Configurations of the New

John Deathridge

in Wagner Beyond Good and Evil

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780520254534
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934610 | DOI:
Configurations of the New

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Wagner, whose output from the 1840s on stands in the shadow of the Young Hegelians and the beginnings of aesthetic modernity, has played a role in the history of the modern and the postmodern that has still to be properly assessed. This role is full of paradoxes and subtle shifts and countershifts. This chapter explores Wagner's “strong” belief in the Young Hegelian version of the power of history, which was the driving force behind his Zurich writings and the initial conception of the Ring. It also examines the idea that, especially after his discovery of Schopenhauer, this belief went hand in hand with a “weak” modification of the notion of the new as a perpetual critical overcoming of tradition, which brought him closer to the subversive strategies of postmodern thought than he is usually thought to be.

Keywords: Wagner; Young Hegelians; aesthetic modernity; postmodern; Schopenhauer

Chapter.  8061 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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