A Gesamtkunstwerk Relationship?
The relationship between Wagner and Nietzsche was of a polarised intensity. Nietzsche went from being one of Wagner’s closest friends and admirers, to being his an ardent critic and fervent enemy. In his work The Birth of Tragedy (1868), Nietzsche regards Wagner as the redeemer of Greek tragedy and a force of good on the future of music. Yet by The Case of Wagner (1888), Wagner is shown to embody a disease, draining the last remaining life from German music and not only personifying, but actively leading the way in the cultural decadence that Nietzsche saw to be consuming contemporary society.