From the moment my soul was first astounded by Mozart's music and humbly bowed in admiration, it has often been a favorite and refreshing occupation for me to deliberate on the way that happy Greek view of the world that calls the world a xo!lo~ [cosmos] because it manifests itself as a well-organized whole, as an elegant, transparent adornment for the spirit that acts upon and operates throughout it, the way that happy view lets itself be repeated in a higher order of things, in the world of ideals, the way there is here again a ruling wisdom especially wonderful at uniting what belongs together, Axel with Valborg, Homer with the Trojan War, Raphael with Catholicism, Mozart with Don Juan. There is a paltry disbelief that seems to contain considerable healing power. It thinks that such a connection is accidental and sees nothing more in it than a very fortunate conjunction of the various forces in the game of life. It thinks that it is accidental that the lovers find each other, accidental that they love each other. There might have been a hundred other girls with whom he could have been just as happy, whom he could have lovedjust as much. It considers that many a poet has lived who would have been just as immortal as Homer if that glorious subject matter had not been taken over by him, many a composer who would have been just as immortal as Mozart if the opportunity had offered itself. This wisdom contains considerable consolation and balm for all mediocrities, who thereby see themselves in a position to delude themselves and like-minded people into thinking that they did not become as exceptional as the exceptional ones because of a mistaken identification on the part of fate, a mistake on the part of the world. This produces a very convenient optimism. But it is abhorrent, of course, to every highminded soul, every optimate, to whom it is not as important to rescue himself in such a paltry manner as it is to lose himself by contemplating greatness; whereas it is a delight to his soul, a sacred joy, to see united that which belongs together. This is good fortune, not in the sense of the accidental, and thus presupposes two factors, whereas the accidental consists in the un articulated interjections of fate. This is good fortune in history, the divine interplay of the historic forces, the festival period of the historic epoch. The accidental has only one factor: It is accidental that Homer, in the history of the Trojan War, acquired the most remarkable epic subject matter imaginable. Good fortune has two factors: It is fortunate that this most remarkable epic subject matter came into the hands of Homer. Here the emphasis is just as much on Homer as on the subject matter. Here is the deep harmony that pervades every production we call classic. So also with Mozart: It is fortunate that the perhaps sole musical theme (in the more profound sense) was given to-Mozart. With his Don Giovanni, Mozart joins that little immortal band of men whose names, whose works, time will not forget because eternity recollects them. And although it makes no difference, once one is in, whether one ranks highest or lowest-because in a certain sense everyone ranks equally highsince all rank infinitely high, and although it is just as childish to argue about first and last places here as it is to argue about the place assigned in church on confirmation day, I am still too much of a child, or, more correctly, I am infatuated, like a young girl, with Mozart, and I must have him rank in first place, whatever it costs. And I will go to the deacon and the pastor and the dean and the bishop and the whole church council, and I will beseech and implore them to grant my request, and I will challenge the whole congregation on the same matter, and if my appeal is not heard, my childish wish not fulfilled, then I will secede from the association, then I will divorce myself from its way of thinking, then I will form a sect that not only places Mozart first but has no one but Mozart. And I will beseech Mozart to forgive me that his music did not inspire me to great deeds but made me a fool who, because of him, lost the little sense I had and now in quiet sadness usually passes the time humming something I do not understand, and like a ghost prowls night and day around something I cannot enter. mmortal Mozart! You to whom lowe everything-to whom lowe that I lost my mind, that my soul was astounded, that I was terrified at the core of my being-you to whom I owe that I did not go through life without encountering something that could shake me, you whom I thank because I did not die without having loved, even though my love was unhappy. No wonder, then, that I am much more zealous for his glorification than for the happiest moment of my own life, much more zealous for his immortality than for my own existence [TilvtXr]. Indeed, ifhe were taken away, ifhis name were blotted out, that would demolish the one pillar that until now has prevented everything from collapsing for me into a boundless chaos, into a dreadful nothing. Yet I certainly need not fear that any age will deny him a place in that kingdom of the gods, but I do need to be prepared for people to find it childish of me to insist that he have first place. And although I by no means propose to feel ashamed of my childishness, although it will always have more significance and value for me than any exhaustive consideration precisely because it is inexhaustible, I shall nevertheless try by way of deliberation to demonstrate his legitimate claim. In a classic work, good fortune-that which makes it classic and immortal-is the absolute correlation of the two forces. This correlation is so absolute that a subsequent reflective age will scarcely be able, even in thought, to separate that which is so intrinsically conjoined without running the danger of causing or fostering a misunderstanding. For example, if it is said that it was Homer's good fortune that he acquired that most exceptional epic subject matter, this can lead one to forget that we always have this epic subject matter through Homer's conception, and the fact that it appears to be the most perfect epic subject matter is clear to us only in and through the transubstantiation due to Homer. If, however, Homer's poetic work in permeating the subject matter is emphasized, then one runs the risk of forgetting that the poem would never have become what it is if the idea with which Homer permeated it was not its own idea, if the form was not the subject matter's own form. The poet wishes for his subject matter, but, as they say, wishing is no art; this is quite correct and truthfully applies to a host of powerless poetic wishes. To wish properly, however, is a great art, or, more correctly, it is a gift. It is the inexplicability and mysteriousness of genius, just as with a divining rod [nskeqvist], which never has the notion to wish [enske] except in the presence of that for which it wishes. Hence, wishing has a far deeper significance than it ordinarily does; indeed, to abstract reason it appears ludicrous, since it rather thinks of wishing in connection with what is not present, not in connection with what is present. There was a school of estheticians who, because of a onesided emphasis on the significance of form, were not without guilt in occasioning the diametrically opposite misunderstanding. It has often struck me that these estheticians were as a matter of course attached to Hegelian philosophy, inasmuch as both a general knowledge of Hegel and a special knowledge of his esthetics give assurance