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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

FROM   BAHR  TO   DEHMEL                           93

and were taken over as ingredients of impressionism. Armekute-
poesie and the chapter Vom Gesindel in Nietzsche's Also sprach
Zarathustra were opposite poles. Nietzsche's cEs gibt ein Leben, an
dem kein Gesindel mittrinkf is what the new poets think (p. 98).

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE (1844-1900) was a Saxon like Lessing and
Wagner, like Lessing a parson's son, and like Klopstock a pupil of
Schulpforta. His father died at thirty-five of softening of the brain.
At Bonn he was a pupil of Ritschl, whom he followed to Leip-
zig, together with the future Sanscrit scholar Deussen and Erwin
Rohde, who was to write the famous history of Greek fiction (Der
griecbische Rowan, 1876). At twenty-four, before he had taken his
doctor's examination, he was called to Basel, on the recommenda-
tion of Ritschl, as professor of classical philology. From Basel,
where he was the colleague of Jakob Burckhardt, he made visits
to Tribschen on Lake Lucerne, where his great friend Wagner was
living with Cosima. During the Franco-Prussian War he served as
a hospital attendant, and fell ill with dysentery and diphtheria.
Owing to continued illness he retired from his professorship in
1879, with a pension of 3,000 francs, from which he managed to
save sufficient to pay for the publication of his books. These
remained practically unnoticed ('hem Verleger begraben, sie verfaulen
formiicb9, he wrote), until in 1888 Georg Brandes lectured on him
in Copenhagen. In the same year Nietzsche lost his reason. His
medical sheet at Jena bore the words:c1866 sypbilitisthe Ansteckung.
His first book, Die Geburt der Tragodie aus dem Geiste der Musik
(1872) - attacked immediately by Ulrich von Wilamowit2-Mollen-
dorffx but defended by Erwin Rohde - reads strangely in the light of
his later work: it is passionately reasoned propaganda for Wagner's
'music drama'. It is an interesting link in the chain of aesthetic
theories; and while it buttresses Wagner's critical writings - Das
Kunstwerk der Zukunft (1850), Oper und Drama (1851) - it supple-
ments Schiller's classical division, in Vber naive und sentimentalise/he
Dichtung, of poetry into naiv (i.e. spontaneous) and smtimentalisch
(i.e. reflective). Schiller had defined das Naive as the oneness of
mind with nature, and das Sentimentalische as the conflict of mind
with nature. Nietzsche derives art from the contest between Apollo
and Dionysus; just as man and woman, though contrary and in
constant strife, generate humanity by a periodic reconciliation, so

1 One of the most famous of Greek scholars. He had been a fellow-pupil
of Nietzsche at Schulpforta.