Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 20

Nietzsche as Masked Romantic Author(s): Caroline Joan ("Kay") S.

Picart Reviewed work(s): Source: The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. 55, No. 3 (Summer, 1997), pp. 273291 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The American Society for Aesthetics Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/431798 . Accessed: 18/12/2011 22:09
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Blackwell Publishing and The American Society for Aesthetics are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.



Nietzsche as Masked Romantic

At this stage of Nietzsche scholarship, it may seem strangeto returnto the link betweenNietzsche and romanticism.' Yet, as Ernst Behler points out, the spirit of literary modernism sprangfrom the womb of romanticism.2Hence, any attempt to harness Nietzsche within the contemporary arena of postmodernism must first wrestle with Nietzsche's debts to romanticism and the extent to which a residualromanticism contoured the development of Nietzsche's thought-that is, the extent to which Nietzsche remaineda masked romantic. It is undeniablethat Nietzsche himself, in his later pieces, sought to distance himself from whathe viewed as the befogging influence of romanticism. For the later Nietzsche, German music, particularlyWagner'smusic, was romantic "through and through ... a first-rate nerve-

am such and such a person,"an apparentpreparation for a unidimensionalway of reading the last line of the first section of the preface:'Above all, do not mistake me for someone else."6
Yet, "Ich bin der und der" may be interpreted

destroyer,doubly dangerousfor a people given to drinkingand reveringthe unclear as a virtue, namely, in its two-fold capacity of an intoxicating and stupefying narcotic."3 Walter Kaufmann, a leading authority on Nietzsche, clearly sets himself against any romantic interpretationof Nietzsche. For Kaufmann, "self-overcoming" is the only viable method of finding one's way out of the Nietzschean labyrinth. Thus, he strategically conflates any differencebetween Nietzsche's intentions and his mannerof execution. For example, Kaufmannemploys a decidedly Apollonian approach in interpreting a title Nietzsche used, "Ecce Homo."For Kaufmann,the use of "Ecce Homo" should be interpreted as Nietzsche's naked statementof self-identification:"Hereis a man! Here is a new, a differentimage of humanity: not a saint or holy man any more than a traditional sage, but a modern version."4In addition, he interprets"Ich bin der und der"5as "I

contrapositivelyas "I am he and he," implying eithera fragmentation or a dissimulationor both in the speaker-a method of writingthatechoes the satyr-ic authorwho has made the mask his signature.Similarly,"Ecce Homo"is utteredby Pilate: the same man, who, in Nietzsche's eyes, is the only hero of the New Testamentbecause of his having asked "What is truth?"Furthermore, Nietzsche's first use of the phrase, "Ecce Homo,"occurs in his savage characterization of the moralist bigot and prig who paints his portrait upon the wall and uttersthe all-too-(in)famous phrase. This seems yet anotherclue that something seems to be amiss with a linear way of interpreting Nietzsche, especially when he claims to have taken off his masks. Nevertheless, in accordance with his Apollonian method of interpretingNietzsche, Kaufmann writes:
Nietzsche defined his position in terms of his crucial break with Wagner;and in Nietzsche Contra Wagner he says expressly that it was in part Wagner's"ambiguity" that he could not "bear."... And the ambiguity of the romantics-their protest "againstreason, enlightenment, taste, and the eighteenth century"7-is just what Nietzsche denounced.8

Similarly, Adrian del Caro, in his book Dionysian Aesthetics; The Role of Destruction in Creation as Reflected in the Life and Works of

Nietzsche (1981), cautiously describes what he views as the three stages in the maturationof Nietzsche's thought: (1) Nietzsche in his late

The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism55:3 Summer 1997

274 twenties, a close personalfriend of Wagnerand the spiritual disciple of Schopenhauer;9 (2) Nietzsche in his convalescence from romanticism and his conversionto a primarilypositivistic attitude, in the Enlightenment sense, with his newly found hero worshipof Voltaire;'0and (3) the sober and satiricalNietzsche, more concernedwith the problemsof nihilism and Christianity than with Greekcultureand tragedy,and the project of the transvaluationof all values ratherthan a nostalgic longing for the rebirthof classical tragic culture."I For del Caro,as for Kaufmann,it appearsthat it is only within the first phase, a period that Nietzsche eventually dismissed emphatically, thatNietzsche could be definitively describedas being underthe influence of romanticism. However, in his later book, Nietzsche ContraNietzsche (1989), del Caro ties the development of Nietzsche's thoughtmuch more closely with his romanticheritage:
in the spirit of early romanticism as defined by the basic issues of finding a ground for being and using creativity,as opposed to the cognitive or systematically philosophicalroute,it is Nietzsche who deserves the epitaph"last romanticist."This is not intendedto markhim as a latecomeror to detractfrom the lucidity of his thought. ... In Nietzsche we have the culmi12 natorand surpasser of a long and venerable tradition.

The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism a cheerful, frompassiveto active,namely, destrong, creative romanticism.13 structive, In this article, I attempt to excavate Nietzsche's persistent yet hidden romanticism by drawing forth a striking correspondence between the progression of Nietzsche's initially optimistic politics to his later, increasingly misogynistic and pessimistic politics, and a general sketch of how romanticism follows a similartrendof deepening misogyny and political pessimism, despite an initial optimism. I construct this sketch that aims to capturesome of the main outlines of the developmentof (German and French)romanticismvia an examination of several key paintings by Caspar David Friedrich(one of the earliest and foremost German romantic painters) and Eugene Delacroix (one of the most renownedlater Frenchromantic dandies, whom Nietzsche associates with Wagner).What I hope to show is that this larger picture, rooted in the history of an aestheticopolitical movementembodied in representative paintings, reveals a similargravitationtowarda darkerpessimism, as evidenced in its treatment of "woman"/the"feminine,"and its increasing fascination with violence and sickness. The choice of not only painting, but also of these two specific painters,Friedrichand Delacroix, as the basis for forming the macroscopic view against which the microscopic view of Nietzsche's politics and aesthetics may be plotted needs some justification. It is true that with a few exceptions, such as Raphael'sTransfiguration in The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche often equated "romanticism"purely with Wagner's operas, and as such, even attemptinga general comparisonacross Nietzsche's texts and paintings seems awkward. Yet, as an historically rooted phenomenon, romanticism, understood as a Europeanphenomenon,was certainly more diverse than Wagner'soperas, as illustratedin the panoply of paintings and literarypieces that were inspiredby it. Nietzsche, who aspiredto be a "good European,"certainly was a productof more than merelyparochialGermaninfluences, and spoke affirmatively of particularly the Frenchin his laterwritings.I take these images, no less evocative than their musical counterparts, to be the invisible terrain against which Nietzsche waged his battle with Wagnerianromanticism. In addition, I have chosen Friedrich

In line with del Caro's view of Nietzsche as the "last romanticist,"I wish to show that there is good sense in drawingout the romanticinfluences that Nietzsche undoubtedlyattemptedto purge himself of, but failed. The romantic specter unceasingly hauntedNietzsche even as he struggled to exorcise himself of its ghostly influence, and shapedhis genderedand mythologicalpolitics and aesthetics.To illustrate Nietzsche's persistentromanticism, I build upon del Caro's thesis concerning the possibility of differentiatingtwo types of romanticism,particularly in relationto Nietzsche:
Justas Nietzsche envisaged two kinds of nihilism and two kinds of skepticism, depending on whether strengthor weakness is the motivating factor, so too are the two kinds of romanticism,a fact he frequently overlooked: the romanticism that he usually described as weak, passive and pathological; and the image of romanticism that representsthe transition

