Why aren't you READING Wagner?

His writings have had an enormous influence on Western art and thought, from Baudelaire to Nietzsche, Mallarme, Weininger, Joyce, Schmitt, Heidegger, Adorno, Lévi-Strauss etc.

>I know of no writing on the arts that sheds so much light on the subject as Wagner’s. Whatever can be learned about the genesis of a work of art is to be found here. It is one of the very greatest of minds that we encounter in these pages, and over the years he has been constantly refining his theories, stating his views with ever greater freedom and clarity.
- Nietzsche

Recommended reading order is to start with The Music of the Future, written by Wagner as an introduction to his ideas for the French public, then the three 'big' writings from his late period, German Art and German Politics, Beethoven and Actors and Singers. With a small lecture entitled The Destiny of Opera as an essential preliminary reading before Actors and Singers. These are the ultimate maturation of his ideas and do much to clarify and build upon the most important writings of his life, as named by himself, Art and Revolution, The Artwork of the Future and Opera and Drama. In these latter, and for the first time, he unhesitatingly stepped into his own direction as artist and thinker. Everything he had written prior on art had only been leading up to them, very gradually. Now suddenly, through a mixture of a renewed study of Greek culture and German philosophy, his ideas exploded onto paper. Though rash and confusing at points, they are the centre of his thought and should be read in exegesis with the named later works. Their revolutionary import for our civilization, from a highly reactionary perspective, has never been lost. Other writings, of a secondary importance, include Judaism in Music, Some Explanations Concerning "Judaism in Music", A Communication to my Friends, What is German?, On Conducting, On Poetry and Composition, On Operatic Poetry and Composition, On the Application of Music to the Drama, Against Vivisection, Religion and Art and Know Thyself.

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'm busy listening to him.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      You cannot truly appreciate his music until you have read him.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I've read him a bit but I appreciate his music just fine.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          No you don't, the music goes with the poetry.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >No you don't
            Yes, I do. Deal with it.

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Nietzsche, of course, later repudiated him for failing to produce life-affirming work. I haven’t yet read the case against Wagner, only a couple excerpts, but the listed quote is disingenuous at best. He spoke negatively of him in the gay science if I remember correctly, maybe that was Kaufmann’s footnotes. Wagner seems like a boomer looking for somebody to point the finger at, watched other people use the israelites as a social and psychic scapegoat, jumped on the bandwagon. Weak, life-rejecting, feeble, cowardly. A man needs no scapegoat; to forget problems and set about your work, that is strength.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      moron

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Sorry,

      moron

      here. I meant to say that I agree with this post

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I don't understand why a life-affirming philosophy is necessary. All organisms have adhesion to survive and reproduce. Everyone already does it by default. All they do is glorify this by saying that philosophy is one of the... LE STRONG ONES. Also this philosophical position is self-destructive as shit, they are hyperaccelerating our death

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >affirming life is accelerating death
        Black person what? Shit like metaphysics of presence, technology worship, slave morality etc, the philosophies that demean life, are what's killing us.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Nietzsche is the black pot calling the white kettle black.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Mostly because Wagnerians are poor conversationalist reducing everything to WAGNER and no one else cares. And I already read a good amount of him back in school, you overstate his importance just like every Wagnerian I have met.

        Great Artists as artists are rarely not self-involved, depravedly narcissistic-- this counts against neither Wagner nor Nietzsche, having different createive & aesthetic aims. It's to be lamented one nor the other lent their strength to the projects of each other-- but if you want freedom, you must die.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      So you make a post very clearly knowing nothing about either Wagner or Nietzsche?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Nietzsche, of course, later repudiated him for failing to produce life-affirming work.
      Tbh, Wagner understood Nietzche more than Nietzche understood Wagner

      >you overstate his importance just like every Wagnerian I have met.
      That's why I hate this anon. Wagnergays know that Wagner is largely irrelevant today so they have to hype him up on a random image board

      Wagner has kind of had a resurgence thanks to Undertale and Toby Fox

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Wagner has kind of had a resurgence thanks to Undertale and Toby Fox
        Do I want to know the context?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Jews as a scapeg-
      back to R*ddit with ye

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Mostly because Wagnerians are poor conversationalist reducing everything to WAGNER and no one else cares. And I already read a good amount of him back in school, you overstate his importance just like every Wagnerian I have met.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >you overstate his importance just like every Wagnerian I have met.
      That's why I hate this anon. Wagnergays know that Wagner is largely irrelevant today so they have to hype him up on a random image board

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Every artist is irrelevant unless or until they are
        "hyped up".

