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The Ring of the Nibelung
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wherein they differ from him, but that wherein they resemble him. Moreover what the one imitates, and the other ‘interprets,’ is one thing and the same: Nature; the distinction lies in the How, and in the means employed. The plastic artist, who cannot reproduce his model, the poet who cannot reproduce the reported incident in full reality, foregoes the exhibition of so many of his object’s attributes as he deems needful to sacrifice in order to display one principal attribute in so enhanced a fashion that it shall make known forthwith the character of the whole, and thus one glance at this one side shall reveal [P. 81] what a demonstration of the object’s every side can make intelligible to none but the physiologist, or, in questions of Art, the aesthetic judgment: i.e. to the judgment of just the plastic or poetic artist. Through this restriction the plastic artist and poet arrive at that intensifying of their object and its re-presentment which answers to the conception of the Ideal, and through a wholly successful idealisation, that is to say, a realisation of the Ideal, they obtain an effect completely indemnifying us for the impossible inspection of every facet of the object’s manifestation in Time and Space; and to such an extent, that this mode of representment is acknowledged to be the only resultful, nay, the only possible method of dealing with real objects, their aspects being inexhaustible.

{FEUER} To this ideal, the only veritable art, however, the mime steps up with all the matter-of-fact-ness of an object moving in Time and Space, and gives the man who compares him with the picture somewhat the terrifying impression as though a mirror-image were descending from its glass and walking up and down the room before our eyes. (…) {FEUER} (…) He presents himself as Nature’s intermediate link, through which that absolutely realistic Mother of all Being incites the Ideal within you. Like as [P. 82] no human Reason (Vernunft) can discharge the commonest diurnal act of Nature and yet she never tires of forcing herself in constant newness on Reason's apprehension: so the mime reveals to the poet or potter ever new, untold and countless possibilities of human being, to be fathomed by him who could invent not one of these possibilities, by him to be redeemed into a higher being. – This is Realism in its relation to Idealism. Both belong to Art’s domain, and their difference lies in that between the imitation and the interpretation (Nachbildung) of Nature.” [730W-{9-12/67} German Art and German Policy: PW Vol. IV, p. 80-82]

 

[731W-{9-12/67} German Art and German Policy: PW Vol. IV, p. 84]

[P. 84] {FEUER} “ … Nature alone supplies a model for aesthetic moulding (Nachbildung), whereas Culture can become an object of nothing but mechanical imitation. A wretched state of things indeed, in which nothing but a monkey-nature could really feel at ease. Against it no rebellion of the man was possible; for only through a glance at the Ideal, does he consciously step outside the circle drawn by Nature.” [731W-{9-12/67} German Art and German Policy: PW Vol. IV, p. 84]

 

[732W-{9-12/67} German Art and German Policy: PW Vol. IV, p.107-108]

[P. 107] {FEUER} “Here came to consciousness and received its plain expression, what German is: to wit, the thing one does for its own sake, for very joy of doing it; whereas Utilitarianism, namely the principle whereby a thing is done for sake of some personal end, ulterior to the thing itself, was shown to be un-German. The German virtue herein expressed thus coincided with the highest principle of aesthetics, through it perceived, according to which the ‘objectless’ (das Zwecklose) alone is beautiful, because, being an end (Zweck) in itself, in revealing its nature as lifted high

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