Picart Nietzsche as MaskedRomantic of and Delacroixas the particular representatives whatI perceiveto be two poles/types of romanticism as they, like Nietzsche, were consumedby the question of how a genius may sculpt a politico-aestheticmythologyfor the future. What I wish to put forth is an accountof how Nietzsche, especially in his early post-Zarathustranphase, fluctuatesin betweenthese two types of romanticism: the optimistic/healthy (exemplified by Friedrich) and the pessimistic/ pathological(exemplified by Delacroix).14Both of these strains of romanticismmay be seen in Beyond Good and Evil, an early post-Zarathustran text, created by Nietzsche to be a simplified/exotericized version of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.15 This fluctuation between the two poles in Nietzsche eventuallyresults,in the final parts of his post-Zarathustran phase, in choice of the darker, fatalistic type (characteristicof Delacroix) over the lighter, optimistic type (characteristicof Friedrich). My position differs from Adriandel Caro'sin his Nietzsche Contra Nietzsche in two areas. First, del Caroconceives of Nietzsche's struggle with romanticism in linear or temporal terms (as he has outlined in his 1981 book). Consequently,he generatesan accountthatdocuments the struggle of the earlier Nietzsche contra the later Nietzsche. While I draw from del Caro's temporalschema of Nietzsche's developmentas a thinker,I view Nietzsche's sustained struggle with romanticismas itself constitutiveof Nietzsche's lateridentity.That is, I do not view Nietzsche's conversion of Dionysus into a philosopher-god as a radical break from his romantic past, but as its naturalconclusion. Nietzsche's matureconcept of the will to power resonatesto a high degree with the romanticmoral aesthetic of qualitativepotentializing(and by this I mean, drawing from Novalis at a preliminary level, a way of simultaneouslyreadingthe world as if it were a novel, and imagining or writing a book that could be consubstantial with the world), and yet deviates from it to some degree. Second, del Caro employs a method that attemptsan exhaustive analysis of the statementsexpressedby variousromanticthinkerssuch as the Schlegels, Novalis, Tieck, Kleist, Wackenroder, and Hlderlin in orderto characterizewhat he refers to as "romanticism." My goals are more modest. I aim to illustrate some essential romanticprinciplesand ideals, at

275 an introductorylevel, throughmy examination of two famous paintings by Caspar David Friedrich, and another two by Eugene Delacroix. The first two paintings, The Cross in the Mountainsand Monk by the Sea, and the later pair, The Massacre at Chios and Death of Sardanapalus, serve as embodimentsof less tangible and more diffused romantic ideals, as expressed by the chief proponentsof the romantic movement, and later intertwined with the politico-aesthetic vision of the dandy, as we shall see in Delacroix'scase. The significance of my turning to Friedrich and Delacroix lies in my attemptto arriveat an accountthatdescribeshow Nietzsche, Friedrich, and Delacroix converged strikingly in areas In taking this which may be called "romantic." approach,I do not pretendto cover all aspects of European romanticism, but instead, strive to give a thumbnailsketch of its diversity and internal tensions-a dynamic that is reflected in Nietzsche's own reluctantand masked romanticism(s). In view of the numerous unsuccessful attempts at defining romanticism made in the twentiethcentury,I offer no startlinglynew and exhaustive characterizationof it here, because the history of romanticismitself is a story of becoming, of revolutionand evolution. A common quandarywith definitions of romanticism is that they either tend to be so general as to include a bewildering number of nonexclusive characteristicsalso found in other periods,16or so specific'7 that they exclude the majorityof those commonly ascribedto the romantics. For example, in a celebrated essay, A. 0. Lovejoy proposed that the word "romantic" shouldbe used only in the sense of Friedrich Schlegel's definition of "romantischePoesie," published in 1798, and that all other "romanticisms" shouldbe distinguishedfrom it and from one another.'8As FriedrichSchlegel's own use of the term was far from consistent, this caused his loosely connected ideas to explode into an almost infinite numberof interpretationsmade by individualsat differentpoints in time.'9 In contrast,what I intend to do is to paint, in broad strokes, certain general (but not overly diffuse) characteristicsthat are recognized as "romantic" by a majorityof scholars,and which are significant in assessing the natureof the romanticisms that plagued and inspiredNietzsche as a philosopher. Among these kernels of ro-

276 mantic temperament,ratherthan thought, that persist in Nietzsche's masked romanticismare: (1) a passion for the theme of transformation; (2) an antirationalismthat does not, despite immediate appearances,sink into an indulgence in the equivocal and indeterminate;(3) a total embrace of the romantic ideal of untimeliness or noncontemporaneity; and (4) an increasing pessimism concerning modern society and "woman"/the"feminine."The first three characteristicsare sharedby what I call the "lighter" and "darker" visages of romanticism;the fourth characteristicmarks the characteristic split of the "darker" romanticism (characteristic of Delacroix) from the "lighter"romanticism(seen in Friedrich).The tensions and confluences between "light" and "dark"romanticisms, as I shall show, are visible even in Nietzsche's work. avowedly "postromantic"

The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism In ordernot to do violence to this characterization of romanticism as perpetual process ratherthan accomplished project, I shall resort to a brief examinationof some of the characteristic featuresand the generaloutlines of the historicalcontext thatunderlaythe genesis of some of Caspar David Friedrich'spaintings to illustrate the "lighter" face of romanticism. The logic of my choice of Friedrich lies in that Friedrich'sworks, in his day, were regardedas the very epitome of romanticism. Hence, they constitute, in some senses, a distillation of romantic ideals. Both Friedrichand Nietzsche adhered to crucial aspects of the romantic moral aesthetic, which, for both of them, constituted the supremeartistic moral.This moral aesthetic of the demandedthe complete interpenetration artistic and the moral. Such an interpenetration was essentially dynamic, completely devoted to the theme of metamorphosis,resisting the hardening into divisions characteristic of the Enlightenment,yet avoiding the descent into a debauchedrevelryin the utterlymystical. Such an interpenetrationof the moral and the aesthetic renderedthe moral aesthetic and the aesthetic moral. Hence, the optimistic romantic moral aesthetic decreed that no sacrifice was too high for the genuine artist in his or her quest for the or "healthy." genuinely "beautiful" In order to understandthis romantic moral aesthetic more concretely,let us turnto some remarks by Heinrich von Kleist, the brilliant young writer of some of the most remarkable plays in Germanliterature,such as Amphitryon, Penthesilea, and Prinz Friedrich von Homburg. MonkBy the After Kleist gazed upon Friedrich's Sea (fig. 1), the young writerrhapsodized: Nothingcouldbe moresad andeeriethanthisposition in the world,the only sparkof life in the wide realm of death,a lonelycentrein a lonelycircle.The objectsappicturewith its two or threemysterious pears as the apocalypse,as if it were dreaming of its monotThoughts" andbecause Young's "Night shorelessness], with [literally: onyandboundlessness as a foreground, onefeels as if nothing buttheframe one'seyelidshadbeencutoff.22 Monkby the Sea was one of two picturesCasexhibitedwith greatnotoriety parDavidFriedrich at Berlin in 1810. This painting,in keeping with an earlier, equally controversialaltarpieceenti-


Prior to tracing how the romantic concept of irony contours the later Nietzsche's thought, particularlyin Beyond Good and Evil, I wish to of rorendervivid some essential characteristics manticism, and from there,illustrateits two visages-visages I label the "optimistic"and the "pessimistic."In taking this approach,I wish to draw from and to reinforce the active formulation of romanticismas a process or quest rather than a fixed and totalizing definition. I do this in keeping with a fragment of a letter that FriedrichSchlegel, the most outspokenpolemicist among the early romantics, wrote to his brother, August Wilhelm: "I can hardly send you my explanation of the word romantic, because it would take- 125 pages."20 Friedrich Schlegel's intent is clear: the mock precision with which he estimates the length of his definition of the term underlines and ironizes his nondefinition of it. In his most famous text, Fragment116 from the first issue in 1798 of the Athenaeum, the founding journal of early romanticism, Schlegel attemptsa positive description of romantic poetry which emerges as no less unfixed than his earlier satiric one: The romantic kindof poetryis still in a stateof becoming;in fact thatis its realessence:thatit should be becoming andnever completed.21 eternally

Picart Nietzsche as MaskedRomantic


CasparDavid Friedrich, Monkby the Sea. StaatlicheMuseen zu Berlin Preulischer Kulturbesitz Nationalgalerie.

