Trim: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-9992-3 • Hardback • September 2014 • $114.00 • (£88.00)
978-0-7391-9994-7 • Paperback • May 2016 • $51.99 • (£40.00)
978-0-7391-9993-0 • eBook • September 2014 • $49.00 • (£36.00)
Julian Young is Kenan Professor of Humanities at Wake Forest University.
Part I: Early Wagner
Chapter 1: The Way We are Now
Chapter 2: The Greek Ideal
Chapter 3: The Death of Art
Chapter 4: The Artwork of the Future: Exploratory Questions
Part II Later Wagner
Chapter 5: Schopenhauer
Chapter 6: Wagner’s Appropriation of Schopenhauer
Chapter 7: Wagner’s Final Thoughts
Epilogue: Wagner and Nietzsche
Keenly attuned to Wagner’s intimations of impersonal immortality, Julian Young explains Wagner’s evolving views on the redemptive power of musical drama, an artistic salvation that remains possible even after the death of God. By critically examining Wagner’s philosophical transformation from a Feuerbachian anarcho-revolutionary to a Schopenhauerian world-renunciate, Young uncovers the enduring spiritual quest at the heart of Wagner’s work: Our deep and enduring philosophical need to learn how to die well.
— Iain Thomson, University of New Mexico
In deft, elegant prose, Young convincingly reconstructs two distinct Wagnerian philosophical positions, especially as concerns the relationship between art and society: an early revolutionary and a later Schopenhauerian position. In doing so, Young casts considerable light on the meanings of Wagner's musical dramas, and presents an array of fascinating positions on the proper relations between art and society for contemporary reflection. This is an important book for anyone interested in late-nineteenth-century philosophy of music and art.
— Sandra Shapshay, Indiana University, Bloomington
Young here presents the results of extensive research into Wagner's philosophical writings. Perhaps the most surprising thing one learns is that Wagner had a relatively clear and coherent philosophy. In fact, Wagner’s philosophy evolved over time, and he always saw himself as more than a composer of operas. Early on, Wagner, influenced by Hegel, maintained that art and music could play a key role in changing the world for the better. Later, his philosophical intuitions and artistic aims would be molded by Schopenhauer’s pessimistic but redemptive views of music. Today, Wagner would be saddened, though perhaps not surprised, to find that most of his operas are heard only by the affluent—a situation that is the antithesis of what he was trying to do. Young’s straightforward writing style is more than welcome in explaining 19th-century German philosophical concepts, which can get very complex very fast. This book is beautifully written, clear, and concise. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above.
— Choice Reviews