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >you overstate his importance just like every Wagnerian I have met.
      That's why I hate this anon. Wagnergays know that Wagner is largely irrelevant today so they have to hype him up on a random image board

      >not relevant according to popular culture
      The horror!

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I made no comment regarding his relevance beyond the tendency of Wagnarians to overstate it. I don't consider him irrelevant but at this point his relevance is mostly second or third hand. Nice strawman.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The entire idea of rating great artists in terms of 'relevance' can only be in respect to popular culture. And if you're underrating Wagner's greatness, then that's a you problem which no intelligent person suffers from.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            So you can only judge relevance in context to the current flash in the pan soon to be forgotten trends? lol. Why not judge their relevance to their area instead? Wagner has more relevance in pop culture than in the classical world, lots of movies and tv shows have used his music or imagery.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >unironically bringing up the 'wagner's most important influence is movie soundtracks' meme
            >unironically claiming wagner has more relevancy in movies than classical music
            Just embarrassing. This is the type of person that thinks they know enough about Wagner to say he's of secondary importance.

            Please anon, just stay away from subjects you know nothing about.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Who is talking about influence? We are talking relevance, they are different things. This is pretty much what I meant about Wagnerians being poor conversationalist, nothing but autistic screeching and strawmanning.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            If that's true then classical music is completely 'irrelevant' today.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >waffle
            We have been over this, pop culture does not play it into this, 99% of pop culture will be forgotten in a year, not worth considering. But go ahead, explain his relevance to current day classical music.
            >he was very influential!
            Was. As I said, the influence at this point is all second or third hand.
            >modern classical music sucks!
            So Wagner has no relevance outside of movies then?

            Why is there never any crucial discussion and debate on lit, just the same as ever, two opposites that aggravate eachother like mechanism. I'd read more if people could verify that reading in fact does instill some development in a person

            I would happily discuss this in depth but he has yet to respond to what I actually said, just attacks. But if you are letting IQfy affect your life that much you should get away from IQfy.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >explain his relevance to current day classical music.
            If Wagner is not relevant to classical music today, if that's how you're going to define relevance, then neither is Beethoven. It's very simple. You're rating geniuses according to their relevancy to popular culture, no matter how you frame it, that's what you're doing. I don't know why you're even on the literature board, IQfy sounds more your speed.

            Anti-Wagnerians are always motivated by this bizarre irrationality. Would you go into any other thread about a centuries old artist to seethe for no reason?

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >waffle and a strawman
            I am not rating geniuses or rating anything, just said you overstated Wagner's importance. Never said he was bad or that I did not like him, you just made an assumption.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >you overstated Wagner's importance
            His importance to what? Once again you never explain what constitutes an artist's importance or relevance, other than a flat, indiscriminate influence on contemporary culture, and culture irrespective of quality can only mean popular culture.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >waffle and that same strawman again
            Still waiting for you to tell me the relevance of Wagner to contemporary classical music. Every argument you have made so far is based on your strawman arguments.

            Ultimately the classical world has been shifting away from everything Wagner was about for a good while now, started back in the 50s with the early music revival and the big soloists like Gould and Williams and they got big enough to get the average person to start going to the symphony and even the opera, symphonies got a boom but have been on a slow decline since and most of them have been struggling to survive for decades now. Almost no composers write for the big orchestras anymore and the handful who do opera write rather modest works which are pretty much anti-Wagnerian. The classical scene has been going back to its roots, composers composing for musicians and musicians commissioning composers and composers who are also musicians composing for themselves. Small venues and more frequent performances.

            Weirdly the amateur orchestra is having a bit of a heyday, they keep popping up out in bumfrick nowhere where you would never expect them to even have enough people who play orchestral instruments to have an orchestra. One small town of 10k not far from me has both a good sized orchestra and a ballet.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            When will you realise that none of this has anything to do with evaluating the worth of Wagner? Despite your denials, it is only an appeal to popularity. That MORE people listen to or compose like a composer other than Wagner today, that MORE people dislike Wagner today, etc. You have no place on the literature board, which above all is concerned with quality and the canon. The fact that you have to rely on these weak arguments to depreciate Wagner only shows how obsessed you are.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >That MORE people listen to or compose like a composer other than Wagner today, that MORE people dislike Wagner today, etc.
            lol. moron. I did not evaluate his worth, stop with the stawmans.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >I did not evaluate his worth
            What else could you be evaluating when you said his importance is overstated, or that he's irrelevant today, depending on which is you, merely in response to people praising him?