tied Cross in the Mountains(fig. 2), employed the technique of silhouetting a foreground image against an intangible background-a then controversialact againstthe canons of academic classicism in art. The context within which Friedrich's paintings arousedso much attention, and gained the description"romantic," serves as a relief against which the revolutionary character of Friedrich's works may be viewed. Friedrich'schief antagonist, Freiherr von Ramdohr,advocated not only that order, balance,and clarityof compositionbe upheldas primary aesthetic principles, and that artists should do no more than copy and imitate the style and subjectsof antiqueart, but also thatart could be reducedto a set of rationaland restrictive rules, and that these rules, once codified, could be learnt.23 In contrast,at a preliminarylevel, Friedrich's paintings seemed to embody a passion for the equivocal, the indeterminate,the obscure and far away (objectsshroudedin a fog, a distantfire

in darkness,mountainsmerging with clouds); a celebration of subjectivity borderingon solipsism, often coupledwith a morbiddesirethatthe self be lost in nature'svarious infinities; and a valorizationof night over day, signifying a reaction against Enlightenment and rationalism. Hence, in Monk by the Sea, Friedrichcarried even further the radical compression and simplification of forms in Cross in theMountainsto create a landscape of startling bareness, in which a solitary monk holds his head in his hands. As before, the different areas of the painting are decisively separated from each other,so thatthe monkappearsto be surrounded by the uncompromisingelements of earth, sea, and sky. Kleist wrote of the Anspruch,the demand, and the Abbruch, the loss, that gazing upon that painting inflicted upon him: thatonehaswandered outthere, thatonemustreturn, thatonewantsto crossover, thatonecannot, thatone lackshereall life andyet perceives thevoicesof life


The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism


- ''s,,' ,,,;.ia.. ......*

:',..E., '..;'-< | :D-:;::
._ . . . .......? .E;0 E .. : ..

L.... A:"'.".,''..
.:.......:;. I l * l

|I ,.i. -::


2. CasparDavid Friedrich,Cross in the Mountains.SachsischeLandesbibliothek. AbteilungDeutsche Fotothek.A. Rous, 1995. in the rushing tide, in the blowing wind, in the passage of clouds, in the solitary birds.24

Nevertheless, as one enters into a deeper reflection upon and interaction with Friedrich's paintings, one cannot help but notice that the heavy emotive impact of Friedrich's landscapes

does not impair his expressive directness. His elimination of introductoryforeground motifs creates a visual vortex that sweeps the onlookers' eyes onto his central imagery, which are renderedeven more compelling by the pervasiveness of the atmosphere he created. Most of Friedrich's subjects are not mystifications

Picart Nietzsche as MaskedRomantic wroughtby a mind obsessed by the obscure,but naturalobjects undergoing a form of transformation-against the haze of sunriseor the deep purpleand orange glow of twilight, in the swirling, diaphanousrobes of mist, or underthe crystalline blanket of fallen snow. This form of communication,althoughcertainly not in keeping with the intellectual temperament of the Enlightenment,resists the categorizationof the purely abstruse and incomprehensible. As Vaughanpoints out, "justas Friedrich's pictures combine ambiguous spatial constructions and light effects with direct imagery, so their intentions, while expressed evocatively, are by no means inexplicit."25 A sensitive reading of Nietzsche reveals that he is similarly concerned with the themes of transformationand a form of communicating that is other than totally lucid, though it is not completely indecipherable.It is a form of communication that attempts to be sensitive to the reverberations,the resonances of an aesthetic and moral form of self-becoming. This process of self-becoming resists cognitive fixation in an absolute sense and yet is not utterly elusive. Crucial to this is Nietzsche's fascination with the metamorphosisof decadence into the coming of the Ubermensch-a moral-political-aesthetic vision whose outlines are never clearly defined, but are certainly discernible in some sense. Similarly,Nietzsche's characterization of a "good" writing style is one which simultaneously communicates an "inward tension of pathos"using an art of gestures that "makesno mistake about the signs, the tempo of the signs."26It is a distinctive mastery of the multifariousness of signs and of the inner states they point to that does not negate their multifariousness as signs and inner states.27 However,this romanticemphasis on the multifariousness of signs could also be interpreted in a more pessimistic/"darker" way. A primeexample of this darker interpretationof the romantic quest may be seen in Eugene Delacroix. For Delacroix, the romanticdandy,the purpose of painting lay neitherin the mimetic attemptto reproducenatureslavishly nor the attemptto adhere to the prescriptions of the traditional canons of ideal beauty. Insofar as he perceived the mission of the painterto lie in the expression of the "soul," he advocated its "vagueness"as the very mechanismthroughwhich paintingbe-

279 comes powerful-piercing beyond clear-cut and distinct thought, into the zone of the subconscious.28 For Delacroix, as for Nietzsche, the power of the "sketch"lies in its ambiguityand multifariousness. Precisely by being able to evoke rather than represent,the sketch, in Delacroix's case, or the aphorism,in Nietzsche's case, is a concentrated or distilled form, ratherthan a carelessly executed and effete creation. "With great artists," Delacroix wrote, "the sketch is not a dream, a vague cloud; it is something other than a coming together of barely graspable features. The great artists alone set out from a fixed point, and it is this pure expression to which it is so difficult for them to come back to during the execution of their works, be it lengthy or rapid."29 form NietzschehimEmployingthe aphoristic self aspiredto in his lateryears,Delacroixwrote: "Successin the arts is not a matterof abridging, but of amplifying,and, if possible, of prolonging the sensationby all availablemeans."30 Among the formal techniques Delacroix is noted for is his distinct use of color as meshing with, dissolving into, and even expandingspace. By intensifying the illusion of light, and introducing rich and unusualhalf-tones,and making use of a technique called "scumbling,"Delacroix assaultedthe classical focus on form, outline, and modeling. Scumblesproducepassages that enable the tones to melt together;the substitutionof varnishfor oil enablesburstsor scintillations of light. Local tone, decisive to establishing the autonomy/distinctiveness of a figure or object, is brokenup, either throughthe use of stripes, or by decomposing both the color and texture.Huyghe quotes Villot on Delacroix: Instead of layingon the color,brilliant andpure,in oneprecise thetones,breaks place,he interlaces them thebrush upand,making behave like a shuttle, seeks to producea tissue whose many-coloured threads crossandinterrupt constantly one another.31 Delacroix's rebellion against the classical aesthetic principlesof form and pure color, and his elevation of movement, hybridization of color, and tone, seem, in some ways, the visual correlate of Nietzsche's own experimentation with writing styles. Similar to Delacroix's preference for hybridizedcolor and texture, Nietz-


The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~O1 V~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~...... .



ugeneDelaroix The assare a Chio. Th Loure..?Phot.RMN

sche preferreda multivocal writing style-one that could speak differently to different audivoice he ences, resisting the linear "moralistic" attributedto Platonism and its modern descenintensification, Condensation, dant,Christianity.

breakage,refraction-these aestheticprinciples may be seen at work in both the post-ZarathustranNietzsche and Delacroix. More importantly,however,both Delacroix's and Nietzsche's arts possess a destructive di-


Nietzsche as Masked Romantic


mension-a voluptuousembraceof the sensuality of the apocalyptic vision. In certain senses, both men searched for deliberately refractory mechanisms simultaneously to hide and communicate a dark message: the eternal preparation for the inevitableencounterwith death. But this type of death was not a quiet slipping away from life; it was a glorious and sensual darkenjoyment-the savoring of the horror of prolonged torment, disease, and carnage. Two paintings of Delacroix strikinglydepict this esoteric message common to both artists. The Massacre at Chios (fig. 3), which was displayed at the Paris Salon of 1824, caused an uproar. An immense, still, open space constitutes its background, dressed in copper hues, smearedwith soot, bile, and blood, undera murderous and nightmarishsky. With its dramatic depiction of the dark eroticism of suffering, it conveys no clear moral message, but revels in the ambiguityof the unremittingsea of dismembered and bloody bodies, and faces devoid of hope, impassively awaiting the inevitable. Delacroix'sentriesin his diariesrevealhis own awarenessof his foray into this darkeroticism: is acquiring a torsion, a movement Mypicture andenIt needsthe ergywhichI mustbringto completion. thedesirable the speciallimbs... darkness, dirtiness,
The smile on the dying face! ... The final embracesof

