Chapter

Fin-de-siècleFantasies

Lawrence Kramer

in Opera and Modern Culture

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520241732
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940840 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520241732.003.0008
Fin-de-siècleFantasies

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This chapter appraises the second landmark of the Fin-de-Siècle genre, Elektra. A dancer sustaining on fantasies of blood sacrifice, eroticizing her kinship with her sister and brother, raising the voice of her hysterical desires in contrast to the shrill babble of the serving maids who act as a chorus, Elektra rivaled the frenzy of her predecessor, Salome, being born of the same progenitor, Richard Strauss. This chapter delves into the essence of unabashed supremacism emitted from Salome's and Elektra's indifferent free reign over the rest of the opera, amidst a general chorus that is rendered timid and ignorable by the protagonist's undoubted reign over the scene in those obvious moments. In an attempt to bridge the two characters Weininger provides an appropriate allegory—while Salome represents violent eroticism, Elektra displays erotic violence. In their dynamics they contrast the highs and lows of human nature, and subsequently the realization of supremacist culture.

Keywords: Fin-de-Siècle; Elektra; violence; eroticism; Weininger; human nature

Chapter.  10538 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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