The Wagner Journal

Information Overload: David Conway wonders whether the documentary material unearthed in a new study is strictly necessary

Information Overload: David Conway wonders whether the documentary material unearthed in a new study is strictly necessary

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Review of Thomas S. Grey, ed., Richard Wagner and his World (Princeton University Press, 2009). 

March 2010, Volume 4, Number 1, 79–82.

‘As long as there are books, it seems, there will be books on Wagner’, begins the Preface by Thomas S. Grey. Not, as it happens, the preface to this book; this is from his preface to last year’s big Wagner compendium, also edited by him. The preface of the present volume, in a similar mode, repeats the conventional wisdom that the Wagner legacy is ‘almost inexhaustible’ (p. ix). Grey’s ‘it seems’ and ‘almost’ are wise, for this compilation shows distinct signs of the almost unthinkable: could we be in the age of Wagnerfestchriftendämmerung? I will return to this thought presently.

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