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Subject: The ‘Monster’ Myth About ‘Being Wagner [Please do not kill the messenger's messenger's forwarder]
From: janosG <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:janosG <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Feb 2018 12:18:14 -0800

text/plain (31 lines)

  A very, very, very controversial book and review... but worth looking at both:

The gist of the review for those thwarted by the paywall:
The ‘Monster’ Myth About ‘Being Wagner’
More than a century after his death, Wagner is widely caricatured as repellant and unredeemable.
By Joseph Horowitz (the FB member or same name?)

There are three basic sources for depicting Wagner the man. First there are his operas, which remain as vital to the Western cultural canon as ever.

Second there is his personal behavior, copiously recorded in letters and other written accounts.

Third there are his essays, notoriously including the egregiously anti-Semitic “Judaism in Music” of 1850. Though any portrait of Wagner that begins with the essays will necessarily be prejudiced against him, this is a typical route. There are even influential writers on Wagner who disdain considering the operas altogether.
The Wagner literature disposes of Neumann, Hermann Levi and other Jews in the Wagner orbit as studies in self-hatred. Such an approach is patronizing and obtuse. A fairer question is why Wagner wrote and spoke such intolerable nonsense about Jews. Reasons of a sort may be adduced.

But the simple fact is that his evil anti-Semitism does not align with his actual behavior. That behavior is often elusive because Wagner was a consummate actor. He wore many faces. Was he a master imposter, or was he (as his letters suggest) helplessly inhabited by a repertoire of demonic personae? <snip>

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