Cristiana Senigaglia

Nietzsche's Idea of Epigonism

The notion of epigonism

Nietzsche's reference to epigonism, particularly as it is made in the Birth of Tragedy, can be led back to the traditional use of the word: it has to do with an imitation of a style, and of a genre, which has lost its direct contact to reality and to the interpretation of it. The context, to which the word "epigonism" relates, is twofold and is constructed in order to create a parallelism between the situation of the ancient Greeks and that of the Germany of his time.

  1. In the case of Greece, epigonism indicates the condition of the poets after the death of ancient tragedy occasioned by Euripides and the triumph of Socratic dialectics, expressed by a dramatic complaint echoing around: «The tragedy is dead! The poetry itself has gone lost with it! Forward, forward [but also away] with you, atrophied, emaciated epigones!»1. From Nietzsche's point of view, argumentation has invaded the realm of poetry, and has interrupted the lively connection with nature.
  2. In the case of Germany of his time, epigonism refers to the tendency to imitate the big German poets as Schiller and Goethe2, who on their part had tried to restore the magnificent equilibrium of ancient Greece, without taking into account the tragic sentiment of laceration accompaning the principle of "individuation" (principium individuationis). By following the dream of an antique, untouched empathy with nature, German poetry after Goethe and Schiller had progressively run into a discolored imitation of that imaginary equilibrium.

According to Nietzsche, the parallelism of condition consists in multiplying imitation by taking reference to a literary source rather than to a deep-rooted sentiment. His recalling of the Greek tragedy is then to be understood not as resuming an artistic form or expression, but on the contrary as a return to the most profound comprehension of world and life.

In doing so, Nietzsche transfers the significance of epigonism into another, much more comprehensive level: it seems to deal with the understanding of reality, transcending the dimension of art. In this sense, epigonism is no longer a style definition, but the frame for an existential (and historical) condition.

But what does it mean, in a strong, existential way, to be epigones? In a certain sense, it is a question of destiny. Generally speaking, we cannot avoid taking into account what the interpretation of life, transmitted by Greek tragedy, signifies for the claims and tasks which are to be proposed. The deep experience of negativity can hardly be cancelled; it can at most be relieved by some artistic forms which give a shape to the obscure and disarranging forces of nature. With respect to the specific historical age in which Nietzsche lives, he perceives the difficulty of finding adequate forms of artistic expression, and he thinks that the reference to the Greeks could provide the necessary background for an innovation concerning art itself3. In a passage which belongs to the Untimely considerations (the second one about history) and touches on the topic of the inheritance of the past in art, Nietzsche affirms: «Thereby it is to be said only this and nothing but this, that also the embarrassingly ascribable thought of being epigones, if it is thought with greatness, can guarantee widespread effects and a highly promising desire for the future for an individual as well as for a collectivity: in so far as we namely understand ourselves as heirs and descendants from classical and astonishing forces and we see in doing that our honor and our spur»4. The condition of epigones is then not only a question of destiny, but also outlines the terrain for new possibilities5.

In a later passage of The Case of Wagner about literature, Nietzsche analyses the significance of decadence and the consequences it has for the attitude to life. The condition of decadence pertains to epigonism, since it describes a way of expression which resumes old schemes by using them in an artificial and stereotyped way6. What characterizes every literary decadence? The fact that life does not reside in the whole any longer. The word becomes sovereign and overbids the sentence, the sentence overlaps and darkens the sense of the page, the page enlivens itself at the expense of the whole - the whole is not a whole any more»7. The harmony and the well-balanced constellation of forces are broken, and the part does not partake in the whole, so that the connection to life is desultory and fragmentary. The rupture of balance can nevertheless be a chance, according to Nietzsche, if it attains to a surplus of energy. Speaking about himself, he emphasizes: Apart from namely being a decadent, I am also his contrary. [...] For a typical wealthy being, [...] illness can even be an energetic stimulant to life, to an excess of life»8. The rupture of balance, which creates an upset of former conditions, does not necessarily imply the need for imitating and imitating again in order to reconstruct the preceding constellation. The realm of new possibilities is also contained in the epigones' condition, provided that it produces a new elan, starting from the repetition and nevertheless turning it upside down.