that he strongly emphasizes, especially with regard to the esthetic, the importance of the subject matter. Both parts, however, essentially belong together, and a single observation will be sufficient to show this, since otherwise a phenomenon of this sort would be inexplicable. Ordinarily, it is a single work or a single suite of works that marks the particular individual as a classic poet, artist, etc. The same individuality may have produced many different things, but they are not to be compared with it. For example, Homer also wrote a Batrachomyomachia but did not become a classic writer or immortal through it. To say that this is due to the unimportance of the theme is indeed foolish, since the classic consists in the balance. Now, if whatever makes a classic work classic lies simply and solely in the producing individual, then everything he produced would inevitably be classic, somewhat in the sense, although higher, in which bees always produce a certain kind of cell. To answer that it was due to his having been more fortunate with the one than with the other would really say nothing. For one thing, this is merely a splendid tautology that all too frequently in life enjoys the honor of being regarded as an answer; for another, as an answer it pertains to a relativity other than that of the question. It throws no light on the relation between subject matter and form and at best could come under consideration if the question pertained solely to the formative activity. It is likewise the case with Mozart that only one of his works makes him a classic composer and absolutely immortal. That work is Don Giovanni. Everything else he has composed can please and delight, arouse our admiration, enrich the soul, satisfy the ear, delight the heart; but no service is done to him and his immortality by throwing everything together and making it all equally great. Don Giovanni is his reception piece. With Don Giovanni, he enters that eternity which lies not outside time but in the midst of it, which is not hidden from the eyes of men by any curtain, into which the immortals are not admitted once and for all but are continually being admitted, inasmuch as the generation passes by and directs its gaze toward them, is happy in its contemplation of them, goes to its grave, and the next generation in turn goes by and is transfigured in contemplating them. With his Don Giovanni, Mozart enters the rank of those immortals, of those visibly transfigured ones, whom no cloud takes away" from the eyes of men; with Don Giovanni he stands supreme among them. This last assertion, as I said above, I shall attempt to demonstrate. All classic productions rank equally high, as previously noted, because each one ranks infinitely high. Consequently, if one nevertheless wants to introduce a certain order into this series, it stands to reason that it cannot be based on anything essential, for that would mean that there was an essential difference, and that in turn would mean that the word "classic" was wrongly predicated of all of them. If a classification were based on the dissimilar nature of the subject matter, one would immediately be involved in a misunderstanding, which in its wider extension would end with the annulment of the whole concept of the classic. The subject matter is an essential element, inasmuch as it is one factor, but it is not the absolute, since it is only one element. It could be pointed out that in a sense certain kinds of classic works have no subject matter, whereas in others, however, the subject matter plays a very important role. The former is the case with works we admire as classic in architecture, sculpture, music, painting-especially the first three, and even in painting, insofar as there is any question of subject matter it has importance almost solely as an occasion. The second is true of poetry, this word understood in its widest meaning to denote all artistic production that is based on language and the historical consciousness. This comment is in itself altogether correct, but it is a mistake to base a classification on it by regarding the absence or presence of subject matter as an advantage or a detriment to the creative individual. If it is strictly understood, the result will be to argue the very opposite of what was really intended, as is always the case when one moves abstractly in dialectical qualifications, where it is the case that one not only says one thing and means something else but says something else; what one thinks one is saying one does not say but says the opposite. So it is when the subject matter is made the principle of division. In speaking of it, one speaks of something entirely different: namely, the formative activity. But the same thing happens if one starts with the formative activity and emphasizes it alone. In maintaining the distinction here and emphasizing that in some respects the formative activity is creative to the degree that it creates the subject matter in the process, whereas in other respects it receives the subject matter, then here again, although one thinks one is speaking of the formative activity, one is actually speaking of the subject matter and is basing the classification on the division of the subject matter. The same holds for the formative activity as the point of departure in such a classification as for the subject matter. Consequently, a single aspect cannot be used as the basis for an order of rank, because it is still too essential to be sufficiently accidental, too accidental to be a basis for an essential ranking. But this thoroughgoing mutual permeation-which justifies saying, if one wishes to speak clearly, that the subject matter permeates the form and also that the form permeates the subject matter-this mutual permeation, this like-for-like in the immortal friendship of the classic, may serve to illuminate the classic from a new side and to limit it in such a way that it does not become too copious. In fact, the estheticians who one-sidedly stressed the poetic activity have broadened this concept so much that this pantheon became adorned, indeed, overdecorated, to such a degree with classic knickknacks and bagatelles that the unsophisticated notion of a cool hall with a few particular great figures utterly vanished, and instead that pantheon became a storage attic. According to this esthetic view, every artistically skillful little dainty is a classic work that is assured of absolute immortality; indeed, in this kind of hocus-pocus, such trifles are admitted first of all. Although paradoxes are otherwise detested, the paradox that the least was actually art, was not dismaying. The untruth was in a one-sided emphasis on the formal activity. Therefore, such an esthetic view could last only for a certain period, that is, so long as there was no awareness that time mocked it and its classic works. In the realm of esthetics, this view was a form of the radicalism that has similarly manifested itself in so many spheres; it was an expression of the unbridled producing individual in his equally unbridled lack of substance. Like so many others, however, this effort found its subduer in Hegel. It is a sad truth about Hegelian philosophy that on the whole it has by no means achieved the importance, neither for the past nor for the present age, that it would have achieved if the past age had not been so busy scaring people into it but had rather possessed a little more calm presence of mind in appropriating it to itself, and if the present age had not been so indefatigably active in driving people beyond it.