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I did not say his importance was overstated, I said you overstate his importance. I said his relevance is second or third hand, not that he was irrelevant. None of this was in response to people praising him, it was answering the question you posed in OP.

            Is your comprehension this bad or is your ego that fragile? Still have yet to answer my question or respond without strawmans and waffles.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >I said you overstate his importance
            Once again, importance to what? I don't think you even quite know what your criticism of the Op is. Why on earth would you not bother with art because it's, apparently, second or third rate in importance for artists today? Quality is what motivates anyone to the experience of an artwork. If you just dislike Wagner be honest about it, don't attempt to hide behind absurd distinctions between quality and importance.

            You call any serious response a waffle.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Why on earth would you not bother with art because it's, apparently, second or third rate in importance for artists today?
            When did I say that you should not bother with Wagner? You still have answered the question regarding his influence on music today so that "apparently" seems to be something you agree with.
            >You call any serious response a waffle.
            That is because you keep waffling, you making meaningless arguments against things which were never said or implied, nothing but strawmen and waffles. You would probably get more people to read Wagner if you did not play these games.

            Regarding your other thread that got deleted, that piece I posted had no eastern influence and is 100% western, should have been obvious if you had any clue what you were talking about regarding music. I did not compare that piece to Wagner or anyone else or rate it in anyway.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >When did I say that you should not bother with Wagner?
            You were responding to the Op asking you why you aren't reading Wagner. Can you even say why you are in this thread? Can you even say what your criticism amounts to? You're pathetic, and no one is going to be influenced by these arguments. Literally just respond to either of these questions. In case you may not know it, the Op says nothing about contemporary classical. But classical music is the history of Western music, if a composer was once extremely important for it then they are always important for 'classical music'. Wagner is no less important to classical music than Beethoven, and, again, whether you would consider Beethoven also third rate in importance for contemporary composers I don't care and it doesn't matter.

            >your other thread that got deleted
            Not me.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Small venues and more frequent performances.

            Even as such it's cargo cult tier audiences and performers and composers. Won't be sustainable without 'multimedia experiences', live action film so to speak. VR won't get there for another decade or two yet to justify it.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >explain his relevance to current day classical music.
            If Wagner is not relevant to classical music today, if that's how you're going to define relevance, then neither is Beethoven. It's very simple. You're rating geniuses according to their relevancy to popular culture, no matter how you frame it, that's what you're doing. I don't know why you're even on the literature board, IQfy sounds more your speed.

            Anti-Wagnerians are always motivated by this bizarre irrationality. Would you go into any other thread about a centuries old artist to seethe for no reason?

            Wagner was Hitler's muse and Beethoven was Wagner's. It's all part of history but Germany lost so it's not relevant to today.

            Imagine if the US had nuked Germany?

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      there's a scene in Richard Burton's Wagner miniseries in which depicts the same scene but with Wagner shouting at a deaf audience

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Why is there never any crucial discussion and debate on lit, just the same as ever, two opposites that aggravate eachother like mechanism. I'd read more if people could verify that reading in fact does instill some development in a person

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'm not reading Wagner because I was catfished by a gay man who tricked me and suched me on my benis

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I have a very limited experience with Wagner, haven't really read any of his writings, but have listened to his music and some portions of the Ring Cycle and damn, this guy was on to something
    He makes me feel something very grand and epic from his works, like genuine emotion expressed in his artwork. It is how I imagine the ancient Greeks felt with the Iliad in a sense

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I would recommend going further with Tristan und Isolde. I think it's the most accessible of them all, and the most "powerful", I remember the first time I watched it performed I was absolutely mesmerized, I suddenly realized it was over, and I was the sole person remaining in the opera, everyone had already left.
      Don't cheap out and buy a CD (or get a free trial on Qobuz). I would recommend the Kleiber performance, although the strings kinda annoy me for some reason in the overture.

