Treacherous Bonds and Laughing Fire: Politics and Religion in Wagner's Ring

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006 - Music - 287 pages
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Mark Berry explores the political and religious ideas expounded in Wagner's 'Ring' through close attention to the text and drama, the multifarious intellectual influences upon the composer during the work's lengthy gestation and composition, and the wealth of Wagner source material. Many of his writings are explicitly political in their concerns, for Wagner was emphatically not a revolutionary solely for the sake of art. Yet it would be misleading to see even the most 'political' tracts as somehow divorced from the aesthetic realm; Wagner's radical challenge to liberal-democratic politics makes no such distinction. This book considers Wagner's treatment of various worlds: nature, politics, economics, and metaphysics, in order to explain just how radical that challenge is.Classical interpretations have tended to opt either for an 'optimistic' view of the 'Ring', centred upon the influence of Young Hegelian thought
  

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Contents

Problems and opportunities
1
The intellectual and biographical background
17
Musical drama
43
The natural world and its despoliation
57
Property capital and production
79
Law government and the state
111
The strength and weakness of religion
145
Power or love
173
Revolution
209
Renunciation
237
Annihilation redemption and augury
255
Index
275
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Mark Berry is a Fellow in History at Peterhouse, Cambridge University, UK.

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