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Beyond ReasonWagner contra Nietzsche$
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Karol Berger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292758

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292758.001.0001

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Der Ring des Nibelungen

Der Ring des Nibelungen

The Anarchist Utopia

(p.62) 2 Der Ring des Nibelungen
Beyond Reason

Karol Berger

University of California Press

The Ring, though many years in gestation (1848-74), was essentially the fruit of Wagner’s politically most radical anarchist period concurrent with and immediately following the mid-century revolts. The nineteenth century was obsessed by the Myth of Revolution, the myth that was one of that century’s two most baleful legacies to the one that followed (the other one was the Myth of Nation). In Wagner’s tetralogy this obsession found its arguably grandest artistic expression. Inspired by Feuerbach, Proudhon, and Bakunin, it is a poem intoxicated by the orgy of destruction of the old world in which humans compete for power and riches and by the hopeful anticipation of the world to come, the world of spontaneous solidarity and love—an anarchist utopia.

Keywords:   Anarchism, Marxism, revolution, Der Ring des Nibelungen, utopia, Richard Wagner

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