have tried to surpass their mentor Goethe's work by writing their own Spinozan epics of love and power in The Ring of the Nibelung and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. These Spinozan epics are designed to succeed the Christian epics in the Western literary tradition.

Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner: Their Spinozan Epics of Love and Power (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006). The Epic Character of the Divina Commedia and the Function of Dante's Three Guides," in Italica 352: 56 (1979). Kant: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Continuum, 2007).

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The author reads Goethe's Faust as the first epic written under Spinoza's influence. He shows how its thematic development is governed by Spinoza's pantheistic naturalism. He further contends that Wagner and Nietzsche have tried to surpass their mentor Goethe's work by writing their own Spinozan epics of love and power in The Ring of the Nibelung and Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Download Now. saveSave Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner Their Spinozan Epics. Seung's sare ultimatelymore actualisingthan historicizing,and his book is somethingof an epic in its own right, with Goethe, Nietzscheand like Virgil,Beatriceand St. as guidesalongthe way to a new revelation. in Dante'sDivine Bernard Comedy For in his view, "our onand contaminationof Nature of the Faustian and intensification is nothingother than the magnification one is the most fundamental ethos of Faustian the.

He further contends that Wagner and Nietzsche have tried to surpass their mentor Goethe's work by writing their own Spizan epics of love and power in The Ring of the Nibelung and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. These Spizan epics are designed to succeed the Christian epics in the Western literary tradition. Whereas the Christian epics dared to groom human beings for their destiny in the supernatural world, the Spizan epics try to reinstate humanity as the children of Mother Nature and overcome their alienation from the natural world, which had been dictated by the long reign of Christianity. What is Kobo Super Points? A loyalty program that rewards you for your love of reading. Explore rewards Explore Kobo VIP Membership.

Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner: Their Spinozan Epics of Love and Power. The book draws out the philosophical and human significance of the text and the music. It shows how different forms of love, freedom, heroism, authority, and judgment are explored and tested as it unfolds. Essays of Three Decades. Finding an Ending: Reflections on Wagner's Ring. As it journeys across its sweeping musical-dramatic landscape, the book leads us to the central concern of the Ring-the problem of endowing life with genuine significance that can be enhanced rather than negated by its ending, if the right sort of ending can be found.

The author reads Goethe's Faust as the first epic written under Spinoza's influence. He shows how its thematic development is governed by Spinoza's pantheistic naturalism. He further contends that Wagner and Nietzsche have tried to surpass their mentor Goethe's work by writing their own Spinozan epics of love and power in The Ring of the Nibelung and Thus Spoke Zarathustra. These Spinozan epics are designed to succeed the Christian epics in the Western literary tradition. Whereas the Christian epics dared to groom human beings for their destiny in the supernatural world, the Spinozan epics try to reinstate humanity as the children of Mother Nature and overcome their alienation from the natural world, which had been dictated by the long reign of Christianity. However, it has been well noted that none of these new epics seems to hang together thematically as a coherent work. By his Spinozan reading, the author not only demonstrates the thematic unity of each of them singly, but further illustrates their thematic relation with each other.
  • Seung opens the door for insight and understanding to these three men.

  • This book offers a fascinating reading of three of the most important works of modern literature. The suggestion that their heroes are all attempting the same spiritual feat is stunning and should be of interest to anyone concerned with modern intellectual history and philosophy.

    Seung argues that Goethe's Faust, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Wagner's Ring of the Niebelung are all epics cast within a Spinozan worldview, which takes the entire world to be a single substance. In each case, the conflict on which each epic are two modern desires: that of the modern individual for power and self-sufficiency and the desire to overcome alienation from nature. These desires are antithetical, and in each case, the epic presents the resolution of the conflict as arising only from love. In other words, the resolution is consistent with Spinoza's worldview, which recognizes that the individual is real only as a part of a larger whole.

    Among the striking features of Seung's reading are the following claims:

    1. Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Ring of the Niebelung are both parodies of Faust. All three portray the transformation from a striving individualistic hero to a higher self that recognizes his oneness with the entirety of nature.

    2. The idea of the superman is important not only in Nietzsche's Zarathustra, but also in Faust and the Ring cycle.

    3. Faust can be understood entirely naturalistically. Faust's redemption is a projection of a psychodrama; it does not occur in the afterlife, but just before his death. The eternal feminine is the communal self, or higher self, not a transcendent force. Redemption involves the unification of the communal self with the individual self (the striving self that has motivated Faust throughout the play).

    4. The Spinozan epics respond to the modern historical situation, in which the medieval Christian worldview is dead, but Renaissance individualism has led to an untenable situation.

    5. Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a parody of Wagner's Ring, with the four books of Zarathustra corresponding to the four operas of the Ring cycle. The connections are shown in considerable detail.

