Talk:Richard Wagner

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Featured article Richard Wagner is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Antisemitism in Wagner's operas[edit]

When speaking about Wagner's antisemitism, it should not be mentioned only as a personal idea, without any connection to his works. It has long been known, proven, discussed, that antisemitic prejudices and caricatures are the basis of several negative characters in Wagner's operas, Die Meistersinger (Beckmesser), the Ring (the dwarves, Alberich and Mime) and Parsifal (Kundry). This abundant literature should be reflected in this article, if it is supposed to be neutral, and not to hide any part of Wagner's thinking, and of the sense of his works. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1993/jun/10/wagners-anti-semitism/ http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/488611?uid=3738016&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102939868557 http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/823618?uid=3738016&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102939868557 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=3C03919DF345EA6505F7DA4026E4BDDB.journals?fromPage=online&aid=1790192 http://www.utexas.edu/courses/wagner/selectedessays/pdf/brach.pdf http://www.socialistaction.net/Culture/Wagner-and-how-a-woman-saved-the-world.html?print=1&tmpl=component http://www.seattleoperablog.com/2009/08/wagner-problem.html http://www.thewagnerjournal.co.uk/wagnerandanti-se.html http://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-207541237/kundry-and-the-jewish-voice-anti-semitism-and-musical http://onthepast.blog.co.uk/2010/04/05/wagner-s-parsifal-and-anti-semitism-8309788/ etc.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.171.203.250 (talk) 21:13, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

It's certainly true that there is scholarship which attempts to argue that characters in his works are in some emblematic sense "Jewish", even though there are no actual Jewish characters in any of his operas. However, it's wildly exaggerated to say this is "known" or "proven". Personally, I find some of these claims moderately plausible, and others to be strained in the extreme. I don't think there is any real consensus of scholarship on the matter. However, if you read the relevant section, "Racism and antisemitism", you will see that this point is already made in the article. I don't think it should be covered in any more detail here, but you may wish to create a separate article to address the issue in more detail, which can be linked here. Paul B (talk) 21:53, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Even if one does not agree with all this literature, it is undeniable that these negative characters - which are never openly qualified as Jewish indeed - are at least partly (and I'd say in big part) inspired by antisemitic characteristics and prejudices, that Wagner shared with many of his contemporaries. I don't think this matter should be treated separately, and I don't think an article on the subject would really be a good idea as it would gather its content from many different sources, and therefore risk to be too much of an original research. The "Racism and antisemitism" part does not have to be that much enlarged actually, but I still think a few references to Wagner's works are missing. Based on this very abundant literature, of course. Well, I leave you better judge on that matter... Lass mich wieder hinab! Schlaf verschliesse mein Wissen! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.171.203.250 (talk) 23:18, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
This is (and should be) covered far more extensively in the article Wagner controversies. Toccata quarta (talk) 05:40, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Rock again[edit]

User:Luchador619 seems concerned to add certain rock bands to the article (without any citations). I have deleted, and redeleted this editor's additions, as it seems the issue was covered in the discussion on Apocalyptica (above, on this talk page), which ended in a concensus not to add names indiscriminately. A further additon by Luchador gave a 'citation' which however did not mention Wagner, and I have therefore again reverted it. Other editors' opinions are welcomed.--Smerus (talk) 15:53, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Wagner's influence on Joey DeMaio and Manowar is fairly widely written about, especially DeMaio describing Wagner as "The father of heavy metal", which was in the reference given. But if you want something about more scholarly and one degree removed from DeMaio himself, I suggest:
See also this story from Soundcheck at WNYC; this rather lengthy treatment of it from the German television channel n-tv, and this article in Der Spiegel. - Voceditenore (talk) 17:14, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
ta for this which hits the spot rather better. Will look again.--Smerus (talk) 17:23, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Antisemitism in Wagner's writings[edit]

