Friday, August 01, 2008

Tristan und Isolde

http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2010/08/creativity-example-of-homospatial.html

The Wagner-Wesendonk situation has been called a triangle by those who forget Minna. It was actually an impossible piece of geometry . . .
Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: the Man, His Mind, and His Music.
. . . far removed from everyday reality—
Robert Osserman, Poetry of the Universe: A Mathematical Exploration of the Cosmos.
The Wesendonck saga began in earnest in 1857, the year that saw the publication of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary. The husband in the case gets little mention, though it was Otto Wesendonck . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . a wealthy retired merchant, . . .
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
. . . who owned the houses, threw the parties, and footed the bills for everything.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
It seemed that as his leisure increased with his growing fortune he made use of it to . . .
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.
. . . patronize struggling genius.
Wilkie Collins, A Rogue’s Life.
Wagner . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . who lived as . . .
Charles Dickens, Bleak House.
. . . a semipermanent guest . . .
Peter Radetsky, The Invisible Invaders: The Story of the Emerging Age of Viruses.
. . . on the estate . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . of Otto and his wife . . .
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
. . . found his host . . .
Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Outlaw of Torn.
. . . tiresome, as he concedes in his memoirs, in a passage whose obliquity does nothing to disguise the brazen presumption of his conduct. "I had often noticed," he says, "that Wesendonck, in his honest, unrefined way, felt disturbed by my making myself at home in his house. In many matters, such as heating, lighting, and the hours appointed for meals, I was deferred to in a way that seemed to encroach on his rights as master of the house."
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
But then, . . .
Emile Zola, The Debacle.
—looking back—
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . Wagner’s . . .
Bryan Magee, Aspects of Wagner.
. . . relations with . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Evil Genius.
. . . his benefactors . . .
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist.
. . . had always . . .
Wilkie Collins, The Evil Genius.
. . . betrayed . . .
Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde.
. . . excessive rivalry, insatiable ambition, ingratitude—and acting out, so as to humiliate those to whom he was indebted.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
Between November 1857 and May 1858 Wagner set five of Mathilde Wesendonk's poems to music.
John Deathridge and Carl Dahlhaus, The New Grove Wagner.
The music mirrors the mystical nature of the poems, each of which deals with the themes of life slowly fading away and of eternal rest.
Brooks Peters, September Songs.
Well, in the end there came what the French call un denouement—what we in forcible modern English would call a smash,—and it happened thus.
John Strange Winter, Koosje: A Study of Dutch Life.
His first wife . . .
Thomas Hardy, Desperate Remedies.
. . . Minna's interception of a . . .
John Deathridge and Carl Dahlhaus, The New Grove Wagner.
. . . love-letter . . .
Thomas Hardy, Desperate Remedies.
. . . addressed to Mathilde (one of the few and most wildly interpreted documents to have escaped the grasp of Wagner's heirs) precipitated on 7 April 1858 a catastrophe that eventually led to his departure . . .
John Deathridge and Carl Dahlhaus, The New Grove Wagner.
. . . for Italy—
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters (explanatory notes).
Yes—for a holiday, for a long holiday . . .
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
. . . altogether alone . . .
Thomas Hardy, Life’s Little Ironies.
. . . in Venice.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters (Diary entry, October 5, 1786).
Ah, Venice! What a glorious city!
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice.
There, there would I go with you, O my beloved!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister.
. . . (as he recorded in his journal) . . .
Booth Tarkington, His Own People.
If that cannot be, I would not dwell where you are, but rather be alone in that world into which I now go forth.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Letter to Charlotte von Stein.
O Mathilde!
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.
Take my entire soul as a morning salutation!
Richard Wagner, Letter to Mathilde Wesendonk (April 7, 1858).
His letters were returned to him unopened: but he and Mathilde each kept a diary which was read by the other at a later date. Wagner’s diary, kept in the form of letters to Mathilde, gives us an incomparable picture of his inner life during his Venice sojourn.
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
Leaving behind the growing frustrations of . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters (editor’s note).
. . . creative . . .
K.R. Eissler, Goethe: A Psychoanalytic Study 1775-1786.
. . . work, a difficult love-affair, and lack of time to write, he discovers himself again . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters (editor’s note).
. . . in the wondrous island city . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters (Diary entry, September 28, 1786).
. . ..as a sensuous being and an artist.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters (editor’s note).
On his arrival in . . .
Anthony Trollope, The Prime Minister.
. . . Venice, the Serenissima of all Serenissime—
Erica Jong, Serenissima: A Novel of Venice.
. . . Wagner had, . . .
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
. . . to begin with, not a glimmer of an idea for a new composition.
Michael Steinberg, Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand.”
Writing to Mathilde . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . Richard confessed . . .
Charles Dickens, Bleak House.
. . . he was “haunted by the spectre of failing inspiration.” By his own account, he went to his studio, a tiny . . .
Michael Steinberg, Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand.”
. . . chamber . . .
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
. . . at the Hotel . . .
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice.
. . . on that first day . . .
Henry James, The Chaperon.