  • Thomas Seung has argued that we can study key works of philosophy and art in terms of recurring cultural themes that these works try to navigate. In this fascinating book, he ties together three key thinkers-- Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner-- in terms of the ideas of a fourth-- Benedict Spinoza. Each of the three, Seung argues, tries to explain the puzzles of human existence in terms of Spinoza's pantheistic naturalism, the notion that we are all part of a larger, living Nature that transcends human optimism and pessimism, and is beyond human conceptions of good or evil. To prove his thesis, Seung offers close and often surprising readings of these three thinkers, and he takes us on a whirlwind tour of Greek, Mediaeval Christian, and German Romantic ideas, with the ideas and arguments flying so quickly there is barely time to catch one's breath. In the process he produces new interpretations of Faust, Thus Spoke Zarathustra and The Ring Cycle that are as illuminating as they are daring. This is a truly amazing synthesis of a vast array of literatures and ideas. Anyone interested in these thinkers will find this book a stimulating read.

  • My special interest in Dr. T. K. Seung's contribution to our knowledge of Nietzsche's intellectual debt to Wagner, "Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner: Their Spinozan Epics of Love and Power", follows from my own extensive research into Wagner's intellectual debt to the atheist German philosopher, Ludwig Feuerbach, whose works have much in common with Nietzche's mature philosophic writings, and anticipated them by decades. I am currently completing a book entitled "The Wound That Will Never Heal" which will consider Wagner's debt to Feuerbach in great depth. My special interest in Dr. Seung's remarkable and intriguing study follows also from the fact that Dr. Seung discusses my original research in the concluding chapter of his book, which traces the influence of Wagner's "The Ring of the Nibelung" upon Nietzche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra".

    From the earliest days of my research I recognized that Wagner had had a considerable influence on Nietzsche's philosophic writings, and I recorded my observations casually in the margins of my various books by Nietzsche, but I have not yet systematically examined this influence. Furthermore, of all Nietzsche's works I have always found "Thus Spake Zarathustra" the least useful for my purposes, not because it lacks value, but because it is the most ambiguous of Nietzsche's works. Since it it difficult to ascertain with certainty what any given passage from this allegorical work means, it is therefore exceedingly difficult to say anything definitive about the degree of Wagner's influence.

    Dr. Seung's book has been a huge boost to this endeavor. He has so extensively cross-referenced conceptually related passages in Nietzsche's text, and so thoroughly cross-referenced these passages in turn with related passages from Nietzsche's other books, that he is able to grasp the allegorical logic at work in what Seung describes as Nietzsche's "parody" of Wagner's "Ring". And this of course has only been possible because Dr. Seung, unlike most Nietzsche scholars, has also studied Wagner's "Ring" text in depth, and with the respect which alone can bring its secrets into view. Dr. Seung has discovered numerous links between the two works which I had not anticipated. His study is a major contribution to our knowledge of Nietzsche's intellectual dependence on Wagner.

    A key reason that Wagner's influence on Nietzsche's writings has been so little examined by scholars in the past, is that Nietzscheans as a whole have tended to denigrate Wagner's status as a thinker, thanks among other things to Wagner's very turgid prose style, and to his anti-Semitism. They have often drawn the conclusion, without adequate ground, that because of these disadvantages Wagner's writings (and even his artworks) lack sufficient philosophic coherence and integrity to be worthy of Nietzsche's (and therefore our) respect. However, contemporary research is demonstrating that Wagner, (particularly in his "Ring", understood of course as an allegory, not literally), has produced artworks of astonishing philosophic unity and force.

    A key reason for this is that, at the time Wagner wrote the libretto for his "Ring" (roughly 1848-1852), he was hugely under the influence of the German atheist philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. Since Feuerbach in turn looked to the Jewish philosopher Spinoza as his mentor, Wagner fell heir to the Spinozan outlook through Feuerbach's influence. Having extensively researched Feuerbach's, Nietzsche's, and Wagner's key writings, it is clear to me that Nietzsche was hugely influenced by Feuerbach directly (and not merely as transmitted by Wagner to Nietzsche), yet an examination of Nietzsche's texts has so far not turned up any tribute to Feuerbach's influence. This is fruitful ground for another book.

    Dr. Seung's book is also a momentous contribution to a renaissance in Wagner studies predicated on our growing consciousness of the philsosophic sophistication of his opera and music-drama librettos, which grants Wagner the respect due a serious thinker, a respect denied him by most scholars up until the present day. My own research into Wagner's "Ring" libretto provides what I believe is persuasive evidence, extensive in scope and intensive in depth, that it is a far more elaborate and sophisticated sublimation of Feuerbach's philosophy into poetic allegory than has previously been suspected. To this extent I believe my own work will complement Dr. Seung's contribution.

    I therefore strongly recommend Dr. Seung's original study to anybody wishing to examine, in depth, the remarkably fruitful intellectual exchange between Friedrich Nietzsche and his onetime mentor (and subsequent nemesis), Richard Wagner.

  • Unlike other commentators, Seung backs his imaginative claims with textual evidence. He writes very well and with a considerable musicality, as befits the subject of his book. Much has been already said by previous reviewers, hence my review is short. I highly recommend it to Nietzsche, Goethe and Wagner enthusiasts who wish to broaden their horizons.