with her arms, hair, and body submissively offered to imminentannihilation. Huyghe captures the extravagance and sensual expenditureof the painting: of precious carved Never havenecklaces vases stones, workhavebeenpiled up and glittering goldsmiths' with suchwealthand suchgreedyrelish;neverhas in onefloralsheaf colour beenso resplendent, uniting luminous whites,sparkling golds,pinksandredsand thatquiver withsilvery and of orange splashes gleams of green.33 reverberate against patches Yet the cornucopiaof jewels and humanfigures crests and dies beneaththe impassivegaze of the king, himself an embodiment of the death that awaits him. Sardanapalus becomes the mask of Delacroix as the world-weary aesthete orchestrating his own death as his ultimate work of art.34 Nietzsche in Similarly,the post-Zarathustran particular revels in themes of disease, death, and destruction.It is true that in generalNietzsche seems to fluctuate between the rhetorical registers of optimism and pessimism. Yet one of the most distinctive features of his postZarathustranwritings is its unremitting savagery-its thorough-going propagationof the total destruction of modernity. The postZarathustran Nietzsche seems to share in Delacroix's darkjoy in his exultation over this necessary "damming up" of modernity-this ruthless slaughter of the "descending lines of life."35This Nietzsche advocatesthe use of political power to exterminate all the weakness, poison, and decadence that modernity,with its soft and "womanly"ideals have preserved.Yet underneathhis exoteric message of "overcoming" and the future coming of the Ubermensch lies his esoteric message of the possible nonresurrection of the firebird from the ashes of modernity, as the fourth book of Thus Spoke Zarathustraseems to show. There is one final striking similaritybinding Nietzsche's masked romanticism with Delacroix's own: their attitudes toward the "feminine"/"woman."Both Nietzsche and Delacroix set themselves against "W/woman," progress, and democracy;36both had "the dandy's [ambivalent]taste for women of easy virtue, for the intoxicating sensuality and the bitterness with which prostitutesreducehumanrelationshipsto

despairing beings!This is the truedomainof painting! ... If I am not writhing like a snake in the hands

of a pythoness, I amcold.(Friday, 7 May1824)32 Delacroix called The Death of Sardanapalus (fig. 4) his "massacrenumbertwo." His critics denouncedit as a scandalousmassacreof painting itself. The historical context/pretextfor the scene is derivedfrom the vainglorioussuicide of the crownprinceof BabyShamash-shum-ukin, lon. Defeated in battle by his brother,Assurbani-pal, the prince orderedhis officers and eunuchs to slaughter all that had given him pleasure during his lifetime-his harem, servants, horses, and favorite dogs-so that none of these would survivehim. The resultantpainting is a festival of color hyperbolized into a fevered pitch. One can almost smell the heady scent of perfumemingled with blood as Aischeh the Bactrian hangs herself, Baleah, the cupbearer,lights the pyre upon which he will seek his own death, and Myrrhaembracesher death


The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

FIGURE Eug1ne 4.

R*I Delacroix, TheDeat of SardanapalusThe Louvre. Photo



Eugene Delacroix, TheDeathof Sardanapalus. The Louvre.? Photo RMN.

nothing, with their trashy ornamentsand frenzied spasms."37Both advocated an Orientalizing vision of "woman"as most beautiful and mysteriouswhen she is not out in the world, interferingwith the affairs of men, but flowering within the realms of "feminine" devotion and maternity. Delacroix, during his trip to Morocco, managed to obtain permission to slip into a genuine Turkishharem in order to do a few sketches. Delacroix was apparentlyso intoxicated by the experience that he had to be calmed down with difficulty with sorbets and fruits. Huyghe frames and records Delacroix's thoughtson this occasion.
Here Delacroix found the secret dream a reality:the woman withdrawnto devote herself to her original mission-the work of her house, the love of herman, the educationof her child: "This," [Delacroix] said,

"is woman as I understandher, not thrown into the life of the world, but withdrawnat its heart, as its most secret, delicious and moving fulfillment."38

How very like Nietzsche's pronouncements that "naturallaw" requires that "man wills" and "womanis willing";39that "feminismshuts the door on all audaciousinsights";40 that the only way to "cure"a woman of her resentmentis to "giveher a child."'41 Finally,thereis yet anothersense in which the romanticmoral aesthetic resonates with Nietzsche's philosophy in a strikingly biographical sense. Friedrich,Delacroix, and Nietzsche willfully embracedthe burdenof noncontemporaneity or untimeliness characteristicof the truly revolutionaryromantic. In brief, this ideal upheld that the genius be wholly unique and individual, capable of producing works autono-

Picart Nietzsche as MaskedRomantic mously, transcending the forces of patronage and politics, always shatteringexisting interpretative and evaluative paradigms. The demand that this ideal exerted upon the romantic artist was total-even till the point of the sacrifice of the artist. The romantic notion of verschwendung, total squandering,surfaces at this point. However, this ideal possessed a second dimension: that of attempting to transcend this individuality,which ran the riskof becoming a morbid self-absorption, and establishing, through the genius's art, a new mythology, a mythology relevant and binding for the generations to come. For Friedrich and Nietzsche, the frustratedlonging for disciples and the nonvisibility of a public reinforcementof their privateaspirations turned them radically inward. Through their lives and works, the myth of the romantic aesthete as a lonely, solitary wanderer,essentially always within a cave or upon a mountaintop, far removedfrom the maddingherd, gained furtherconcretenessand credibility.42 Delacroix'scase would be slightly more complicated. As a man who meticulously dressed, every day, for his own death, the search for disciples or a communitywould have seemed moot. Yet there are flashes of this same fascination with death and destructionin Nietzsche, alongside his gravitation toward a more optimistic and creative politic. In effect, what I find in Nietzsche is a fluctuating alignment with both these types of romanticism,which, until the last phases of his post-Zarathustran period, hang in a tight balance. These polarities,of radicalindividualism and the desire to constructa polis beyond the Christianfoundationsof good and evil; of creationand destruction;of transformingand preserving,are characteristicof the new pitch to which Nietzsche brings the romantic tradition of irony,as we will see in the next section.

283 flective of the mannerof philosophizing of the older (and supposedly nonromantic)Nietzsche. As Behler points out, Nietzsche takes up and brings to a radical culmination a tradition of irony traceablefrom Socrates,Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian,Boccacio, Cervantes,Sterne,Goethe, and ultimately, Friedrich Schlegel.44 Irony, in this tradition, is more than a figure of speech indicating a discrepancy between what the speakersays and what he or she intends to communicate. More importantly,it is a means of attack; an "involuntaryand yet completely deliberate dissimulation."45 For Schlegel, one of the key philosophical proponentsof romanticism,this method of conducting warfare against the "idol of the highly praisedomniscience"(Kritische,vol. 13, p. 208) is necessarily self-reflective and self-conscious poetry. This, in Schlegel's eyes, was accomplished by Goethe in his novel, WilhelmMeister. In fact, Schlegel was so struck by the "irony hovering above ... [this] ... entire work" (Kritische, vol. 2, p. 137) that he rhapsodizedin one of his notebooks: "Meister = ironic poetry as Socrates = ironic philosophy because it is the poetry of poetry" (Kritische,vol. 18, p. 24). For Schlegel, such poetry breaksfree from the rulebased form of rhetoricalironythatgroundsitself upon a complete agreement between speaker and listener and an absolute notion of Truth. Schlegel strove continually to capturethe Socratic-Platonic sense of irony as configurative, indeterminable, and self-transcending in various formulations.Hence, in Schlegel's late lectures about Philosophy of Language and Word (1829), he describedirony as the "astonishment of the thinking mind about itself which often dissolves into a gentle smile" and "beneath a cheerful surface"encompasses "a deeply hidden sense, another higher meaning, and often the most sublime seriousness" (Kritische, vol. 10, p. 353). There is yet anotherway in which Schlegel's thought on irony is significant with respect to dredging out any traces of romanticism in the matureNietzsche. In his early writingson Greek poetry, Schlegel described the countermovements of self-creation and self-destructionas a manifestationof a self-inflicting moment capable of disrupting the primordialDionysian ecstasy. It is a manifestationof "the most intense passion [thatis] ... eager to wound itself, if only



Del Caro sets the margin for the hardening of Nietzsche's mature and most productive phase at the creation of Beyond Good and Evil.43 In this section, I shall draw out the persistence of romantic irony (a characteristic of both the "lighter"and "darker" faces of romanticism)in some sections of the said book, which are re-