      You can start with the Ring, if you do I would recommend actually starting with Götterdamerung, maybe Siegfried, Reinghold and Wälkure are a lot slower. Yes, the story is out of order, but assuming you're not a Wagnerian already the music is what's most important anyway.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Should I read the librettos at all or just watch them performed?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Wagner-anon and I disagree on this, I always say that the music is the most important aspect. If you mean with "performed" in real life, then yes, because even with the best highest resolution recordings with decent headphones and speakers, I always find that real life performances (of any classical music, but Wagner in particular) are obviously inferior. If you mean watch a recording, then no, the visual aspect is probably the least important. You can read the libretto after or before, bur I wouldn't read during, because it kinda distracts you.
          btw in my opinion the only libretto worth reading in itself is the one from the ring, that one is actually very good even on its own.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >. It is how I imagine the ancient Greeks felt with the Iliad in a sense

      or watching Oedipus Complex by Sophocles

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    recommend me a recording to listen to, Wagner-anon.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Die-Meistersinger if you're interested in joyful, light-hearted music.
      The Ring starting with Das Rheingold if you like grand, mythic narratives of the struggle between gods and men.
      Tanhauser then Parsifal if you're a Christian.
      Tristan and Isolde is excellent all around.
      Lohengrin for the most touching romance of all.
      And then there's the Flying Dutchman. It's good but Wagner's other works are better.

      Should I read the librettos at all or just watch them performed?

      Knowing the story is essential, so either read along to the music or watch a subtitled performance. Seeing them live is a must, but very hit and miss with modern interpretations; the best I went to was literally the performers standing on stage in regular dress with a small lightshow at the important parts, it still conveyed the feeling of what was going on.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Lohengrim - Kempe 64
        Ring Cycle - Keilberth 52
        Tristan - Bohm 66
        Meistersinger Kubelik 67
        Parsifal - Knappertsbusch 62

        Thank you. And I actually prefer those older masters from that era of classical music so it works out.

        >Knowing the story is essential, so either read along to the music or watch a subtitled performance. Seeing them live is a must, but very hit and miss with modern interpretations; the best I went to was literally the performers standing on stage in regular dress with a small lightshow at the important parts, it still conveyed the feeling of what was going on.

        So not the kind of music I can listen to while, say, walking around outside or laying down in my room or browsing the internet?

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >So not the kind of music I can listen to while, say, walking around outside or laying down in my room or browsing the internet?
          NTA but with the excerpts certainly, just not the full music dramas. Though I wouldn't say any classical music is made to be heard while moving around unless you're dancing to it. Start with all the overtures and preludes, then the famous excerpts like the Parsifal Verwandlungsmusik or Siegfried's Funeral March.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          be aware that the only people who listen to these older recordings are actually just sentimental boomers. There is nothing wrong with more recent recordings in terms of the conductor and orchestra.
          That being said having higher end headphones or speakers is almost necessary.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >thinking you choose recordings based on something not being wrong with them rather than positive attributes
            Do you know literally nothing about performing music?

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            the recordings are so grainy that it ruins the audio, smartass. It's like listening to it with 50 euro headphones

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            It depends on the quality, not all old recordings have bad quality. But you can be sure I would rather listen to a badly recorded genius than a perfect mediocrity (which are so common nowadays). Just tell me this Knappertsbusch sounds 'grainy':

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >the only people who listen to these older recordings are actually just sentimental boomers.
            I'm 21 and I exclusively listen to the older recordings.

            maybe grainy is the wrong word, but the clarity of the recording is very clearly not on the same level as something more recent. Don't know what you're using to listen, but even on my mid level hifiman sundara + firefly red it's immediately noticable
            + live recordings suck because of SHAMELESSLY COUGHING moronS and random stage noise

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >trying to demonstrate audio quality with a youtube video
            That recording also has obvious distortion going on lol.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >the only people who listen to these older recordings are actually just sentimental boomers.
            I'm 21 and I exclusively listen to the older recordings.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Lohengrim - Kempe 64
      Ring Cycle - Keilberth 52
      Tristan - Bohm 66
      Meistersinger Kubelik 67
      Parsifal - Knappertsbusch 62

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        enjoy your grainy recordings, grampa. believe it or not audio quality itself actually plays a role, so recommend something newer for the newbies

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There is a passage in Lautreamont's Maldoror which refers to "Lohengrin... Leman... Lombano... Holzer!" After a quick search it was clear that this refers to Wagner's Lohengrin, but searching the other names generally only kicks back to the Maldoror connection (and doesn't immediately turn up any Wagner-specific material). So, my questions.

    Do "Leman, Lombano, Holzer" refer to characters in Lohengrin, or anything else Wagner-specific? Wiki makes no mention of these so these uttered names might refer to other items.

