Patrick's hermetic Rothko is an egocentric, vulnerable and irascible proponent of Nietzsche's "The Birth of Tragedy,'' his paintings representing the opposing struggle between Dionysian emotion/chaos and Apollonian
intelligence/order, the tragedy being that there can never be complete balance.
While granting problems--sometimes severe--in Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, he employs Lonergan's "transformations of consciousness" both to reorient Nietzsche's account of the Dionysian and Apollonian
in the direction of authentic self-transcendence and to preserve "the genius of Kierkegaard's anthropology" without dismissing Balthasar's concern with the Danish philosopher's diminishment of the aesthetic.
What Nietzsche describes as the Apollonian
, associated with clarity, consciousness, and control, bears evident affinities with Schopenhauer's account of representation, while what Nietzsche describes as the Dionysian, associated with chaotic energy, passion, and the collapse of distinctions, bears evident affinities with Schopenhauer's account of will.
I am temperamentally allergic to the over-insistent rhetoric and crowd-pleasing aspects of some of Liszt's work, and so I found it odd to hear such a fastidious artist apply his Apollonian
gifts to the Dionysian bombast and acrobatics of the finale - Venezia e Napoli.
Beyond the possibility of national labels is the poet, whose greatness, in Mahon's words is the "Dionysian contained within/ the Apollonian
form, and bursting at the seams--shaking at the bars, but/ the bars have to be there to be shaken" (212).
In Sexual Personae (1990), Camille Paglia makes use of Nietzsche's distinction between Apollonian
and Dionysian/Bacchanalian to analyse the development of Western art from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson.
Yet these works, with their calm, almost Apollonian
appearance, do not, in fact, lack playfulness or ironic lightness.
Nietzsche pits intuition, metaphor, and the Dionysian against rationality, conceptual reification, and the Apollonian
ball packings form a renowed class of infinite ball packings, see for instance [GLM+05, GLM+06].
The defining struggle of Aschenbach's life is that between his paternal and maternal legacies, between the Apollonian
intellect embodied by his father and the Dionysian emotion embodied by his mother, and integral to this struggle is his effort to transform the production of art into a manly, proactive, and civic minded undertaking by conquering its effeminate, egocentric, and asocial aspects.
Here again he draws from Deluze's Proust and Signs, but the words serve just as well as a helpful reminder to any Apollonian
trying to make sense of the Dionysian's mysterious work.
At the time, Nietzsche was a professor of classical philology (the study of language in written historical sources); in The Birth of Tragedy, he contemplated the Apollonian
and Dionysian elements of classical Athenian tragedy, viewing ancient plays as an art form that rose above the fundamental hopelessness, meaninglessness, and nihilism that surrounds life.