284 to act and to discharge its excessive power" (Kritische, vol. 1, p. 403). One of Schlegel's favorite examples was the parabasis of Greek comedy, which may be characterizedas the occasionally capricious or frivolous addresses of the poet through the chorus to the audience, which serve to slice into the flow of the play.For Schlegel, such a capacity to disruptor injure is the naturalresult of overflowing vitality or "the most intense agility of life," and results in a of the effect, since it cannotdestroy "stimulation the illusion (of Aristophanes' comedies)" (Kritische, vol. 1, p. 30, emphasis added). Ultimately, for Schlegel, "irony is a permanent parabasis" (Kritische,vol. 18, p. 85). It is with respect to these three centralnotions of romanticirony (i.e., irony as satirical,humorous, and strategic dissimulation; irony as selfconscious and self-reflective poetry defiant of absolute formulation; irony as a permanent parabasis)that Nietzsche struggles with and redefines his congealing framework in Beyond Good and Evil. In the preface of this book, Nietzsche begins with his formulationof what he perceives to be the central problem of philosophy: that it remains as aloof as a woman unwon; that its edifices are unwieldy, built upon "any old popular
superstition from time immemorial ...; some

The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism the "good"in itself. Proceedinghence from this premise, as Leo Strauss points out, "one can easily be led to Diotima's conclusion that no humanbeing is wise but only the god is; human beings can only strive for wisdom of philosophizing; gods do not philosophize."47In the words of Nietzsche, "it meant standingtruthon her head and denyingperspective,the basic condition of all life, when one spoke of spirit and the good as Plato did" (BGE, p. 2; JGB, p. 4). The convictions that necessitated battles between Schlegel and Hegel resonate quite well with the groundsfor the uncompromisingiconoclasm Nietzsche sets out to perform. For both Nietzsche and Schlegel, the "inexhaustible plenitude and manifoldness of the highest subjects of human knowledge" (Kritische,vol. 13, p. 207) rendersa tyrannicalformulationof the content of these subjects impossible, absurd, and morallyobjectionable.Such a stance necessarily transformsthem into allies in their siege against what they viewed as the overweening pride of a rationalismthat had become elevated to the statusof divinity. As a further illustration of this, in the first chapterof Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche, in confronting what he considers the ultimate philosophical questions, brings us face-to-face with the Sphinx-siren,the deity who inspires us to dash ourselves against the rocks in the mad desire to ascend the shores of truth bathed in Apollo's light. Nietzsche presentsus with a riddle: "why not rather untruth?and uncertainty?
even ignorance? ... Who of us is Oedipus here?

play on wordsperhaps,a seductionby grammar, or an audacious generalizationof very narrow, very personal, very human, all too human facts."46Fromthe beginning, it is easy to locate Nietzsche as an heir to the romantictraditionof irony. His tone is adversarial;his smiling or playful countenance does little to hide the inherent seriousness of the task he takes upon himself-the unmasking of the "good" as "evil," and the re-creation of a sense of virtue beyond "good" and "evil." This smiling savagery is something that persists in Nietzsche's attackupon all the traditionalidols of morality. Nietzsche identifies several of these traditional idols or dogmatists who have cunningly constructed these pitifully and laughablytenuous facades upon which the grandiose edifices of philosophy rest: Plato, Christianity,Jesuitism, and liberaldemocracy(BGE,pp. 2-3; JGB, p. 5). Of these, the most beautiful and dangerous, the most compelling and cancerousgrowth, is Plato. For Nietzsche, Plato's fundamental error lay in his invention of the pure mind and

Who the Sphinx? It is a rendezvous,it seems, of questions and question marks"(BGE,p. 9; JGB,
P. 9).

The very posing of the riddleis itself the prelude of the battle Nietzsche wages against various "frog perspectives" (BGE, p. 10; JGB, p. 10)-perspectives from below, perspectives that lie in the cold, amphibiousregion that suffocates life, perspectivestrappedby the putrefying scaffold of the mistaken will to truth. One example of such a "frog perspective"is the traditional metaphysical negation of the origin of opposites (i.e., that it is impossible for truth to emerge from error, or that the will to truth be generatedby the will to deception, or the selfless deed arise from the selfish deed) coupled with its "faith in opposite values." (BGE, p. 10; JGB, p. 10). This leads to the ironic nonfulfill-

Picart Nietzsche as MaskedRomantic ment of one of philosophy's majorprecepts:de omnibus dubitandum(Descartes's "all is to be doubted").Again, one can already detect glimmers of the romanticnausea with fixity, and its fascination with the fearfully unfixed. Nietzsche, like the romantics,is interestedin an aesthetic moral and a moral aesthetic beyond the conviction in a metaphysicsof stasis. Nietzsche then posits his own counterhypothesis: Forallthevaluethatthetrue,thetruthful, theselfless maydeserve,it wouldstill be possiblethata higher andmorefundamental valueforlife mighthavebeen to deception, ascribed selfishness and lust. It might even be possiblethatwhatconstitutes the valueof thesegood and revered thingsis preciselythatthey are insidiouslyrelated,tied to, and involvedwith these wicked, seeminglyopposite things-maybe evenone withthemin essence.Maybe! (BGE, p. 10; JGB,p. 10) To enflesh his primarythesis, he employs two strategies. In the first, he characterizesinstinct as the unseen, primal force that forces reason into certain channels of thought(section 3), and he displaces the question of the legitimacy of a "false"judgment with the question of whether this judgment is "life-promoting, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps even speciescultivating"(BGE,p. 11;JGB,p. 11). For Nietzsche then, truth may be glimpsed only in its volatility; its promotionof life; its free expenditureof vital forces. This is clearly an injunction that resonates very well with the romantictemperamentthat resists the stricturesof classicism and valorizesthe explorationof the expulsion of vitality. It is also importantto observe the strategy, characteristicof romanticism,of replacing a model of truth based on objective validity to one based on subjective validity.Truthis not to be found in the distant and external ether, but throbbing within the noble heart. (Goethe's young Werther readily would have acknowledged this Nietzschean insight as his own.) Nietzsche drawsthis argumentto its conclusion: we are fundamentally inclined to claim that the falsest ... arethemostindispensable judgements to us ... thatrenouncing falsejudgements wouldmeanrelife and a denialof life. To recognize nouncing untruthas a condition of life-that certainly meansrevalue feelings in a dangerous sisting accustomed

285 way;and a philosophy thatrisksthis wouldby that tokenaloneplaceitselfbeyond goodandevil. (BGE, p. 12;JGB, p. 12) The second strategyhe employs is that of debunking-of shatteringthe idols of traditional philosophy, some with savage humor, others with earnest edged with mockery. For Nietzsche, every "great"philosophy so far has been nothing more than a conscious or unconscious moral (or immoral) striptease "the personal confession of its authorand a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir" (BGE, p. 13; JGB,pp. 13-14). The rest of this chaptersimply deals with an examination of the unconscious motives that move the Dionysiokolakes, the buffoonish truth-adorers,and the various illusions they allow to entrapthem. Again, the hero whose shadowy outlines are defined against the fragmentedremains of these shatteredidols is certainly romantic.It is again thatmythological who heroically and irartist-moralist-warrior, reverentlylays bare the idolatry and hypocrisy of conventionalsociety, who rearshis head.48I shall discuss, in some detail, simply the examples of Stoicism and Kant. In his critique of the Stoic ethic (section 9), "to live according to nature,"Nietzsche levels two counterarguments: (1) How could a human being, vulnerableand prone to passion, live according to nature'sindifference? (2) If "living according to nature"was simply a disguise for "living according to life," how was it possible for one to transgress this maxim? Ultimately, for Nietzsche, Stoicism is nothing but masked self-tyrannyand self-aggrandizement;a means throughwhich natureallows herself to be tyrannized in the figure of the Stoic; a necrophilious form of the "most spiritualwill to power, to the
'creation of the world,' to the causa prima (Un-

caused First Cause)"(BGE, p. 16;JGB, p. 16). Again, hints of the romantictraditionof irony readily emerge at this point. Nietzsche seems to find particularly objectionable the absence of self-reflectiveness or self-consciousness in Stoicism. It is this lack of self-reflectiveness that causes Stoicism to be a mere illusion. Stoicism is but a fixed formulawhich falls shortof its ambition-that of becoming a poetry of poetry that roots itself in the reality of the world as formed by the self-conscious, aesthetico-moralizing humanmind.

