on theatre

"This day I had strong and elevated feelings again, and if I could have music and art, I know very well what music and art I would not like to have, namely, the kind that tries to intoxicate its audience and drive it to the height of a moment of strong and elevated feelings...

What would those people know of 'higher moods' were there no intoxicating substances and whip-lashes of ideals! - and so they have their inspirers as they have their wines. But what is their drink and their drunkenness to me! What is wine to the inspired! He looks instead with a sort of disgust at the means and the mediators that are supposed to produce an effect without sufficient reason - aping the high tide of the soul!...

What do the Fausts and Manfreds of the theatre matter to someone who is himself like Faust and Manfred? - whereas the fact that such figures are brought about on stage is certainly something for him to think about. The strongest thoughts and passions are therefore presented before those who are capable not of thought and passion - but of intoxication! And the former as a means to the latter! And theatre and music as the hashish-smoking and betel-chewing of the European! Oh, who will tell us the entire history of narcotics? -It is nearly the history of 'culture,' our so-called higher culture!" (Friedrich Nietzsche)

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