Pro and Contra Wagner

Thomas Mann, Author, Erich Heller, Translator, Allan Blunden, Translator University of Chicago Press $10.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-226-50335-6
Substantially based on Wagner und unsere Zeit (Wagner and Our Time, which was edited by the author's daughter, Erika, Blunden's new translation and the inclusion of items not found in the earlier collection cast different light on Mann's image of Wagner, making it possible, as Patrick Carnegy notes in the preface, ""to follow the continuities and discontinuities in Mann's lifelong preoccupation with the composer.'' For example, in a 1933 lecture, appearing here as the essay ``The Sorrows and Grandeur of Richard Wagner,'' Mann stated: ``A passion for Wagner's enchanted oeuvre has been a part of my life ever since I first became aware of it and set out to make it my own, to invest it with understanding.'' In the same piece he describes Wagner's work as ``a case of dilettantism that has been monumentalized by a supreme effort of the will'' and calls it ``the music of an oppressed soul, lacking the elan of dance.'' Compelling. (March)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1986
Release date: 02/01/1986
Hardcover - 229 pages - 978-0-226-50334-9
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