Nietzsche and Music

Georges Liébert

Nietzsche and Music
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Georges Liébert

Translated by David Pellauer and Graham Parkes
304 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2004
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226480879 Published January 2004
"Without music, life would be an error."—Friedrich Nietzsche

In his youth, Friedrich Nietzsche yearned to become a great composer and wrote many pieces of music. He later claimed to be "the most musical of all philosophers." Yet most books on Nietzsche fail to explore the importance of music for his thought.

Nietzsche and Music provides the first in-depth examination of the fundamental significance of music for Nietzsche's life and work. Nietzsche's views on music are essential for understanding his philosophy as a whole. Part biography and part critical examination, Georges Liébert brilliantly demonstrates that despite failed attempts at a professional career as composer, Nietzsche never fully removed himself from the world of music, but instead, became a composer of philosophy, utilizing the musical form as a template for his own writings and creative thought. Liébert's study surveys Nietzsche's opinions about particular composers and compositions, as well as his more theoretical writings on music and its relation to the other arts. He also explores Nietzsche's listening habits, his playing and style of composition, and his many contacts in the musical world, including his controversial and contentious relationship with Richard Wagner. For Nietzsche, music gave access to a realm of wisdom that transcended thought. Music was Nietzsche's great solace; in his last years, it was his refuge from madness.

A virtuoso exploration of this little-known but crucial aspect of Nietzsche's life and work, this volume will be of enormous value to scholars of philosophy, music, aesthetics, and literature.
Michael Spitzer | Music and Letters
"This informative, scholarly, and beautifully written book . . . examines Nietzsche's multifarious engagements with music and musicians, focusing on his pivotal relationship with Richard Wagner."
Arnd Bohm | Review of Metaphysics
"If there were ever any doubts about the importance of German discourses about music for Nietzsche, this book lays them to rest. . . . A necessary reference for those working on the topic of Nietzsche and music."
Contents
Foreword to the French Edition
Translator's Note
1. "Without music, life would be an error"
2. At the Piano
3. From Schumann to Wagner
4. "Long Live the Noble Traitors!"
5. The Disappointment of Bayreuth
6. Tragedy's Decadence
7. Portrait of the Artist as an Actor
8. Siegfried contra Parsifal
9. "Cave Musicam!"
10. "Da Capo" and Finale
Abbreviation List
Notes
Works Cited
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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