A Pagan Spoiled: Sex and Character in Wagner's Parsifal

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Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2003 - Music - 142 pages
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This book is an original philosopical contextualisation of Wagner's final music-drama in which an analysis of both the sexual dynamics, and the religious and psychological symbolism of the action, provides the foundation for a fresh understanding of the most striking example of the conposer's life-long preoccupation with the feminization of redemption. In addition to discussions of the opera's historical and legendary sources, the author presents an examination of Otto Weiminger's fin de siecle polemic against Judaism and female sexuality, insofar as it has been regarded as itself Wagnerian. It is argued throughout the text that 'Parsifal' has much in it that is Pagan as well as Christian, and indeed that it is the unresolved pre-Christian and non-Christian tensions within the drama that contribute uniquely to its unsettling and still challenging nature.

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Page 26 - Hoard accordingly was losing more and more in material worth, to yield to a higher spiritual content. The spiritual ascension of the Hoard into the Grail was accomplished in the German conscience, and the Grail, at least in the meaning lent it by German poets, must rank as the Ideal representative or follower of the Nibelungen-Hoard ; it, too, had sprung from Asia, from the ur-home of mankind ; God had guided it to men as paragon of holiness. It is of the first importance that its Keeper was priest...

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