What can then provide Greek tragedy and the sentiment of life conveyed by it? First of all, the narrow intertwining of life and art. According to early Nietzsche, the function of art conceived in its most effective and deepest sense is to reproduce (and therefore to imitate) the original forces of nature, creating that glimpse of illusion (the veil of Maya) which renders them bearable. This means to think of art not only in relation to life, but also and mainly for the sake of life. What the art conceived from a Greek perspective can then perform, is a form of knowledge which overcomes the borders of optimistic science and affords an insight into the sense of tragic accompaning life9. «Then, that things in life really go in this tragic way, could hardly explain the origin of an artistic form; otherwise if art is not only the imitation of the natural reality, but indeed a metaphysical supplement to the reality of nature, added to it in order to overcome reality itself»10. But if art is thought of as a form of conceiving reality which overcomes reality itself, it cannot be only a question of knowledge or interpretation. Nietzsche's intention is to find a form of art which is able to provoke a significant transformation not only in the way life is known, but also in the way life is faced. If the understanding performed by Greek art and especially by Greek tragedy succeeded in being helpful, the reason is that it could indicate a concrete attitude to life itself. In order to revive that experience, we need an adequate form of artistic expression which can exert influence on life again; nevertheless this form, because of our condition of epigones, cannot refrain from the past and from outlining a relation to it.


History and future

As epigones we are confronted with the influence of history on our lifes which turns out to be, according to Nietzsche, a heavy burden to the will to action. In particular, he refers to two phenomena of his epoch: 1) the prevalence of philological studies especially with respect to the ancient past, and 2) the interpretation of the present as a mere accomplishment of the past and, ultimately, as a sort of conclusion which gives no way to the new or unexpected.

  1. About the first aspect, Nietzsche is personally concerned with the question of philology, as the confrontation with Wilamowitz and other University professors had irremediably damaged his career11. Nevertheless, his point of view is not only conditioned by a polemical esprit, but also reveals the awareness of a risk. In one fragment of 1875 published posthumously, Nietzsche accuses contemporary philologists of "Don Quixoterie". He does not attack philologists from the point of view of the seriousness of method, and he does not contest the scientific validity of their researching and results. What he actually does, is to criticize the Weltanschauung staying behind: a kind of acritical reverence, even veneration concerning the past, based on an unquestioned belief in a perfect age, which cannot be re-established but has at least to be imitated. Nietzsche's objection concerns the reality value of the pattern as well as of the present imitation. The pattern to which philologists refer, Nietzsche observes, never existed: «They imitate something merely chimerical and run after a world of wonders, which never existed. [...] Gradually the whole Greek culture itself has turn out to be a Don Quixote's object»12. The further problem is that philologists reduce the possibilities for the present to the monotonous reiteration of the past, with the consequence that they become unproductive (and spread an unproductive mentality all around). As he remarks, «a culture which [simply] runs after the Greek one cannot produce»13. The philologists' attitude ends into a form of rigidity and immobility, which is determined by the hiatus between knowledge and practice, between worshipping the past and undervaluing the future. With a lapidary definition, Nietzsche describes their contribution to society as a "Kennen ohne Können"14 (that is, knowing without empowerment). The condition of epigones turns out to be not only a destiny, but also and mainly an inner persuasion, which condemns to defeat every attempt to modify the course of things15.
  2. Concerning the second aspect, Nietzsche generally criticizes people and societies which, so to say, succumb to history. What he perceives about the society of his epoch, is the extreme tendency to develop the "historical sense", that is the consideration of history as the most relevant component in order to determine the future. This perspective is for Nietzsche reductive, because it devalues the possibilities contained in the process of becoming by appreciating and praising what already exists. The attention is focused (almost) exclusively on the past, and the use of critique and judgement is forgotten.

