chapter  8
11 Pages

Whoever cannot give, also receives nothing: Nietzsche’s playful spectator


To begin, we should first consider Nietzsche’s discussion of the artist. In ‘The Will to Power as Art’ we find that the artist stands apart from the rest of society, that is, belongs to a different race, and so is to be distinguished from those who are not artists. Whereas the non-artists remain passive or part of the herd, the artists engage in active creation and giving. As Nietzsche writes,

This is what distinguishes the artist from laymen (those susceptible to art): the latter reach the high point of their susceptibility when they receive; the former as they give – so that antagonism between these two gifts is not only natural but desirable. The perspectives of these two states are opposite: to demand of the artist that he should practice the perspective of the audience (of the critic –) means to demand that he should impoverish himself and his creative power – . . . that he should receive.