    Lautreamont (Ducasse) died very young, and although he grew up in Uruguay, he was the son of a well-to-do French diplomat family, and clearly had access to a good education and the latest and most prominent cultural output of Europe. Toward the end of his short life he lived in Paris, and so at the time that Maldoror originally appeared (c. 1869, serialized), he would have had access to Lohengrin and other of Wagner's works produced until 1870, the time of Lautreamont's death.

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    If someone wants a casual introduction to Wagnerian opera, I can recommend this abridged adaption of Das Rheingold (in English) from the Operavox series. It's very good and I wish it was longer and that they made more.

    The Barber of Seville adaption from that series is also good in its own way. Just do not watch the Rigoletto adaption. That one is cursed.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      No that's awful. Wagner should never be sung in English and the cartoon designs are silly. If's a missed opportunity too since the grandeur of myth could easily be expressed in cartoon form (something like pic related), and it would look better than most costumes and acting on the part of opera singers.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Wrong on both counts. Wagner himself favored English-language settings of his operas for English-speaking audiences because the immediate and intimate understanding of the text is more important than the anything instrinsic to the text, and the words are the least important part of the opera either way. Secondly the cartoon designs are great, and it sounds like you're a pleb who just doesn't understand what makes animation good.

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Wagner only favoured performances in English because 19th century opera goers couldn't be expected to follow a performance in a foreign language, but it's remarkably easy to do so today, either in the theatre or at home. It's acceptable if there's no other option, but it's a much shittier version of a great artwork that no one should put themselves through if they have the choice not to. The musical treatment of the words is something Wagner spent a great deal of effort on, both artistic and theoretical, and in Das Rheingold it's even more important than usual, because the orchestra plays more of a supporting than an expositional role. When it's sung in English, it's just prose with absurdly random declamation, which is the exact opposite of Wagner's intention: vocal naturalism. In Gotterdammerung Wagner is a little bit lazier with setting the words to music but it's still a major concern and separates him from most of operatic history.

          >cartoon designs are great
          Wow, look at these august gods!

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >filtered

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The superior adapations:

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    > At the beginning of the third act of Walküre, Wagner isn't doing much better, his critical reader thinks. Die Wolken spielen die Hauptrolle, we read: "The clouds play the lead role." Schopenhauer also seems to be amused by the inept and tongue-twisting description in Siegfried of the dragon, Fafner, which he underlines and marks with an exclamation mark: eidechsenartiger Schlangenwurm (lizardlike serpent-worm) is apparently just a bit too much for him. (In 1904 Wagner biographer W. A. Ellis, who knew of Schopenhauer's comments, came to his hero's rescue, somewhat unhelpfully, by pointing out that this was a zoologically accurate description of an iguanodon.) Siegfried's simplemindedly blunt self-introduction to Gunther in Götterdämmerung--"Now fight with me, or be my friend!"--rates three astonished exclamation marks in the margin. Nor does the pencil-happy critic seem able to take Brünnhilde entirely seriously. When she announces her intention to be burned alive, and on horseback, too, on Siegfried's funeral pyre, Schopenhauer, who drew so much inspiration from Indian culture, writes "Suttee" in the margin. This is hardly a compliment; more likely it indicates amused surprise about the inappropriateness of such fulsome expression of sorrow in the world of Nordic mythology.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Reminder this was created as a hitpiece, as has so often been done against an antisemite like Wagner. It purposefully ignores the positive things Schopenhauer said about the Ring, reported in communication, as well as in his written annotations which that report is quoting from! At the point in which Wotan renounces any attempt to influence the course of the world, and tells Alberich you can never change the nature of things, Schopenhauer penciled 'How true!'. Which makes the negative interpretation of his 'Suttee' remark even more suspect. Since it's clear he sympathised with the renunciatory philosophy of Wotan's character, he could have meant it sincerely. So why would they pick and choose quotations like that? What he actually thought:

      >I admire how Wagner in his Nibelungen brings the dark, legendary figures humanly near to us. He is a poet, but no musician.
      >but tell him that he should stop writing music. His genius is greater as a poet. I, Schopenhauer, remain faithful to Rossini and Mozart.

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I don't speak German and am terrified of reading the wrong translation.

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I encourage everyone to listen to Stefan Mickisch's lectures. He was an anti-vaxxer and got banned from Bayreuth for speaking out against covid laws so you know he was a true Wagnerian who believed in the freedom of the human spirit.

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