The philosophical perspective Nietzsche has in view is the Hegelian and post-Hegelian consideration of history. Apart from its pretension to optimistic belief in progress, Nietzsche criticizes its charge on the future. On the one hand, the dialectical proceeding pretends to know what the future will look like and attains to eliminate the possibility of the new. On the other hand, the theory of the end of history has contributed to considering the present as something incapable of development. The consequence of both aspects is the dominance of the past on the future and the tendency to look back, guided by a retrospective glance. And this looking back results in the inhibition of actions and decisions concerning the present. As Nietzsche affirms: «By means of this excess they confirm the always detrimental belief in the old age of the human being, the belief in being a late-comer, an epigone»16.

How can we react against this dominant tendency in modern time17? According to Nietzsche, it is not a question of simply refusing the historical point of view. On the other hand, we cannot permit its domination on our lives. What we have to do, is to make use of history in order to strengthen our will to act. He affirms: «Only in so far as history serves life, we are willing to serve it»18. History has to be subordinated to the exigences of life. This implies that we can admire the considerable events or actions occurred in the past, but we do not have to become entangled by them. We can also carefully collect the little episodes and reconstruct their background, but under the condition that their influence does not hinder a "jump" forward.

The reference to the past has to be led by more freedom of action and interpretation, and this implies banishing every form of easy (and superficial) certainty. «The dictum of the past is always an oracle dictum: only as master-builder of the future and as experts of the present you will understand it»19. Firstly, the past always contains something unsaid and unexplored, which requires independent research and a particular capacity of interpretation. Secondly, the past has to be explored by starting from the present and not conversely, so that what prevails is the effective interest leading the research and the practical tasks concerning the present. Also in this sense, the past is not a static entity, but leads to new forms and opens new perspectives in function of life.

A change of perspective is then to be performed. Nietzsche pleads for the capacity of creating a new constellation between memory and oblivion. In order to act, it is necessary, at least in a certain measure, to get rid of the burden of the past and to forget its hardly bearable claims. Nietzsche proposes to delimit a circumscribed horizon, since it is the only possibility we have to act without encumbrance. A certain capacity to forget is the condition indeed which permits us to deal with the past in a creative way and at the same time to distance oürselves from it. In this sense, it is also necessary to forget in a certain measure the condition of epigones, which would inhibit every impulse to change. «Shape in you an image, which has to correspond to the future, and forget the superstition to be an epigone»20. In doing so, Nietzsche refuses to accept the belief in dependence on the past. The word "epigone" is taken in this case as the passive acceptance of a limited role in history, deprived of creativity. What Nietzsche proposes, by contrast, is a form of oblivion, which gives place to something new and self-determined.

Art and future

Taking into consideration the future, Nietzsche insists on the relevance of creativity. If we have to be effectively inspired by the Greeks, we also have to face the potency of disorder and negativity. If early Nietzsche speaks of a critical point of view from which history has to be considered, later he prefers to stress how creation is connected with the capacity for change and even destruction. In order to face the tragic component in life, Nietzsche ascribes a very relevant function to art. Nevertheless, he also speaks of a sunset of art and of the necessity to overcome the artistic expression. How can those two aspects be reconciled?

We know that Nietzsche now as before recognizes the healing power of art. In the Birth of Tragedy he had ascribed to art (and especially to tragedy) the function of creating a veil of Maya; later he affirms that art is able to make life lighter and more bearable: a clear example is the function taken by the dance[21 in the work Thus spoke Zarathustra. How is then the mention of a sunset of art to be understood? Nietzsche says in this respect in an aphorism of Human, All Too Human titled "Sunset of art" (Abendröthe der Kunst): «We will soon consider the artist as a magnificent remainder and do honor to him as to a wonderful stranger, whose force and beauty were determinant for the happiness of former times, as we do not easily grudge to the likes of us. The best we have is perhaps inherited from sensations of former times, to which now we hardly can come in an immediate way; the sun has already gone down, but the sky of our life still glows and gleams thanks to it»22.

