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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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Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Politics after Tristan

(p.242) 4 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Beyond Reason

Karol Berger

University of California Press

For those unwilling to follow the erotic utopia of Tristan, a new answer had to be found to the political and ethical questions raised in the Ring. And this is precisely what Wagner provided in his last two projects. Die Meistersinger (1861-67) as an attempt, partly inspired by the nationalism of Fichte, to see whether something of the political optimism of the Ring might still be salvageable after the pessimistic discoveries of Tristan. The answer the opera gives to this question is affirmative, but the specific content of this answer is profoundly disturbing, a utopia of post-political aestheticized metapolitics pregnant with sinister implications for the future.

Keywords:   Empire, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, metapolitics, nationalism, Richard Wagner

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