Massimo Canepa

In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche used Raphael’s Transfiguration as an example to illustrate the relation between the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Since then, «the image of the possessed young boy provoking the transfiguration» has become an obsession. Indeed, all the philosopher’s works are marked by an attempt to transform the Christian Verklärung into a Dionysian Verklärung. The transformation begins with Daybreak and it deploys from Zarathustra to the tickets of Madness – but it is encoded by Nietzsche in the preface to the second edition of The Gay Science: «A philosopher who has passed through many kinds of health, and keeps passing through them again and again, has passed through an equal number of philosophies; he simply cannot but translate his state every time into the most spiritual form and distance – this art of transfiguration just is philosophy (diese Kunst der Transfiguration ist eben Philosophie)». Transfiguration, as an «art of masks», from a philosophical device becomes an existential practice – it will push Nietzsche to present himself as the «new redeemer of the world». From tragic philosopher to Dionysian satyr, from happy messenger to Antichrist, the outcome will be the madness – with the involuntary complicity of Burckhardt.

Filosofo, redentore, folle
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