There is something in the role of the artist which is destined to decline: it has to do with his or her attitude celebrating the past and the marvelous products of former epochs. In this sense, the same problem affecting history emerges once again: the sunset of art concerns its tendency to look back with a too submissive and deferential glance. In so far as art is fulfilled by a nostalgic sentiment or by acritical reverence, it cannot convey authentic messages concerning the future. In the aphorism "Foreward" (Vorwärts) of Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche shows the way to a possible transition: «We must have loved religion and art as mother and nurse; otherwise we cannot become wise. But we have to see beyond them, to be able to outgrow them»23. We need art as well as history to acquire experience and information, but we need also to reach a condition in which we can distance ourselves from them and consider them critically24. We have to learn from them in order to avoid mistakes and to acquire their knowledge and their practice, but the apprehended has to be utilized in an independent and productive way.

From history, says Nietzsche, we can learn to think following the cause-effect pattern, to separate accident from necessity, to calculate, and to distinguish between means and ends. But what can we learn from art? In a short fragment of 1880 Nietzsche remarks: «The inventive and the purposefully acting natures - contrast»25. We can ascribe the purposeful acting to persons interested in history, provided that they utilize this kind of knowledge in view of the future. On the other hand, the inventive component is a typical feature of art: what enlivens art, then, is this capacity to invent, to create, to shape something original and unexpected26. In order to do this, the artist needs to refer not only to reality but also to dream and imagination. In this sense, he experiments with something more extreme and more risky. The artist is then characterized by a strong will to going beyond reality and appropriating the energies of imagination. And he or she is confronted with two forms of imitation. The first one is a reproductive, nearly passive imitation, and it is typical for the beginning, as the artist needs to improve his techniques and to gain experience. The reproductive imitation is of course necessary, but it has to be only a means and not an end; otherwise, art loses its connection to creativity and life and is reduced to a merely decorative repetition. The second one is an experimental imitation, whose origin is only a background cue and whose content is more and more «the energy for the sake of energy, the color for the sake of color, the thought for the sake of thought»27. Taking reference to something already existent, the experimental imitation opens the dimension of creativity and projection into the future and gives expression to all different potentialities at disposal.

This way of acting recalls that powerful proceeding of art which early Nietzsche had found out among the ancient Greeks, and which consisted in organizing the chaos28 and in transforming their epigones' condition into that of creators and beginners. «The Greeks gradually learnt to organize the chaos. Thus they took possess of themselves again; they did not remain for a long time the overwhelmed heirs and epigones of the whole Orient; they became themselves the happiest enrichers and increasers of the inherited treasure and the first-borns and the inspirers of all coming civilized nations»29. In this sense, art is to be understood not only as a smooth and veiling way to convey truth and to make it bearable, but also as a shaping activity, which helps to structure life and to create an order.