. . . in Venice . . .
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question.
“with the firm resolution of idling the holiday away (I needed to so much that year) and recruiting my strength. On the threshold of my old workshop . . .
Michael Steinberg, Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand.”
. . . Tristan und Isolde . . .
Richard Wagner, Letter to Hector Berlioz.
. . . took hold of me and shook me and drove me on for the next eight weeks until my greatest work was done.”
Michael Steinberg, Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand.”
—Oh, how lovely it is to love! And only now do I know what it is! Pain has lost its power and death its thorn. Tristan speaks truth: I am immortal, for how could Tristan’s love die?
Gustav Mahler, Letter to Alma Mahler (1910).
The inter-relationship of themes and particles of themes throughout . . .
Michael Kennedy, Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 8 in E-flat.
. . . Tristan . . .
James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake.
. . . is intricate and organic; and . . .
Michael Kennedy, Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 8 in E-flat.
. . . the entire work. . .
Herman Melville, Typee: A Romance of the South Sea.
. . . elaborate and massive as it is, is a recognizable sonata-form structure.
Michael Kennedy, Gustav Mahler: Symphony no. 8 in E-flat.
It required more than vision and audacity—
Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times.
This, Tristan, . . .
Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde.
. . . this extraordinary work . . .
Wilkie Collins, A Rogue’s Life.
. . . demanded also the quality of intuition, a feel for . . .
Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times.
. . . the Poetry of Earth . . .
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question (quoting Keats).
. . . a feel for nature as indefinable as a poet’s sense of words or the artist’s knowledge of what his last dab of materialistic paint can unlock in the human mind.
Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times.
Wagner’s . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . interior monologue in . . .
Bryan Magee, Aspects of Wagner.
. . . Tristan . . .
James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake.
. . . dark, dense, profound . . .
Janet Malcolm, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession.
—an experiment in density, really, as Venice is an experiment in water—
Adam Gopnik, The City and the Pillars: The Long Walk Home.
. . . embodied the composer’s . . .
BBC Online—Proms, Ludwig van Beethoven.
. . . paradoxical preoccupation with . . .
Christopher Knight, Peering Beyond the Edge.
. . . enchantment and . . .
Vladimir Nabakov, Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited.
. . . oblivion, . . .
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha.
. . .during his weeks and months in Venice.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
This inner life is not the words nor even the plot as conceived by . . .
George and Portia Kernodle, Invitation to the Theatre.
. . . Wagner . . .
Margaret Brenman-Gibson, Clifford Odets: American Playwright.
. . . the playwright, but a dynamic sequence, constantly surging in rhythmic waves from the beginning to the end.
George and Portia Kernodle, Invitation to the Theatre.
This “birth of the modern” was an explosion of energy.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
For the past several months, since the middle of April, he has dreamed many dreams about time . . .
Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams.
.
. . a new dimension of time, quite different from anything before in music. It is a time which no longer ticks by, or even dances or saunters by: it proceeds imperceptibly, as the moon moves, or as leaves change their color.
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question.
His dreams have worn him out, exhausted him so that he sometimes cannot tell whether he is awake or asleep. But the dreaming is finished.
Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams.
My sleep . . .
Richard Wagner, Siegfried.
. . . says Wagner, . . .
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question.
. . . is dreaming, my dream is searching, my search . . .
Richard Wagner, Siegfried.
. . . he says is . . .
Ivan S. Turgenev, Virgin Soil.
. . . for weapons of knowledge.
Richard Wagner, Siegfried.
Thought that can merge wholly into feeling, feeling that can merge wholly into thought—these are the artist’s highest joy. And our solitary felt in himself at this moment power to command and wield a thought that thrilled with emotion, an emotion as precise and concentrated as thought: namely, that nature herself shivers with ecstasy when the mind bows down in homage before beauty. He felt a sudden desire to write.
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice.
He mused awhile, sat down at the table, and wrote down the following lines in his sacred copy-book, without a single correction:
Ivan S. Turgenev, Virgin Soil.
My task is done, my song hath ceased,
my theme
Has died into an echo; it is fit
The spell should break of this protracted dream.
George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.
On the afternoon of August 6, . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
Or, maybe, . . .
Albert Camus, The Stranger.
. . . it was the 5th . . .
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.
. . . I can’t be sure. . . .
Albert Camus, The Stranger.
. . . Wagner summoned . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: The His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . a young musician . . .
Hugo Wolf, Letter to His Parents.
.
. . to his hotel room and invited him to look through the score of Tristan. It was almost finished.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
All . . .
Albert Camus, The Plague.
. . . the visitor . . .
H.G. Wells, The Stolen Bacillus.
. . . gathered was that the work . . .
Albert Camus, The Plague.
. . . Wagner . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . was engaged on ran to a great many pages, and he was at almost excruciating pains to bring it to perfection.
Albert Camus, The Plague.
“Eh? What’s that?”
Albert Camus, The Stranger.
. . . where are you?
Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde.
. . . bar 28 . . .
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
Can one imagine F sharp and G sharp accompanied by a chord in A minor!
