Volker Gerhardt and Renate Reschke (Eds.). Nietzscheforschung. Jahrbuch der Nietzsche-Gesellschaft vol. 13. Zwischen Musik, Philosophie und Ressentiment
Berlin: Akademieverlag, 2006. 318 pp. Cloth. ISBN 10: 3-05–004220–6/ISBN 13: 978-3-05-004220-6
Reviewed by Ray Furn
is volume is in four parts: Philosophie und Musik contains papers given at the fifteenth annual meeting of the Nietzsche Gesellschaft in Naumburg in 2005; Nietzsche und die Ressentiment is a selection of papers from the Nietzsche Werkstatt, Schulpforta; the third consists of a group of disparate essays; and the fourth is a collection of reviews. It is a varied and eclectic selection, therefore, in which the more weighty contributors are juxtaposed awkwardly with the less able. The collection begins with an excellent paper by Rüdiger Görner ("'Ohne Musik wäre mir das Leben ein Irrthum.' Nietzsches musikalisches Denken"), which crisply and persuasively deals with a complex and intriguing topic and correctly analyzes Nietzsche's curious admiration for the band music of Heinrich Köselitz (reminiscent, indeed, of Goethe's estimation of Karl Friedrich Zelter). Aldo Venturelli's "Der musiktreibende Sokrates. Musik und Philosophie in der Entstehunggeschichte der Geburt der Tragödie" stresses correctly the inextricability of art, philosophy and scholarship in Nietzsche's oeuvre; he also lucidly insists on the importance of Eduard Hartmann's Philosophie des Unbewußten for Nietzsche, despite the satirical comments on Hartmann in the second UM. Other papers with valid or stimulating comments include Christoph Landerer's "Form und Gefühl in Nietzsche's Musikästhetik," particularly the reference to Hans von Bülow's devastating criticism of Nietzsche's Manfred. However brilliantly Nietzsche wrote on music, his compositions were never more than third rate, as the Wagners also knew. The second section, on Nietzsche and the concept of ressentiment, is another "mixed bag." One of the more important contributions is Ivan Broisson on Nietzsche and Hume; here Hume's Natural History of Religion is adroitly quoted and a convincing argument put forward for Hume's importance. One of the more diverting papers is Nicole Thiemer's "Philosophie erzählt?!" which discusses Carson McCuller's Ballad of the Sad Café in the context of Nietzsche's analysis of ressentiment (little did Amelia Evans, cousin Lymon and Marvin Macy realize that Nietzsche was lurking in the background, with Merleau-Ponty giving his blessing). Stefanie Winkelnkemper's "Der Haß des Nazareners" skillfully discusses Heine, Börne, Goethe, and Nietzsche, and sees Heine as anticipating the psychology of ressentiment, which would later be of crucial importance to Nietzsche. The third section contains a very substantial and perceptive paper by Babette Babich on "Nietzsches Ursprung der Tragödie als Musik. Lyrik- Rhetorik-Skulptor," as well as a not entirely successful attempt to see Nabokov as a "Nietzsche Anhänger" (Anatole Livry) and enlightening accounts by Diana Behler on Nietzsche and America and on Ralph Waldo Emerson.
University of St. Andrews