Wagner: Race and Revolution

Overview

It has long been acknowledged that Richard Wagner was a virulent anti-Semite, yet the composer has also been characterized as an idealistic revolutionary. In this fascinating book, Paul Lawrence Rose argues that for Wagner, as for many other Germans, the idea of revolution always contained a racial and antisemitic core. He offers fresh and stimulating interpretations of Wagner's music based on an analysis of their revolutionary and anti-Semitic elements.

"An epoch-making study of Wagner's antisemitism-the most ...

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Overview

It has long been acknowledged that Richard Wagner was a virulent anti-Semite, yet the composer has also been characterized as an idealistic revolutionary. In this fascinating book, Paul Lawrence Rose argues that for Wagner, as for many other Germans, the idea of revolution always contained a racial and antisemitic core. He offers fresh and stimulating interpretations of Wagner's music based on an analysis of their revolutionary and anti-Semitic elements.

"An epoch-making study of Wagner's antisemitism-the most important work on the subject now available."-Barry Millington, New Statesman

"A pioneering and realistic study."-Conor Cruise O'Brien, Sunday Telegraph

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In this close study of the composer's work, personality, and culture, Rose (History, U. of Haifa, Israel) argues that Wagner did not suddenly change from a progressive revolutionary into a reactionary racist; for him, as for many other Germans, the idea of revolution always contained a racial and antisemitic core. He offers new understanding of the genesis of the Ring operas and fresh interpretations of several others based on an analysis of revolutionary and antisemitic elements. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300067453
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction The Problem: The Two Wagners 1
1 The German Revolution and the Birth of a New Antisemitism 6
Fichte's Legacy 6
Fichte's Heirs 11
2 Wagner's Early Revolutionism 1813-47 23
The Young German 23
The Romantic Nationalist 27
The Young Hegelian 28
The Heinean 31
A Normal Revolutionary Antisemite 35
3 Wagner Turns on Meyerbeer: The Struensee and Rienzi Scandals of 1847 40
'An alien element in German literary life' 40
'The tendency of the time to sink into utter worthlessness' 44
4 An Epiphany: Revolutionism and Antisemitism 1848-9 49
The Revolutionary Faith: Jesus and 'Judaism' 50
Revolutionaries: Feuerbach, Rockel, Bakunin, Proudhon 58
Race and Revolutionism in the Ring 66
5 Revolutionary Antisemitism 1849-50: 'Judaism in Music' 73
Meyerbeer and Paris Revisited, 1849-50 74
'Judaism in Music' 78
6 A New Dream of Revolution 1850-64: Schopenhauer and Aryan Christianity 89
7 A New German Politics 1864-76: German Culture and German Politics 102
8 Apologizing for Wagner: Wagner's Jewish Friends and the Antisemitic Petition 119
The 'House-Jews': Levi, Tausig, Rubinstein 119
The Breaking of Berthold Auerbach 124
The Antisemitic Petition and Angelo Neumann 128
9 Regeneration and Redemption 1876-83 135
Race and Regeneration: Darwin, Gleizes and Gobineau 136
Aryan Christianity in the Regeneration Writings 141
Parsifal and the Racial Revolution 158
10 Looking Back 170
An Operatic Career 170
A Revolutionary Career 173
11 Looking Forward 177
Revolutionary Destruction, Revolutionary Redemption 177
The Revolutionary Racial Redeemer 181
Appendix A Berthold Auerbach: 'Richard Wagner and the Self-respect of the Jews' 185
Appendix B Wagner in Israel 189
Notes 193
Further Reading 233
Index 235
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