SA much-quoted (and often abbreviated) saying from 1949 that writing a poem after Auschwitz was barbaric was later extended by Theodor W. Adorno beyond poetry: the idea of a German culture resurrected after Auschwitz was “apparent and nonsensical”. Under such premises, what about the courage of a singer who tried to “keep his inner life awake in a chaotic environment”? How could Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau dare, as a singing poet, to “illuminate the heart chambers of German-Romantic inwardness” and yet, also on a meta-musical level, become a symbol of a resurgent nation, also in England and the USA?
“We would know less without him, we would have lived less,” wrote Ivan Nagel on the singer’s sixtieth birthday. “No: without him, we would have experienced less.” (Does this also speak of self-assurance of one’s own ability to experience, the goodness of one’s own feelings?) The much-vaunted man himself has adapted to his “life in draft” and “life in probation” remembering, said: “My artistic achievement was hardly ever appreciated in the way it actually deserved.” It may have been only a wistful sigh, but it betrays the root instinct of the artist seeking recognition, as Nietzsche described it in “Die Abendröte of art” described: “As a wonderful remnant, as a wonderful stranger and far away, on whose strength and beauty the happiness of earlier times depended”.
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