This is a clear and lucid account of Nietzsche's philosophy of art, combining exegesis, interpretation and criticism in a judicious balance. Julian Young argues that Nietzsche's thought about art can only be understood in the context of his wider philosophy. In particular, he discusses the dramatic changes in Nietzschean aesthetics against the background of the celebrated themes of the death of God, eternal recurrence, and the idea of the UEbermensch. Young then divides Nietzsche's career and his philosophy of art into four distinct phases, but suggests that these phases describe a circle. An attempt at world-affirmation is made in the central phases, but Nietzsche is predominantly influenced at the beginning and end of his career by a Schopenhauerian pessimism. At the beginning and end art is important because it 'redeems' us from life.
"Young has written a mature piece of scholarship that anchors Nietzsche's philosophy of art in Schopenhauerian pessimism...The author is intimately acquainted with Nietzsche's oeuvre and puts this detailed knowledge of Nietzsche's general philosophy to work in an intriguing, cogent, and comprehensive analysis of Nietzschean aesthetics." Choice "...this is a lively and polemical work that anyone interested in aesthetics or Nietzsche (pro or con) ought to experience." Review of Metaphysics "...a lucidly presented biography of Nietzsche the aesthetician. Its challenges to longstanding interpretations of Nietzsche's career and its relation to Schopenhauer are well worth careful consideration by both Nietzsche scholars and anyone interested in nineteenth century aesthetic theory." Canadian Philosophical Review "Given the centrality of art for Nietzsche it is surprising that Julian Young's book is the first to address its import for Nietzsche's philosophy as a whole. For this reason alone Nietzsche's Philosophy of Art is a welcome addition to the growing literature on Nietzsche in English. More than that, this study contains a comprehensive, yet concise, account of this topic that soberly elucidates and evaluates Nietzsche's shifting arguments and positions." Daniel L. Tate, Review of Metaphysics