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Dionysian and Apollonian

Parents: Dionysus - Apollo

Related: dichotomy - Nietzsche - Camille Paglia - Greek tragedy

Key texts: The Birth of Tragedy (1872) - Sexual Personae (1990) - Camille Paglia


The Birth of Tragedy (1872) - Nietzsche [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In this book, Nietzsche, originally educated as a classicist, discusses the history of the Greek tragedy, and introduces an intellectual dichotomy between the Dionysian and the Apollonian (very loosely: wild emotion or sensation vs. calm reason or ideation). Nietzsche claims life has always involved a struggle between these two elements, each battling for control over the existence of man. In Nietzsche's words, "Wherever the Dionysian prevailed, the Apollonian was checked and destroyed...wherever the first Dionysian onslaught was successfully withstood, the authority and majesty of the Delphic god [Apollo] exhibited itself as more rigid and menacing than ever." Yet neither side ever prevails due to each containing the other in an eternal, natural check, or balance. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Geburt_der_Trag%C3%B6die [Jul 2005]

Camille Paglia

Camille Paglia would later appropriate the terms Dionysus and Apollo in her Sexual Personae.

Throwing in her lot with Hobbes and Dionysus, she follows in the tradition of a work like Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, where engaging assertion and overstatement are more important than rigorously proving a case. She argues passionately, with poetic flair: for her, human sexuality is dark, cruel, sadistic, powerful, daemonic, perverse, murky, decadent, pagan...--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_Personae

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