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Wagner Beyond Good and Evil$
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John Deathridge

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254534

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254534.001.0001

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Wagner's Greeks, and Wieland's Too

Wagner's Greeks, and Wieland's Too

Chapter:
(p.102) 9. Wagner's Greeks, and Wieland's Too
Source:
Wagner Beyond Good and Evil
Author(s):

John Deathridge

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520254534.003.0009

The debate about the Greeks in relation to Wagner has been strongly influenced by three lectures which this chapter focuses on. These lectures were given at the Bayreuth Festival between 1962 and 1964 by the conservative German classicist Wolfgang Schadewaldt. Schadewaldt played a small, though by no means unimportant, role in helping Wieland perpetuate the myth that Wagner's dramas could be seen through the lens of the Greeks as having their origin in the more problematic nationalist corners of German Idealism greatly diminished and cleansed of their immediate past in prewar Bayreuth. Once cumbersome beings in the service of German nationalist ideology, Wagner's dramas shed their skins, so to speak, to metamorphose into creatures of sublime beauty and universal truth. In Wieland's hands, they essentially became works without a palpable history, despite the clamor in the wings, which can still be heard, that they are nothing of the sort.

Keywords:   Greeks, Wagner, Wolfgang Schadewaldt, Wieland, nationalist ideology

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