In addition to being an outstanding composer, Richard Wagner was once additionally a big thinker. Julian younger starts off by way of reading the philosophy of paintings and society Wagner constructs in the course of his time as a progressive anarchist-communist. Modernity, Wagner argued, is to be rescued from its present anomie in the course of the rebirth of Greek tragedy (the unique Gesamtkunstwerk) within the kind of the “artwork of the future," an art of which his personal operas are the prototype.
Young then examines the solely diverse philosophy Wagner constructs after his 1854 conversion from Hegelian optimism to Schopenhauerian pessimism. “Redemption” now turns into, now not a destiny utopia during this international, yet fairly “transfigured” lifestyles in one other international, possible merely via demise. Viewing Wagner’s operas throughout the lens of his philosophy, the e-book bargains usually novel interpretations of Lohengrin, The Ring cycle, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger, and Parsifal.
Finally, younger attire the reason for Friedrich Nietzsche’s transformation from Wagner’s intimate pal and disciple into his such a lot savage critic. Nietzsche’s basic accusation, it's argued, is one among betrayal: that Wagner betrayed his early, “life putting forward” philosophy of artwork and existence in want of “life-denial." Nietzsche’s statement and the ultimate end of the e-book is that our job, now, is to “become greater Wagnerians than Wagner.”
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Extra resources for The Philosophies of Richard Wagner
The submersion of wish is, notwithstanding, the submersion of the self. the place the center is, as one may well placed the Feuerbachian precept, there's the self additionally. as a result, writes Feuerbach, “true religion”—the faith that acknowledges that “theology is [and ought in simple terms be] anthropology”—“is basically attainable whilst the person acknowledges that [individual] loss of life is right, genuine and whole” (1980, 17). because the group isn't really topic to the finitude of individuality, loving submersion in group triumphs over loss of life, renders it insignificant. And so, conversely, worry of demise is an indication that that loving submersion has began to “wane. ” Feuerbachian love—the love that redeems by way of understanding the anarchist utopia—consists, then, within the transcendence of individuality. yet when you consider that either Feuerbach and early Wagner are emphatic “materialists” (p. 88 above), the transcendence in query should be transcendence to, identity with, a few traditional entity—human group of smaller or greater dimension. there's no different global, and the will that there may be one is a failure of affection. TRISTAN LOVE therefore used to be Wagner’s notion of affection within the progressive interval and up till early 1854. relocating ahead to 1858 and the writing of Tristan und Isolde, love is still, as we've seen, an issue of the transcendence of individuality, of the abolition of the “and” among Tristan and Isolde (p. ninety three above). yet there's a an important distinction. while Feuerbachian love is, and will merely be, transcendence to anything inside of nature, Tristan love, contaminated because it is through Schopenhauerian metaphysics, is transcendence to whatever in the back of the “dream” of nature, the primordial meta-physical team spirit that lies past the appearance of house and time. So whereas Feuerbachian love is, as one may perhaps placed it, “terrestrial” love that rejects the meta-physical, Tristan love is strictly the other. As Wagner strikes from optimism to pessimism so love adjustments from being world-affirming to being world-denying. Wagner’s ultimate strategies 119 TRISTAN AND THE confirmation OF SEXUALITY even with those an important ameliorations among Feuerbachian and Tristan love, some extent of similarity, as Kitcher and Schacht word, is that either stay paradigmatically—and in terms of Tristan, exclusively—sexual in personality. greatly has been written in regards to the erotic, orgasmic personality of the song that expresses Tristan and Isolde’s sexual hope for every different. eight What, besides the fact that, makes this frustrating is that whereas Wagner professes to be a Schopenhauerian, the affection that Schopenhauer values and perspectives as redemptive, Mitleid, the affection of sympathetic compassion (pp. 93–94 above), is solely non-sexual; now not eros yet agape. certainly, it truly is definitely anti-sexual. whereas redemption is composed in “denial” of the need to reside, Schopenhauer perspectives sexuality, for visible purposes, as its basic “affirmation” (WR II, ch. 44). What follows is that Tristan love isn't, or now not totally, Schopenhauerian love. Wagner used to be conscious of this divergence among himself and his respected mentor and for this reason, in 1858, drafted a letter to Schopenhauer (by now into the final years of his life), a letter that used to be by no means complete and so by no means despatched.