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The Disjunction of the Tragic: Hegel and Nietzsche

  • Roland Galle

Abstract

Philosophic speculation on tragedy and the tragic did not develop until the period of German idealism, thus at a time in which tragedy itself had gotten into a far-reaching structural crisis. This crisis has served many critics as an indicator of the frequently diagnosed ‘Death of Tragedy’ in modern times. Thus we have to proceed from the remarkable phenomenon that large scale philosophic speculation on the tragic begins at a time in which the secular tradition of tragedy itself seems to have reached its end. Hegel’s figure of speech of Minerva’s owl, which doesn’t begin its flight until nightfall, has been cited to comment on this striking relationship between the crisis of poetic practice and the onset of philosophic speculation relating to this practice. Hegel’s image implies that a figure of life, of reality, in our case tragedy, has gotten old, has passed its peak and that in a countermove the idea of this figure now preserved in philosophic thought is, so to speak, saved.

Keywords

Philosophic Thought Tragic Event German Idealism Philosophic Speculation Basic Writing 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Cf. my book Tragödie und Aufklrung. Zum Funktionswandel des Tragischen zwischen Racine und Büchner [Tragedy and Enlightenment. On the Change of Function of the Tragic from Racine to Buchner], [Stuttgart, 1976]. I take the liberty of mentioning here some of my other writings on tragedy on which in part this article is based: ‘Die Replik des deutschen Idealismus auf die Aporie der Voltaireschen Tragödien’ (German Idealism’s Answer to the Problem of Voltaire’s Tragedies) in: Voltaire und Deutschland [Voltaire and Germany], ed. P. Brockmeier, R. Desne (Stuttgart: J. Voss, 1979) 439–53; ‘Hegels Dramentheorie und ihre Wirkung’ [Hegel’s Theory of the Drama and its Effect] in: Handbuch des deutschen Dramas [Manual of German Drama], ed. W. Hinck (Düsseldorf, 1980) 259–72; ‘Natur der Freiheit und Freiheit der Natur als tragischer Widerspruch in “Dantons Tod” [Nature of Freedom and Freedom of Nature as Tragic Contradiction in ‘Danton’s Death’] in: Der Deutschunterricht 31 (1979) 107–21.Google Scholar
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

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  • Roland Galle

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