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Wagnerism

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Last updated on September 17, 2022 4:30 pm
SKU: 34017476

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‘An absolutely masterly work’ Stephen Fry
Alex Ross, renowned author of the international bestseller The Rest Is Noise, reveals how Richard Wagner became the proving ground for modern art and politics-an aesthetic war zone where the Western world wrestled with its capacity for beauty and violence. For better or worse, Wagner is the most widely influential figure in the history of music. Around 1900, the phenomenon known as
Wagnerism
saturated European and American culture. Such colossal creations as The Ring of the Nibelung, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal were models of formal daring, mythmaking, erotic freedom, and mystical speculation. A mighty procession of writers, artists, and thinkers, including Charles Baudelaire, Virginia Woolf, Isadora Duncan, Vasily Kandinsky, and Luis Bunuel, felt his impact. Anarchists, occultists, feminists, and gay-rights pioneers saw him as a kindred spirit. Then Adolf Hitler incorporated Wagner into the soundtrack of Nazi Germany, and the composer came to be defined by his ferocious anti-Semitism. His name is now almost synonymous with artistic evil.
Wagnerism
restores the magnificent confusion of what it means to be a Wagnerian. A pandemonium of geniuses, madmen, charlatans, and prophets do battle over Wagner’s many-sided legacy. The narrative ranges across artistic disciplines, from architecture to the novels of Philip K. Dick, from the Zionist writings of Theodor Herzl to the civil-rights essays of W. E. B. Du Bois, from O Pioneers! to Apocalypse Now. In many ways,
Wagnerism
tells a tragic tale. An artist who might have rivalled Shakespeare in universal reach is implicated in an ideology of hate. Still, his shadow lingers over twenty-first century culture, his mythic motifs coursing through superhero films and fantasy fiction. Neither apologia nor condemnation,
Wagnerism
is a work of intellectual passion, urging us toward a more honest idea of how art acts in the world.

Specification: Wagnerism

Release date NZ

September 16th, 2021

Author

Alex Ross

Audience

General (US: Trade)

Country of Publication

United Kingdom

Illustrations

100 b/w illus, Index

Imprint

Fourth Estate Ltd

Pages

784

Dimensions

153x234x47

ISBN-13

9780008422943

Product ID

34017476

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