286 Perhaps this is one of the points in which Nietzsche's attractionto the optimistic romantic ideal is as strong as his aversion to it. For the lighter visage of the romantic,reverencetoward natureis of supreme importance. For example, Friedrich, the quintessentially romantic landscape painter,espoused one of the chief tenets of Schelling's Nature-philosophy: that "the artistmust follow the spiritof Natureworkingat the core of things."49Nietzsche, in his polemic against this, raises a two-fold objection: it is both too difficult and too facile as a way of living. Nietzsche's main objections to Stoicism are that it is illusory and directed destructively inward. But there is a sense in which he fosters a nostalgia for this "most spiritualwill to power" -this will to the recreation of the world, the possibility of which may be seen in the Stoic perversionof it. It is possible, of course, to speculate upon a way in which the Stoic temptation may be redeemed, within Nietzsche's framework. Such a move would requirenot the schizophrenic attempt to "live according to nature" and yet to deny that one is part of nature(as the Stoics do), but to drawfrom the model of nature and to locate itself in its grand political scheme of the agonistic squanderingof vital forces. Certainly,Nietzsche's will to power, with its foundationsof vitalism, pantheism,and hylozoism, or rootedness in nature,has strong romantic undercurrents. The "will to power" serves as Nietzsche's synonym for Life, the transindividual agency that enervatesindividualagents with force and vitality.Will to power is the enigmatic unitary life force from which everything animate and inanimatedraws.Moreover, Nietzsche customarilyportraysthe humanlink to this primordial life force as different from the strictly cognitive. Nietzsche's will to power then appears to correspond with what the romantics refer to as "Nature."In his post-Zarathustran works,Nietzsche seems to characterizeLife and Natureas two forms of the will to power.Life is will to power expressed in terms of anthropocentric incarnation; Nature is will to power manifested in its amoral, indifferent incarnation. The human soul lies at the intersection of Life and Nature, the two faces of the will to power. In addition, there is a sense in which Nietzsche's will to power coincides with Novalis's active formulationof romanticismas "qualitative

The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism potentializing," potentializing."By "qualitative Novalis meant to characterize the romantic quest as a reading of the world as if it were a book, and imagining, or writing, a book that could be consubstantialwith the world. Such an imperative would entail a reworking of the structureof the world, such that the commonplace is conferreda "highermeaning" whereas "the operation is reversed for the higher, unknown, mystical, infinite."50 Nevertheless, an undeniablepoint of rupture between Nietzsche and romanticismmay be laid out at this juncture. For Novalis, the romantic valorizationwas aimed at a rediscovery of the world's originalmeaning (which was a continuing task ratherthan an accomplishedhistorical achievement). While Nietzsche would be sympathetic to the dynamic natureof a valorization he would dismiss as mistaken or transvaluation, any attemptto discover a pre-existing or "original"meaning. Yet even the apparentlyundivided nature of Nietzsche's antipathytowardmetaphysicalrealism is not so simple. For instance, in the books of 1888, Nietzsche champions a position that he alternatelycalls "realism"and "naturalism," in contraposition to "idewhich he characterizes or "natalism."Nietzsche claims thata "realist" uralist,"as opposed to the "idealist,"is capable of viewing the world as it is, unrefractedby the lenses of metaphysics.It is also clear that in his maturephase, especially in Twilightof the Idols, The Anti-Christ,and Ecce Homo, that Dionysus is a figure who is a philosopher-godwho is indispensable to Nietzsche's project of the transvaluationof values because he has come to represent, in Nietzsche's eyes, the one, true reality. What seems to become apparentis the extent to which Nietzsche struggles with and is attracted to the ideals of the two types of Germanromanticism, and how he seeks to define his position in terms of a hybrid of scientific "realism"or and subjectivevalorization. "naturalism" I leave my analysis of Nietzsche's confrontation with Stoicism for his battle with Kant to illustrate further Nietzsche's persistent rootedness in the romantic fascination with irony. Nietzsche's critiqueof Kant (section 17) begins with his recalling Kant'sreply to the questionof how one acquires access to synthetic a priori judgments. For Nietzsche, "by virtue of a faculty" is Kant's answer,purifiedof its display of


Nietzsche as Masked Romantic


German profundity and curlicues. He then humorously draws a devastating parallel between Kant's reply to a line from the doctor in one of Moliere's plays: "How does opium induce sleep? By virtue of a faculty, namely the virtus ad ignorantiam,roars dormitiva."Argumentum Nietzsche the faun, the man-goat-god, rolling with laughter.Kant's"faculty"has laid philosophy's senses to sleep for too long. Nietzsche levels his attack on Kant based on what he views as the loss of an objective ground by which a synthetic a priorijudgment latches or "real"world. In fact, for onto the "natural" Nietzsche, physics (section 14), physiology (section 15), Darwinism (section 14), and logic (section 17)-actually all supposedlylegitimate world-explanations-are but interpretationsor exegeses of the world. He reiteratesthis point in the second chapter,where he states that "it is no more than a moral prejudicethat truth is worth more than appearance" (section 34). Nietzsche's homage to perspectivism, though, is not without appeal to some sort of objectivity. Unsurprisinglyperhaps,Nietzsche eventually arrives at a method and a vision which refer back to his romanticroots, despite his incorporationof novel elements. For Nietzsche, all past philosophizing,or even the very processof thinking itself, is but a relationof drivesto each other. These drives, in their agonistic desire to squander themselves, are powered by the desire to mastereach other,and thus recreatethe world in their own images. Hence, psychology,for Nietzsche, must be understood as the "morphology and the doctrine of the will to power" and must be reinstated as the queen of all sciences (section 23). Nietzsche's passion for psychology is bred from an aversion to the absolute lucidity that the Enlightenmentboasts to have access to, as well as a revulsion with the dreamyenslavement to obscurityhe attributesto what del Caro would term the "weaker"brandof romanticism. What Nietzsche seems to be aiming at is a "selfovercoming" of the various philosophical and scientific doctrines. Yet Nietzsche's goals and methods at achieving this self-overcomingultiextent, with his mately resonate,to a remarkable heritageof romanticism(s). The persistence of the romantic heritage in Nietzsche's writings is also glimpsed in his encomium to the "free spirits"-the "heraldsand precursorsof the philosophy of the future."'5'

Briefly, there are two general categories into which Nietzsche's remarkson these "free spirits"may be classified: (1) a descriptionby negation of the principalqualities of the free spirits, and (2) a positive descriptionof theirdistinctive features. For Nietzsche, a free spirit may be glimpsed only in sharp relief against the Don Quixote-esquefigures who sufferfor the sake of "truth"-these sophisticatedvengeance seekers and poison brewers, loafers and cobweb-spinners of the spirit.The penultimatefigure of decadence, for Nietzsche, is the philosopher-martyr who is a stage- and platform-bawlerin a "satyr play, merely an epilogue farce, merely the continued proof that the long, real tragedy is at an end, assuming thatevery real philosophywas in its genesis a long tragedy" (BGE, p. 37; JGB, p. 39). A free spirit is neither a dogmatistnor a blind advocateof the "CommonGood" (which, Nietzsche writes, is a contradiction in terms) (BGE and JGB, section 43). In contrast,a free spiritsings the ironic hymn
of the sancta simplicitas that venerates the will

to ignorance (or the will to the uncertainor the untrue)as a refinementratherthan a negationof the will to knowledge (BGE and JGB, section 24). He52strivesinstinctively for a citadel and a secrecy where he is saved from the crowd (BGE and JGB, section 26). He can listen to every coarse and subtle cynicism (as cynicism, Nietzsche posits, is the only form in which base souls approachhonesty) (BGE and JGB, section 26). He can dance to variant,unfamiliartempos (i.e., be capable of "the most delightful, daring nuances of free, free-spirited thought" [BGE, p. 40; JGB,p. 42]). He claims the "rightto a bad character"(BGE, p. 46; JGB, p. 49), i.e., one who accepts the responsibility of being impudent and the duty to "squintmaliciously out of every abyss of suspicion" (BGE, p. 46; JGB p. 49). A profoundspiritneeds and delights in a mask (BGE and JGB, section 40) and conserves himself from any inordinate attachment;theoretically, he conserves himself even from his own detachment (BGE and JGB, section 41). Such a spirit is an attempter,a tempter,and an experimenter(BGE and JGB, section 42). Ultimately, a "free, very free spirit"is the mortal enemy of the "leveler"(the one who "strives... for the green-pasturehappiness of the herd" [BGE,p. 54; JGB, p. 57]). It seems then that, using the language of

