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Nietzsche's Orphans – Music, Metaphysics, and the Twilight of the Russian Empire - Yale Scholarship Online
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Nietzsche's Orphans: Music, Metaphysics, and the Twilight of the Russian Empire

Rebecca Mitchell


This book explores how, amid the final tumultuous years of the Russian empire, music was viewed as a powerful force with the ability to overcome the social, political, and ethnic divisions that, it was feared, were tearing the empire asunder. Drawing on German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s description of music as the “Dionysian” force and the “primal unity” that underpinned reality itself, Russian cultural elites (philosophers, historians, musicians and writers) argued that music promised an important means through which to forge a unified Russian identity within a society increasingly thr ... More

Keywords: musical metaphysics, philosophy, Nietzsche’s orphans, unity, Orpheus, Russian identity, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Medtner, Nietzsche

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780300208894
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300208894.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rebecca Mitchell, author
Middlebury College