Tag Archives: Antisemitism

Wagner the Irascible Old Bigot

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 […]

Nationalism, Culture and Identity: Israel and Wagner

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 […]

Wagner’s Art, Wagner’s Anti-Semitism

In his recent book, Sorcerer of Bayreuth, Wagner expert Barry Millington comes down hard on Wagner the anti-Semite.  He rejects the “misapprehension that Wagner’s anti-Semitism is like a superfluous integument that can be peeled away from his oeuvre without leaving a trace, when in fact it is so intrinsic to his aesthetic that it is no […]