288 Schlegel, Nietzsche's free spirits are masters of ironic parabasis.They possess, harnessedwithin themselves, the vitality to suspend the farcical theater of the conventional.Theirs is a vitality that resists the subtlety and coarseness of the siren song of the herd. Theirs is a vitality that squints, with malicious humor,and dances with a freedom unknownto the victims of the leveler, across the stage upon which platform bawlers perform.Theirs is a vitality that simultaneously stalls and acceleratesthe slide into a decadentillusion till it reaches the point of its disruption and its recreation. Theirs is a vitality that, in its sardonically serene self-creation and selfdestruction, catalyses the self-overcoming of modernity.Unlike crabs, the free spirits cannot move backwards.Theirs is a destiny meant for the acceleration into decay of the present age and the rebirthof a new age. Of further interest to tracing the extent to which Nietzsche remains linked with romanticism is the chapterin BeyondGood and Evil entitled "Epigramsand Interludes."Strauss states that it is possible that this chapter is nothing more than a mosaic of snippetsrandomlystrung together.While it is true that there seems to be no specific topical ordering, it appears to me that many of these aphorismsare as the incendiary points upon which Nietzsche concentrates the rays of his earlier insights, using the form of the aphorismas a lens. Hence, with the exception of his aphorismson "women"(which seem to resonatewith Delacroix'sdandyism, as I have shown earlier), many of his earlier themes such as the relativityof knowledge, honesty,and virtue; the linkage of supposedly moral opposites;53the attributesof the free spirit;54 knowledge as a mask for instincts, emotions, and the will;55the primacyand inevitabilityof interpretations;56the contempt for the herd and the desire for secrecy and solitude;57 the loathsome illusions of Christianity and martyrdom;58 and the mask and the art of concealment59-reemerge in more opaque, purer forms. These themes, as we have seen, vibrate with romantic underpinningsinsofar as they implicitly elevate the values and projects of freedom, dynamism, spontaneity, and the veiled (or at least that which resists full exposure) as morally superior to those of fixity, stability,rule-governance,and the fully knowable. Hence, Nietzsche himself, though he hyperbolically stressed the arbitrari-

The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism ness of traditionalmoral ideals, implicitly upheld a notion of a stricthierarchyof values. As I have attemptedto illustrate,these ultimate values were more compatiblewith, ratherthan antithetical to, the romanticideals he undoubtedly struggled mightily against, but returnedto, as a means of ambivalentlyattemptingto purge various philosophical and scientific vantage points of what constituted,in his view, their inadequacies. That he neverovercameeitherhis romanticism(s) or their faults has been a crucial part of this preliminaryattemptto unmaskNietzsche's persistentand masked romanticism.

The purposeof this article has not been to show that Nietzsche remained a romantic in every sense imaginable. Rather, I have aimed at an excavation of the various romantic ideals that silently shape Nietzsche's later philosophy,despite his explicit and bitter denunciationsof romanticism at this stage. In brief,these persistent romanticinfluences include: (1) an attractionto the themes of transformation and a form of insight and communication that simultaneouslyresists utterlucidity and total darkness; (2) an intereston exploringthe linkage between the sublime and the fearful as seen in his later Dionysian aesthetic of creationand destruction; (3) an aesthetico-moralvision of life as the free expenditureof vital forces; (4) a form of heroism that demands both distance from the common rabbleand the ability to craft a mythology that can inspire and shape the public imagination; (5) an ambitionaimed at the total transvaluation or reworlding of the world through the birthing of a new "(anti-)religious"order that would vindicate the secular "divinity" of the world; (6) a consuming aspiration to be able to command both nature and especially the self, even to the point of the sacrifice of one's life for the sake of ideals; (7) a fluctuating ambivalencetowardthe "feminine"/"woman," ranging from an adoration of her as an Orientalizedvisage; a mixture of approvaland disgust in the figure of


Nietzsche as Mashed Romantic


the prostitute; and tite total rejection of "woman" out in the world-the "aborted feminists." In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche's link with romanticism becomcs even more evident in terms of his taking up the romantictraditions of eironeia and dissimulatio. By this, I mean: (1) the use of the mask and the smile as methods of attack; (2) the attempt to create a literary form which may be describedas a type of poetry which is self-aware and resists the hardening into formulae; and (3) parabasis, or the suspension and hastened descent into an imploding lie, which, in Nietzsche's case, meant belief in the various idols of the age of modernity. In taking this approach,I have tried to convey a certain amount of the extent to which Nietzsche did struggle against his romanticheritage, and attempted to rescue, in veiled form, the romanticidealsthatexerteda powerfulinfluence upon him undera bannerthathe labeled"antiromantic." Ultimately,Nietzsche's ostensibly antiromantic homage to and alliance with Dionysus necessitated that Nietzsche himself wear the Dionysian mask. It required that the all-toohuman spiritual disciple attempt to bear the weight of the secret of the vine and the deepest mysteries of life-a weight fitting for a tragic god, or a maskedromantic.As Taraba pointsout, the dangerinherentin such a degree of identification with Dionysus "is that the mask becomes the man."60 The mask of the laterDionysus, the of values and the regod of the transvaluation worlding of the world, is the civilized mask of the romantic dandy. The mask of the later Dionysus is essentially the mask of qualitative potentializing as it is the mask of the will to power. It is as essentially the mask worn by the romanticadorerof night-timevisions of sublime horrorthat slip free of enlightened rationalism, as it is the mask wornby the intoxicatedfollower of Dionysus, the god of blissful and horrifying ecstasies, the god shorn away from his Apollonian counterpart.It is this mask Nietzsche returns to, after he has tried on the various ill-fitting masks of traditional philosophers and scientists.It is this maskNietzsche could not tear away from his face for it had "wriggledinto his eyes and mouth"as it "weptand triedto be lyrical."61 This was the mask that clung lovingly to

him, creatingthe compelling and fearful visage thathad become Nietzsche's own face.

Departmentof Philosophy and Religious Studies Universityof Wisconsin-Eau Claire Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54702

1. I wish to thankthe refereesof TheJournalof Aesthetics and Art Criticismfor their insightful and constructivecomments and suggestions. I would also like to thankErnst-Jan Witt, Professor Joseph Kockelmans,loana Gogeanu, Monika Giacoppe, Carol Gould, and Alan Leidnerfor their help in obtaining copyrightpermissions. 2. Ernst Behler, Irony and the Discourse of Modernity (University of WashingtonPress, 1990), p. 50. or Hellenism 3. FriedrichNietzsche, TheBirth of Tragedy and Pessimism, trans. W. M. A. Haussmann (New York: GordonPress, 1974),p. 12. in Friedrich 4. WalterKaufmann,"Editor'sIntroduction," Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, trans. and ed. Walter Kaufmann (New York:Vintage Books, 1989), p. 204. 5. FriedrichNietzsche, Ecce Homo in Nietzsche Werke; Kritische Gesamtausgabe,eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari(Berlin: de Gruyter,1969), p. 55. 6. Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, trans. and ed. Kaufmann, pp. 217, 204. 7. FriedrichNietzsche, Der Wille zur Macht (The Will to Power),p. 8, cited by WalterKaufmann,Nietzsche;Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (New York: Vintage Books, 1968), p. 15. 8. Kaufmann,Philosopher, Psychologist,Antichrist, p. 15. 9. Adriandel Caro,TheRole of Destructionin Creationas Reflectedin the Life and Works of FriedrichNietzsche,European University Studies (Frankfurt:Peter D. Lang, 1981),
p. 11.

