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The Beautiful, the Sublime, and the Tragic

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Presentation on theme: "The Beautiful, the Sublime, and the Tragic"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Beautiful, the Sublime, and the Tragic
Beauty and Art The Beautiful, the Sublime, and the Tragic

2 Review Aristotle’s work Poetics Catharsis
Explanation of Greek Tragedy. How the plot in a drama must have certain structure and a certain logic, connected with its role in showing the development of “human misery and happiness.”

3 Review Picasso’s work of art Guernica.
The three different transformations into modern art: 1. Power, History, Ideology Beauty, Sensuality, Tenderness Resemblance (ex. photography does a better job). Picasso was trying to give us a different vision of how things really are – going beyond mere appearances.

4 Review Use of particular symbols: bull, horse, and the bearer of light. And the transformation of meaning between symbols, ex: the light bulb and candle light.

5 Review

6 Friedrich Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900)

7 The Two Faces of Art: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy
Nietzsche’s style of writing in epigrams, aphorisms, stories, poetry, and essays virtually defies an editor to systematically summarize his thought. In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche presents a distinction between Apollonian and Dionysian tendencies in art.

8 The Birth of Tragedy Nietzsche outlines a fundamental duality in the art, corresponding to the separate domains of the two ancient Greek art deities, Apollo and Dionysus. “Separate art-worlds of dreams and of intoxication.”

9 The Birth of Tragedy The Apollonian tendency (named for the Greek god of the sun, Apollo) represents the harmony and restraint exemplified by Greek sculpture and architecture. “Ruler over the beautiful illusion of the inner world of fantasy,” “Creation of which every man is truly an artist,” “Profound delight and joyous necessity.” Measure, Harmony, and Ideal Truth.

10 The Birth of Tragedy

11 The Birth of Tragedy

12 The Birth of Tragedy

13 The Birth of Tragedy The Dionysian tendency (named for the Greek god of wine and revelry, Dionysus) represents wild abandonment as exemplified by the drunken sexual frenzies of the Dionysian cult festivals or the music of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

14 The Birth of Tragedy From Hans Sachs in Wagner’s Meister-singer: The poet’s task I this, my friend, to read his dreams and comprehend. The truest human fancy seems to be revealed to us in dreams: all poems and versification are but true dreams’ interpretation.

15 The Birth of Tragedy The darker, more frightening, more impersonal forces of the unconscious mind, our “wilder emotions.” Frenzied singing and dancing of orgiastic festivals – these wilder forces break through. Nietzsche describes the Dionysian state as one of ecstasy, in which the self is submerged, and the Apollonian “principles of individuation” gives way to a sense of “primordial unity” between man and man, and man and nature.

16 The Birth of Tragedy

17 The Birth of Tragedy

18 The Birth of Tragedy Greek tragedy arises as a synthesis of Apollonian form and Dionysian urges. But Greek tragedy is in turn superseded by Greek rationalism as exemplified by Socrates: the theoretical man who optimistically sees knowledge as the panacea (solution for all problems) to the problems of life.

19 The Birth of Tragedy The Apollonian and the Dionysian tension correspond to parts of our human nature. Art embodies both aspects “in both dreams and ecstasies.” Artistic creativity or process is beyond easy reach. Nietzsche suggests that the power of great art hinges on the working out of a dynamic tension between individual self-concsious awareness and a “letting go” or yielding to the more mysterious forces of the unconscious mind.

20 The Birth of Tragedy What is needed now, Nietzsche argues, is a new synthesis of these Dionysian and Apollonian tendencies by an “artistic” Socrates. Such a Socratic figure would be a creative genius who would honestly face harshness of life without losing a clear rational analytic perspective.

21 The Birth of Tragedy In order to face life honestly and clearly, the creative genius must begin by proclaiming the death of god. With the death of god, slave morality – an all values dependent on some external law-giver – collapses and the individual is free to create self-defined values. By the “death of god,” Nietzsche does not mean that there once was a deity who got old and passed away, nor that people no longer should live holy lives.

22 The Birth of Tragedy Rather, Nietzsche claims that all absolutes have collapsed and there is no transcendent basis in any area – whether religion, philosophy, science, or politics – for making meaning out of life. Nietzsche here talks about “the aesthetic transformation of our experience” – becoming our individual existential project.

23 The Birth of Tragedy Existentialism: More of a shared attitude than a school of thought, it can nevertheless be roughly defined by saying with Sartre that existentialists are those who believe that, in the case of humans, “existence precedes essence.” This is the thesis that there is no human nature that precedes our presence in the world. All humans individually create humanity at every moment through their free acts.

24 Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910)

25 The Value of Art: Leo Tolstoy, What is Art?
The moral status of artistic activity. Internal dimension – must have some moral purpose, not superficial. External dimension – producing the work of art. He contends that art serves its true purpose only when it communicates emotion, and that the mere decoration, have lost sight of this purpose.

26 What is Art?

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