In a passage of an early essay, Philosophy in the Greeks' tragic era (Die Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalter der Griechen), Nietzsche compares art with the activity of playing which is characteristic of children: «It is not courage to outrage [hýbris], but the always newly awakening instinct to play, which calls other worlds into being. Once, the child throws the toy away: but soon he or she begins again, in an innocent mood. As soon as the child nevertheless builds something, he or she ties and disposes and shapes it following rules and according to internal orders. In the same way the aesthetical human being looks at the world, a human being who, thanks to the artist and to the making of works of art experienced how the fight of multiplicity can nevertheless bear in itself law and right, how the artist contemplatively stands over the work and acting on it, how necessity and the activity of playing, conflict and harmony have to couple in order to generate a work of art»30. This approach is very important, as later Nietzsche will insist on the meaning of children's play as a way to face life and to create something new31, for instance in Thus spoke Zarathustra, as he speaks of three metamorphoses and illustrates the last one in the form of a playing child: «The child is innocence and oblivion, a new start, a play, a wheel rolling by itself, a first moment, a sacred saying yes»32, or in Beyond Good and Evil, as he in an aphorism concisely affirms: «Maturity of the man: this means to have found the seriousness again, which he had as a child, as he played»33. The perspective of play confers a form of lightness and unconstraint, which permits us to act more freely and creatively34. On the other hand, there is a kind of seriousness and commitment which accompanies the play, so that the activity developed by means of it acquires a constructing and structuring dimension and can relate opposite poles and mitigate tensions. This flows into an attitude of active acceptance, which says yes to life and at the same time tries to actuate all different potentialities originating from it in a surplus of energy and creativity. It also implies refusing a passive resignation about the condition of epigones, which would entail the nostalgic persistence in the merely retrospecting view to the past. In a fragment of 1882, Nietzsche says: «Each thing has two faces, one of passing, one of becoming»35. By conferring meaning to the past, Nietzsche thinks that it is possible to transform the course of events into a range of new possibilities to be realized positively and creatively in the future, provided we are not overwhelmed by the authority the past expresses, and provided we also do not succumb to the idea of a continuous and uncontrollable change, which we would be unable to deal with.


1 «Die Tragödie ist todt! Die Poesie selbst ist mit ihr verloren gegangen! Fort, fort mit euch verkümmerten, abgemagerten Epigonen!», from: F. Nietzsche, Die Geburt der Tragödie, Gesammelte Werke, Ed. Colli-Montinari, vol. III, 1, p. 71.

2 The topic of epigonism had found widespread resonance from 1830 onwards: the most explicit example was Immermann's novel Die Epigonen (1836). Epigonism can be understood in general as a form of repeating writing, which nevertheless is mediated from the subject's consciousness and can take different forms: imitation, resignation, or also affirmation. In this respect see the interesting book of B. Meyer-Sickendiek, Die Ästhetik der Epigonalität, Tübingen, Francke Verlag, 2001.

3 About the origin of the work The Birth of Tragedy and its motivations, see: A. Venturelli, Kunst, Wissenschaft und Geschichte bei Nietzsche, Berlin-New York, de Gruyter, 2003, especially Chapter 1.

4 «Damit soll nur dies und nichts als dies gesagt sein, dass selbst der oftmals peinlich anmuthende Gedanke, Epigonen zu sein, gross gedacht, große Wirkungen und ein hoffnungsreiches Begehren der Zukunft, sowohl dem Einzelnen als einem Volke verbürgen kann: insofern wir uns nämlich als Erben und Nachkommen klassischer und erstaunlicher Mächte begreifen und darin unsere Ehre, unseren Sporn sehen», from: Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen, Werke, vol. III, 1, p. 303.

5 In this respect, Nietzsche rejects the idea of nostalgia, which is a central topic in Schiller and in Romanticism. See: E. Eilon, "Nietzsche's Principle of Abundance as Guiding Aesthetic Value", Nietzsche-Studien, 30, 2001, pp. 200-221.

6 The criticism also applies to Wagner and his music. See: B. Meyer-Sickendiek, Die Ästhetik der Epigonalität, p. 297 ff.

7 «Womit kennzeichnet sich jede litterarische décadence? Damit, dass das Leben nicht mehr im Ganzen wohnt. Das Wort wird souverain und springt aus dem Satz hinaus, der Satz greift über und verdunkelt den Sinn der Seite, die Seite gewinnt Leben auf Unkosten des Ganzen - das Ganze ist kein Ganzes mehr», from: Der Fall Wagner, Werke, vol. VI, 3, p. 21.

8 «Abgerechnet nämlich, dass ich ein decadent bin, bin ich auch dessen Gegensatz. [...] Für einen typisch Gesunden kann [...] kranksein sogar ein energisches Stimulans zum Leben, zum Mehr-leben sein», from: Ecce homo, Werke, vol. VI, 3, p. 264.

