Keywords:avant-garde, apollonian, Dionysos, Dionysian, aesthetic of difference, appearance, form, gestalt, sublime, rupture, fissure, constellation, paradox, contradiction, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Lyotard, Adorno
Nietzsche’s Dionysus, admittedly, represents a direct provocation and an attack on the classical interpretation accepted since Winckelmann, an interpretation that elevates the Apollonian to its central point of focus; Nietzsche’s introduction of another principle to oppose it, rather than representing a genuine invention, in actuality bridges the small gap between Hegel and Hölderlin. If, namely, the Hegelian aesthetic from the very beginning points to Schein and Erscheinung – as necessary conditions of truth, for the truth would not exist if it were not to “superficially appear” (scheinen) and “make its appearance” (erscheinen), writes Hegel – Schein and Erscheinung would still nonetheless be bound up everywhere with the criterium of the absolute; after all, the untruth of the aesthetic rests squarely in the fact that it cannot do other than to draw upon the language of Erscheinung. For Hölderlin, on the other hand, the Dionysian advances to become a metapoetic symbol combining itself – the enigmatic and continually transforming – with the practice of art. Nietzsche follows those very same lines even while giving the metaphor a thoroughly different twist.
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