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Wagner and views on history (was: Re: [chox] Re: Does anyone ever read these posted links? ...)

* Ref.: »[chox] Re: Does anyone ever read these posted links? (was: Re: [ox-en] Re: [pox] Please kick and ban Jonathan Walther for racism)«
*        Niall Douglas 	(2004-03-03  03:46)

Hi Niall,

I'm snipping the parts about J. because I do respect what you
said and what you did to come to this conclusion ;-)
which does not necessarily mean that I agree... ;-)

<snip contents="Wagner-Discussion-History" />

Ok, if the entry for Wagner were twenty pages long, then we should 
have a paragraph on his anti-semitism. But let's face the truth here -
 a very substantial minority of Europeans were also anti-semites at 
that time, so why are we singling out this particular aspect of 

Well, that anti-semitism was an almost common view in those times
is an important thing to realize, that's why I do not see it as
'singling something out', when this is reflected also in
connection with the lives of outstanding figures of the time.
Very much like the way almost all intellectuals where
enthusiastic about World War 1, things that tend to be forgot and
to distort our understanding of the time and its people.

Why the hell is this one single thing so very important when 
to my knowledge (and the Britannica's), it had near-zero effect on 
either his world, the world thereafter or anything who had anything 
to do with him? (I think it safe to say Hitler's anti-semitism would 
have been unaffected by Wagner's).

Yes and no. As you said yourself: his views where not some
personal weirdness or peculiarity. Which is why I do see a
connection to later times. Would think Hitler would have invented
anti-semitism, had it not been sewn and grown before his time?
Wagner is only one representative of this ideology, but a very
prominent one. And the ideology certainly did have an effect on

How *we* view historical figures it often at odds with how their 
contempories viewed them. And I know it's hard on our egos, but it's 
how their contempories saw them is what counts.

Well, "how their contemporaries saw them" is what counts for
*them* ;-) *We* cannot go back there. (May it sometimes be
unfortunate or not ;-) And... if the contemporaries views where
the decisive criterion, we would read hardly anything about e.g.
J.S.Bach, and would have to read a lot of stuff about people, in
whom most of "us" are not that interested ;-) 

2. Wikipedia vs. Britanica

I don't think that imitating an existing work is the goal of

Not necessarily. But I think it foolish for anyone to ignore such a 
formerly respected work as the Britannica whose quality was 
recognised as high. 

Agreed.  Going *further* should be allowed, though ;-)
All intellectual works, even encyclopedias are ideologically
biased, that's what makes the different entries on the same
subject interesting.

[¹ -- as for myself, I would *only* include him for his historic
importance, because I find his musical drama mostly stupifying
and boring (-- which is why I decided two months ago, not to go
to a Wagner-opera again ;-).]

I wouldn't attend the opera. But I do like Wagner's music and it has 
to be said, flight of the valkires (spelt totally wrong) is the 
perfect accompanying tune for war scenes in movies! :)


I see, you know what I mean :-) Only, we don't agree
with each other ;-)


Taste must be disputed. Hanns Eisler.

[English translation]
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