9 On the relation between art and life, see: R. Berrios, "Nietzsche's Vitalistic Aestheticism", Nietzsche-Studien 32, 2003, pp. 78-102.

10 «Denn dass es im Leben wirklich so tragisch zugeht, würde am wenigsten die Entstehung einer Kunstform erklären; wenn anders die Kunst nicht nur Nachahmung der Naturwirklichkeit, sondern gerade ein metaphysisches Supplement der Naturwirklichkeit ist, zu deren Überwindung neben sie gestellt», from: Die Geburt der Tragödie, Werke, vol. III, 1, p. 147.

11 See: K. Gründer, Der Streit um Nietzsches "Geburt der Tragödie", Hildesheim, Olms, 1969.

12 «Man ahmt etwas rein Chimärisches nach, und läuft einer Wunderwelt hinterdrein, die nie existiert hat. [...] Allmählich ist das ganze Griechenthum selber zu einem Objecte des Don Quixote geworden», from: Werke, vol. IV, 1, Nachlass 7[1], p. 197.

13 «Eine Kultur, welche der griechischen nachläuft, kann nichts erzeugen», from: Werke, vol. IV, 1, Nachlass 7[1], p. 197.

14: Werke, Nachlass, vol. IV, 1, 6[1], p. 173.

15 See: B. Meyer-Sickendiek, Die Ästhetik der Epigonalität, pp. 252-253.

16 «Durch dieses Übermaß wird der jederzeit schädliche Glaube an das Alter des Menschen [bestätigt], der Glaube, Spätling und Epigone zu sein», from: Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen, Werke, vol. III, 1, p. 291.

17 Nietzsche's thought is characterized by a profound sensibility to modernity, which also conditions his idea of time. In this respect, see: M. Rampley, Nietzsche, Aesthetics and Modernity, Cambridge-New York, Cambridge University Press, 2000, especially Chapter 5.

18 «Nur soweit die Historie dem Leben dient, wollen wir ihr dienen», from: Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen, Werke, vol. III, 1, p. 241.

19 «Der Spruch der Vergangenheit ist immer ein Orakelspruch: nur als Baumeister der Zukunft, als Wissende der Gegenwart werdet ihr verstehen», from: Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen, Werke, vol. III, 1, p. 290.

20 «Formt in euch ein Bild, dem die Zukunft entsprechen soll, und vergesst den Aberglauben, Epigonen zu sein», from: Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen, Werke, vol. III, 1, p. 291.

21 About the meaning of dance in Nietzsche, see: U. Tietz, "Musik und Tanz als symbolische Formen: Nietzsches ästhetische Intersubjektivität des Performativen", Nietzsche-Studien 31, 2001, pp. 75-90.

22 «Den Künstler wird man bald als ein herrliches Überbleibsel ansehen und ihm, wie einem wunderbaren Fremden, an dessen Kraft und Schönheit das Glück früherer Zeiten hieng, Ehren erweisen, wie wir sie nicht leicht Unseresgleichen gönnen. Das Beste an uns ist vielleicht aus Empfindungen früherer Zeiten vererbt, zu denen wir jetzt auf unmittelbarem Wege kaum mehr kommen können; die Sonne ist schon hinuntergegangen, aber der Himmel unseres Lebens glüht und leuchtet noch von ihr her», from: Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, Werke, vol. IV, 2, aph. 223, p. 188.

23 «Man muss Religion und Kunst wie Mutter und Amme geliebt haben, - sonst kann man nicht weise werden. Aber man muss über sie hinaus sehen, ihnen entwachsen können», from: Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, Werke, vol. IV, 2, aph. 292, p. 240.

24 Nietzsche refers to his personal experience and to Schopenhauer's influence on him. About this topic, see: E. Kiss, "Friedrich Nietzsches reife philosophische Kritik an Schopenhauer", in: W. Schirmacher (ed.), Schopenhauer, Nietzsche und die Kunst, Wien, Passagen Verlag, 1991, pp. 111-115. This kind of criticism also implies a new philosophical perspective, which is based upon critical knowledge and pragmatic attitude, and which reveals, from a historical point of view, Spinoza's influence as well as Nietzsche's contact to critical positivism of his time. In this respect, see the recent book of E. Kiss, Erkenntnis als mächstigster Affekt, Cuxhaven-Dartford, Junghans Verlag, 2003.