10. Ibid., p. 12. 11. Ibid.,pp. 12-13. 12. Adrian del Caro, Nietzsche Contra Nietzsche; Creativity and the Anti-Romantic(Louisiana State University Press, 1989), p. 5. 13. Ibid., p. 24. 14. Del Caro sets up a differentopposition: for him, the "weaker type" of romanticism would be analogous to the type of romanticismI associate with Friedrich,and to which Nietzsche, even in his post-Zarathustran phase, sought to create a healthieralternative.In my view, Nietzsche, despite his attempts and pronouncements,sinks into a more pessimistic/unhealthytype of romanticism,similarto thatpracticed by Delacroix, in the final phases of his post-Zarathustran works. 15. Such an accountconverges with Behler's position on Nietzsche's persistentromanticism-a position I build from in section II of this article-yet whereas Behler places his stress upon the parallelismsbinding the Schlegel/Nietzsche positions, as fundamentallyrooted in Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy period, I groundthe comparisonsI make in both visual and literary terms, showing how the microscopic picture of Nietzsche's romanticismsreflect the larger,macroscopic backdropagainst which these two general types of

romanticisms may be seen. Although Behler does devote one chapterto romanticvisual art and music, the visual artists he discusses, Raphael and Diirer,are not generally recognized as quintessentially romantic painters the way Friedrichand Delacroix were and are; neitherare Raphael's and Durer'spaintings themselvesthe directobjects of investigation in Behler's study. Instead, Behler relies heavily upon the theories that Wackenroderand Tieck impose as romantic frameworks in interpreting/rewriting/rereading these paintings. In contrast,the approachI take begins with the paintings as direct and vivid illustrationsof the romanticisms that sculpted Nietzsche's own thought, even in his so-called postromanticphase. Cf. ErnstBehler,GermanRomantic LiteraryTheory (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 1993), pp. 111-130, 222-259. 16. See, for instance,Hoffmeister's"workingdefinitionof Litin the preface to EuropeanRomanticism; Romanticism" erary Cross-Currents,Modes and Models, ed. Gerhard Hoffmeister(WayneStateUniversityPress, 1990),pp. 14-15. 17. For Honour,individualsensibility alone, the sole aesthetic faculty for the romantics,seems to be the only defining featureof romanticism.Cf.: Hugh Honour,Romanticism (New York:Harperand Row, 1979), p. 20. 18. Arthur 0. Lovejoy, "On the Discriminationsof Romanticisms" (1923) in Essays in the History of Ideas, ed. Arthur0. Lovejoy (Johns Hopkins UniversityPress, 1948), pp. 228-253. Lovejoy lateradopteda less restrictiveattitude to romanticism; cf. his The Great Chain of Being (1936; New York:Harperand Row, 1960), pp. 288-314. 19. For a concise and articulate exposition on the difficulties a historianundergoestrying to plot when and where romanticism began, and more importantly,what romanticism is, refer to Morse Peckham,Romanticismand Behaviour, Collected Essays II (University of South Carolina Press, 1976), pp. 3-5. 20. JosephLeo Koerner,Caspar David Friedrichand the Subjectof Landscape(London: ReaktionBooks Ltd., 1990), p. 24. 21. Ibid. 22. Heinrich von Kleist, Berliner Abendbldtter, 12 Blatt, 13 October 1810, pp. 47-48, quoted in William Vaughan, HelmutBorsch-Supan,and Hans JoachimNeidhart,Caspar David Friedrich(London: The Tate Gallery, 1972), p. 107. 23. Koerner,pp. 54-57. 24. Kleist, BerlinerAbendbldtter, from Koerner,p. 212. 25. Vaughan, Borsch-Supan, and Neidhardt, Caspar David Friedrich,p. 16. 26. Nietzsche,Ecce Homo,trans.anded. Kaufmann, p. 265. 27. Nehamasmakes a similarobservation:"style,which is what Nietzsche requires and admires, involves controlled multiplicity and resolved conflict." See Alexander Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature(Harvard University Press, 1985), p. 7. 28. Rene Huyghe, Delacroix (London: HarryN. Abrams, Inc., 1963), p. 78. 29. Quoted in Claude Roger-Marx and Sabine Cott6, Delacroix, trans. Lynn Michelman (New York: George Braziller, 1971), p. 28. 30. Ibid., p. 98. 31. Huyghe, p. 129. 32. Michel Le Bris, Romantics and Romanticism(New York:Rizzoli International Publications, 1981), p. 144. 33. Huyghe, p. 175.

The Journalof Aesthetics and Art Criticism

34. Le Bris, p. 146. 35. FriedrichNietzsche, Twilightof the Idols, trans. Anthony Ludovici (New York: Gordon Press, 1974), p. 88; Nietzsche, G6tzen Dammerung in Nietzsche Werke,Krieds. GiorgioColli and MazzinoMontische Gesamtausgabe, tinari (Berlin: de Gruyter,1969), p. 128. 36. Le Bris, p. 134. 37. Ibid., p. 133. 38. Huyghe, p. 280. 39. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Joyful Wisdom, trans. Thomas Common (New York:GordonPress, 1974),p. 102; in SamtlicheWerke; KriNietzsche, Frohliche Wissenschaft, tische Studienausgabe, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari(Berlin and New York:de Gruyter,1988), p. 427. 40. FriedrichNietzsche, Ecce Homo, trans. and ed. Kaufmann, p. 264; Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, in Nietzsche Werke; KritischeGesamtausgabe,eds. Colli and Montinari,p. 301. 41. Ibid., p. 267; Ibid., p. 304. 42. Forquotationsattestingto the positive value Friedrich placed upon his hermeticism, which was often misinterpreted as misanthropy, refer to Koerner, Caspar David Friedrich,p. 66. For Lou Salome's impressionson the overwhelming sense of reclusiveness that Nietzsche unconsciously exuded, refer to Hugh Adam Reyburn,Nietzsche; The Story of a Human Philosopher (Westport,CT: Greenwood Press, 1973), pp. 286-287. 43. Adriandel Caro,Dionysian Aesthetics,p. 12. 44. Behler, Irony and the Discourse of Modernity, pp. 73-92. 45. FriedrichSchlegel, Kritische Ausgabe seiner Werke, ed. ErnstBehler (Paderborn-Munchen: Schoningh, 1958-), vol. 2, p. 160. Referencesto KritischeAusgabe seiner Werke will be indicatedparentheticallyin the text with the abbreviation Kritische.FriedrichSchlegel, Lucindeand the Fragments, trans. Peter Firchow (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971), p. 155. 46. FriedrichNietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. WalterKaufmann(New York:Vintage Books, 1989), p. 1; FriedrichNietzsche, Jenseits von Gut undBose in Nietzsche Werke;Kritische Gesamtausgabe, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (Berlin, Germany:de Gruyter, 1968), p. 3. Referencesto these works will be given parenthetically in the text with the following abbreviations: the Kaufmann translation,BGE; Jenseits von Gut und Bose, eds. Colli and Montinari,JGB. 47. Banquet, 203e-204a, from Leo Strauss, Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy(University of Chicago Press, 1983), p. 175. 48. For an excellent discussion of dissimulatio and eironeia in aphorism40 of Beyond Good and Evil, refer to pp. 96-97. Behler,Ironyand the Discourse of Modernity, der bildenden 49. F W J. Schelling, Uber das Verhaltnis Kunste zu der Natur; SammtlicheWerke(Stuttgart: 1860), vol. 7, p. 292, as cited by Vaughanet al., Caspar David Friedrich,p. 14. 50. Novalis, Novalis:Schriften,vol. 2, eds. PaulKluckhorn and Richard Samuel (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1960), p. 545, as cited by Koerner,CasparDavid Friedrich,p. 24. 51. Strauss,p. 175. 52. Nietzsche genders his "free spirit"as masculine. 53. For example, see Beyond Good and Evil, aphorisms 63-68, 73, 73a, 79, 80-82, 93, 95, 96, 101, 107, 116, 128, 132, 135, 149, 152, 154, 162, 175-177, 180, 184.


Nietzsche as Masked Romantic

Dithyrambs"(Speech Delivered at the University of Minnesota on February 17, 1977), cited by del Caro,Dionysian Aesthetics,p. 141. of the poem as read on BritishPoets 61. Froma transcript of our Time:RogerMcGoughand BrianPatten,ed. PeterOrr (London: Decca Records, 1974/1975).

54. Ibid., aphorisms69, 70, 87, 94, 96, 105. 55. Ibid., aphorisms70-71, 83, 106, 128, 137, 158. 56. Ibid., aphorisms89, 91, 108, 121, 138. 57. Ibid., aphorisms77, 99, 100, 112, 156, 160-161. 58. Ibid., aphorisms104, 124, 168, 181. 59. Ibid., aphorisms65a, 130, 169. Nietzsche's Dionysus 60. Wolfgang F. Taraba,"Friedrich