Nietzsche, Max Klinger and Eliot's "Triumphal March"

Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation


Eliot’s Beethoven-inspired Coriolan I "'Triumphal March" (1931) responds to and challenges the right-wing reception of Beethoven and Nietzsche in interwar Germany. Parodying the interpretation of both composer and philosopher as military heroes, Eliot’s poem instead invokes Beethoven in the idealist spirit of the Vienna Secession’s 1902 Beethoven art exhibition. In particular, "Triumphal March" reveals itself as an ekphrastic response to Max Klinger’s 1902 "Beethoven", a polychromous sculpture which portrayed the composer as a Promethean artist-hero aligned with the Übermensch of Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-5).
Period25 Sept 2022
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Beethoven, Nietzsche, fascism, ubermensch, sculpture