The Wagner Journal

Diane V. Silverthorne, Wagnerism – No End in Sight

Diane V. Silverthorne, Wagnerism – No End in Sight

Regular price £3.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £3.00 GBP
Sale Sold out
Taxes included.
Who's Buying?

November 2020, Volume 14, Number 3, 56–64.

Jed Rasula’s History of a Shiver opens with a preface titled ‘The Language of the Listening Eye’. It sets the scene for a synaesthetic and synchronic approach to his discourse on modernism and Wagner, or rather the distinction he makes between ‘Wagner the composer’ and ‘Wagnerism’. Following his premise that the defining aspiration of all art forms in the late 19th century rested on the belief that music could be conjured through a visual image, I draw here on a painting by way of introduction to his arguments. 

Imagine, if you will, that you are standing in front of Edouard Manet’s famous Music in the Tuileries Gardens of 1862. We do not see the music or its source, although we can assume the crowd has gathered for the weekly concert. Pictured in the foreground in sharpest relief are various artists, and musical and literary figures, brought together here by a synchronic impulse, as this fictive scene of modern-life suggests. Manet, the avatar of modernism, rooted firmly in the world of late Romanticism, is there, with the critic and poet Charles Baudelaire, similarly rooted. 

View full details