In London last June, walking back from Quaker Meeting at Friends House on Euston Road, a lovely Sunday afternoon was made even lovelier by the discovery of Judd Books, on Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury. There, amid the used and dusty books, I found Wagner: A Case History, by Martin van Amerongen. I not only did not have this 1983 volume in my library; I did not even know of its existence, and at...
As a boundless admirer of Wagner’s art and of much of his artistic thought, I vacillate between horror and laughter when I encounter fragments of his writing on social and philosophical matters. A recent reading of Leon Stein’s The Racial Thinking of Richard Wagner (1950) prompted the latter response. Outside of the world of music […]
While in Bayreuth this past August I paid my first visit in five years to Wahnfried, and was delighted to find that it had not been eviscerated, which the construction site a few years ago seemed to presage. I miss the chairs, the piped-music and the tranquility of the great room that I first entered […]
Richard Wagner was an artist and a revolutionary nationalist. A fundamental rationale for his work was its function as a mythic summons to the volk – the German people – to remember their common and distinct heritage. He saw the Ring, in particular, as the great story of the roots of the German people, resonating […]
An article appearing in the current issue of Wagner Journal addresses a subject about which I had been completely uninformed. The lead sentence: Richard Wagner’s eldest daughter, Isolde, had the idea of celebrating his 67th birthday on 22 May 1880 by wrapping the pots of gift rosebushes with paintings representing each year of his life. […]