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    Book News | May 11, 2015

    Chris Hedges: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Chris Hedges

    Describe your latest book. Wages of Rebellion looks at the nature of rebellion, those who do it, why they do it, and the price they pay for being a... Continue »
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      Chris Hedges 9781568589664

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The Perfect Wagnerite


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

G. B. Shaw (1856-1950) wrote The Perfect Wagnerite as a philosophical examination of Richard Wagner's epic four-opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). A tremendously accomplished dramatist himself, Shaw seemed perfectly poised to turn his critical eye on Wagner's 19th century masterpiece. Wagner completed The Ring in 1853, after decades of effort. A work of such ambition takes much unpacking, and so Shaw offers us his critique. In his preface, Shaw writes, All I pretend to do in this book is to impart the ideas which are most likely to be lacking in the conventional Englishman's equipment... I venture to add my commentary to what has already been written by musicians who are no revolutionists, and revolutionists who are no musicians. And economic revolution is precisely what G. B. Shaw sees in this opera. Wagner wrote The Ring as a young political radical, steeped in the anarchist ideology of his day. Shaw views the opera as a critique of capitalism and industrial revolution. His Marxist reading is not surprising-he was a leading Socialist figure of his time, helping to propel the fledgling Fabian Society into public awareness. Shaw does a great deal here to further the cult of Wagner that remains strong today. Entertaining as it is compelling, The Perfect Wagnerite stands as a principle commentary on one of opera's most daring compositions.

Product Details

Shaw, George Bernard
Music | Opera
Publication Date:

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

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