The impression given by the article is of a common sort of prejudice, commonly shared among 19th century Germans (presumably excluding those counted among Wagner's many "Jewish friends"). This unacceptably deëmphasizes the significance (and vitriol) of Wagner's writing. Two (admittedly, bluntly repetitive) attempts to fix this defect in the Wager article have been reverted, so I am posting this as a defense of my most recent addition. Please consider revising what I have done, and commenting here, rather than simply reverting. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DvUSR (talkcontribs) 15:16, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Moved to chrono order--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:42, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Unacceptably deëmphasizes - sez who? The article gives references which suggest otherwise. The vitriol of Wagner's Jew-hatred is not so much in question, but the influence of it is. Only in the past 50 years has there been proposals by some writers that it influenced the opinions of Germans of 100 years ago and more. The antisemitic political movements of 1870s and later in Germany and Austria neither used nor needed Wagner's esoteric contribution to the debate. If you are going to make assertions, you need to cite evidence. Otherwise "Unacceptably deëmphasizes" is very much WP:NNPOV.--Smerus (talk) 17:34, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
the short answer to sez who? The reference I included to Poliakov.
I reverted two of DvUSR's edits and I have nothing to add to my edit summaries where 1) I pointed out that this article mentions Das Judenthum in der Musik several times and that its details are presented in that article; 2) removed the addition of the Ellis translation which was already listed. Aside: I recommend that DvUSR consult WP:BRD which provides some procedural guidance which would have been appropriate here. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 03:28, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
since the reverted edit had no mention of Das Judenthum in der Musik, this comment is a non sequitur
Sequitur: In these two edits you added "Judaism in Music" twice; my edit summary mentions that your addition was unnecessary because "Judaism in Music"/"Das Judenthum in der Musik" was already mentioned several times and that its details are more comprehensively presented at that essay's article. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 04:34, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
My mistake; the revision I had in mind (here) was not performed by you.

Once again I have (tiwce)reverted the edits of DvUSR which he has reinstated despite the above discussion. He is plain wrong about W's influence on 19th century antisemitism which he overassesses. (see e.g. Rose (1992), which is fully cited in the article). I should also be glad to see the citation of any passage where Wagner wrote about 'religious purity'. His concern about W's anti-Semitism is WP:UNDUE in this article, which already refers to W's ideas on Jews in several places. They might, if DvUSR is really concerned, be more appropriate in the articles Wagner controversies or Judaism in Music to which Michael Bednarek refers. I refer DvUSR to WP:POINT and suggest s/he reads it carefully.--Smerus (talk) 07:21, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I believe this response adds nothing of substance to the debate; I will of course now recommend this for resolution by a third-party. I disagree that the claim that Wagner contributed to the antisemitic ideas of his time is an overstatement. To say that Wagner's views are a mere reflection is too weak for someone of Wagner's social stature (which I take to be uncontroversial); moreover, such a weak statement combines with the following one, about Wagner's "many Jewish friends," to strange effect. I have provided the requested citation to Poliakov, though I now notice that the page number was incorrect: it should have said 435. Here is the quote: "The abstract Highest God of the Germans, Wotan, did not really need to yield place to the God of the Christians; rather could he be completely identified with him: it was sufficient to strip of the physical trapping with which the various stems had clothed him in accordance with their idiosyncrasy, their dwelling place and climate ... . But that one native stem-god, from whom the races all immediately derived their earthly being, was certainly the last to be given up: for in him was found the striking likeness to Christ himself, the Son of God, that he too died, was mourned and avenged -- as we still avenge Christ on the Jews of today." (See Poliakov for the citation). Finally, the attention is not undue: the section is dedicated to the topic of antisemitism, and the edit I advocate are simple, and amply supported. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DvUSR (talkcontribs) 08:08, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.png 3O Response: This discussion is unsuitable for Wikipedia:Third opinion as more than two editors have taken part in it. Perhaps you should try the dispute resolution noticeboard, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Classical music, Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers or one of the other WP:Dispute resolution options. @DvUSR: please remember to sign your talk page posts by typing ~~~~ at the end of each one. Thanks. Stfg (talk) 10:13, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your response, Stfg. I posted to 30 because the specific disagreement in question is between only Smerus and I. The disagreement over "Judaism in Music", which involved a third editor, is resolved. Please reconsider addressing the dispute. -- DvUSR (talk) 16:03, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
I see. Well, apologies for that. But I think that the discussion that has now started at Wikiproject composers is as good a place as any to progress it. All I would have been able to say is that it depends on the balance of reliable sources, and I'd have asked you both to discuss that balance, enumerating the most significant sources on both sides. 3O volunteers opine on articles they haven't worked on before, which in this case would probably mean someone who hasn't delved in depth into this particular issue. This is an issue for scholars of Wagner, of the social history of music, and of German history, I think. I would expect there to be hundreds of sources discussing the question of Wagner's influence (or otherwise) on future attitudes.
I will venture that the Poliakov quote you give above seems to say more about Poliakov's reading of the relationship between Wotan and the Christian God than it says about Wagner's views, much less about his influence. But I can't take a view on your wider dispute. Sorry. --Stfg (talk) 16:50, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Discussion as suggested by Stfg, now opened here. --Smerus (talk) 14:16, 9 April 2014 (UTC)