25 «Die erfinderischen und die zweckthätigen Naturen - Gegensatz», from: Werke, vol. V, 1, Nachlass 1[61], p. 349.

26 This aspect had been already emphasized by Heidegger: «So art is the creative experiencing of the becoming, of life itself» (Die Kunst ist so das erschaffende Erfahren des Werdenden, des Lebens selbst), from: M. Heidegger, Nietzsche, Gesamtausgabe, ed. Klostermann, vol. 6, 1, p. 511.

27 «die Kraft um der Kraft willen, die Farbe um der Farbe willen, den Gedanken um des Gedankens willen», from: Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, Werke, vol. IV, 2, aph. 221, p. 185.

28 About the meaning of chaos in Nietzsche, see: U. Regina, Heidegger dal nichilismo alla dignità dell'uomo, Milano, Vita e Pensiero, 1970, p. 90, and Emergenza da mancanza di bisogno. Heidegger interprete di Nietzsche, Verona, CUSL, 1996, p. 89.

29 «Die Griechen lernten allmählich das Chaos zu organisieren [...]. So ergriffen sie wieder von sich Besitz; sie blieben nicht lange die überhäuften Erben und Epigonen des ganzen Orients; sie wurden selbst [...] die glücklichsten Bereicherer und Mehrer des ererbten Schatzes und die Erstlinge und Vorbilder aller kommenden Culturvölker», from: Unzeitgemäße Betrachtungen, Werke, vol. III, 1, p. 329.

30 «Nicht Frevelmuth, sondern der immer neu erwachende Spieltrieb ruft andre Welten ins Leben. Das Kind wirft einmal das Spielzeug weg: bald aber fängt es wieder an, in unschuldiger Laune. Sobald es aber baut, knüpft und fügt und formt es gesetzmäßig und nach inneren Ordnungen. So schaut nur der ästhetische Mensch die Welt an, der an dem Künstler und an dem Entstehen des Kunstwerks erfahren hat, wie der Streit der Vielheit doch in sich Gesetz und Recht tragen kann, wie der Künstler beschaulich über und wirkend in dem Kunstwerk steht, wie Nothwendigkeit und Spiel, Widerstreit und Harmonie sich zur Zeugung des Kunstwerks paaren müssen», from: Die Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalter der Griechen, Werke, III, 2, p. 325.

31 In this respect, and to the connection with Heraclitus' perspective, see: G. Wohlfart, Das spielende Kind. Nietzsche: Postvorsokratiker-Vorpostmoderner, Essen, Die Blaue Eule, 1999, Chapter 5, and A. Aichele, Philosophie als Spiel. Platon - Kant - Nietzsche, Berlin, Akademie Verlag, 2000, especially p. 123.

32 «Unschuld ist das Kind und Vergessen, ein Neubeginnen, ein Spiel, ein aus sich rollendes Rad, eine erste Bewegung, ein heiliges Ja-sagen», from: Also sprach Zarathustra, Werke, VI, 1, p. 27.

33 «Reife des Mannes: das heißt den Ernst wiedergefunden haben, den man als Kind hatte, beim Spiel», from: Jenseits von Gut und Böse, Werke, vol. VI, 2, aph. 94, p. 90.

34 In this respect see: M. Evers, "Nietzsche und die ästhetische Perspektive", in: Th. Maier (ed.), Das Lachen des Dionysos, Essen, Die Blaue Eule, 2002, pp. 10-31, especially p. 14 and p. 20.

35 «Jedes Ding hat zwei Gesichter, eins des Vergehens, eins des Werdens», from: Werke, vol. VII, 1, Nachlass 5[1], 147, p. 207.

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