Friedrich Nietzsche :The Birth of Tragedy: Hellenism and Pessimism
The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music
Attempt at a Self-Criticism
On the conflict between Dionysian and Apollonian elements in art and life.
“Listen first to what the Greeks themselves have to say of this life, which spreads itself before you with such puzzling serenity. An old legend has it that King Midas hunted a long time in the woods for the wise Silenus, companion of Dionysus, without being able to catch him. When he had finally caught him the king asked him what he considered man’s greatest good. The daemon remained sullen and uncommunicative until finally, forced by the king, he broke into a shrill laugh and spoke: “Ephemeral wretch, begotten by accident and toil, why do you force me to tell you what it would be your greatest boon not to hear? What would be best for you is quite beyond your reach: not to have been born, not to be, to be nothing. But the second best is to die soon.”
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