The Beethoven Companion (quoting A. Oulibicheff, Beethoven, ses critiques et ses glossateurs, Paris, 1857).
He was bending over the manuscript.
Albert Camus, The Plague.
What key are we in?
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question.
. . . no sphinx ever imagined such a riddle . . .
The Beethoven Companion (quoting The Harmonicon, London, August 1823).
. . . it seems to elude analysis . . .
Hector Berlioz, A Critical Study of Beethoven’s Nine Symphonies.
“Well?”
Albert Camus, The Stranger.
A minor?
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question.
“More or less.”
Albert Camus, The Plague.
‘Ah! Now I see,’ said the visitor.
H.G. Wells, The Stolen Bacillus.
“It’s my opening phrase, and . . .
Albert Camus, The Plague.
. . . it gave me . . .
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Parasite.
. . . trouble, no end of trouble.”
Albert Camus, The Plague.
The theme floats serenely . . .
Philip T. Barford, Beethoven’s Last Sonata.
. . . says Wagner, . . .
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question.
. . . like a planet in the void, a star born in the emptiness of that motionless moment which gives the clue to the whole work.
Philip T. Barford, Beethoven’s Last Sonata.
At half-past four . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . in front of this audience, . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters.
. . . Wagner . . .
Anthony Storr, Solitude: A Return to the Self.
. . . wrote in the final bars.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
That was all.
Elia W. Peattie, The Piano Next Door.
No agony and no ecstasy.
Judith Rossner, August.
Verily it is well for the world that it sees only the beauty of the completed work . . .
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice.
. . . the fair copy . . .
The New Cassell’s German Dictionary (entry for the German word “Rein”).
. . . of the completed work and not its origins nor the conditions whence it sprang; since knowledge of the artist’s inspiration might often but confuse and alarm and so prevent the full effect of its excellence.
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice.
But Tristan’s completion seemed bleakly disenchanting compared to the elation that had gripped . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . the composer . . .
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo.
.
. . while at work on it. Only then did he become conscious of the void that faced him on awakening from a long dream filled with music.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
It was . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . on the same Canale Grande where Wagner was to die 25 years later he realized that . . .
Klaas A. Posthuma, Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”.
. . . the relationship between . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . the “wagoner” and his “mudheeldy wheesindonk ”. . .
Bryan Magee, Aspects of Wagner quoting James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake.
. . . was all over; Venice became “the tomb of their love”.
Klaas A. Posthuma, Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”.
Was liffe worth leaving? Nej!
James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake.
There . . .
Thomas Mann, Death in Venice.
. . . in Venice, . . .
Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past.
. . . it became perfectly clear to Wagner that Mathilde did not for one moment intend to play Isolde to his Tristan.
Klaas A. Posthuma, Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde”.
What . . .
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
. . . milady’s . . .
James Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake.
. . . real feelings for him were we have practically no means of knowing at present.
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
—I have formed in my own mind the following reconstruction . . .
Sigmund Freud, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria.
She imagined various versions of the final dramatic split-up, and discovered herself weeping bitterly in the midst of her engrossed imagining of the scene. She remarked how characteristic this was of her, that she was shedding those real tears with such intense feeling in a self-conjured-up situation that existed, as yet, only in her imagination. She predicted, quite correctly, that 'when that time came' she would feel nothing at all. Indeed, the actual ending of her affair came in a rather prosaic, dull way without comedy or tragedy. When it had finally ended, she was relatively quiet and serene for some weeks. Then retrospective dramatization began. She relived in imagination a past situation which had never been more than imagined. But retrospectively, the past imaginary situation had become the real one.
R.D. Laing, The Self and Others.
Let it be said that the whole matter of the relations of Wagner and Mathilde is wrapped in an obscurity that is at present utterly impenetrable. Those of his letters to her that have already been published . . .
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
. . . she was, in principle, opposed to publishing the letters . . .
J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis.
. . . are only a selection made by the lady herself in her old age, with a natural insistence on the most ideal aspects of their relationship.
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
Mathilde was no Emma Bovary.
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
—or was she?
Computer Forensics, Case Histories: Blackmail in the Chat Room.
The truth is:
Mathilde Wesendonck, Letter to W. Ashton Ellis.
She seems to have had few individual strivings or goals beyond providing for her husband and respecting his wishes. Her progeny never really belonged to her. She loved in them images of their father. She never interceded for them.
Jean-Paul Sartre, L’Idiot de la Famille.
She had moments of revulsion against her own meekness. . . . Sometimes she was surprised by the horrible possibilities that she imagined; and yet . . .
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary.
She lacked the courage to desert her husband and children and dare all for Wagner's sake. . . . And so Wagner had to leave. . . . The loss would have broken another man.
Robert L. Jacobs, Wagner.
Would you believe it? All of Wagner's heroines, without exception, as soon as they are stripped of their heroic skin, become almost indistinguishable from Madame Bovary!
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Case of Wagner.
There is no need to explain the autobiographical element in the relationship Tristan—Isolde—King Marke . . .
Hans Gal, Richard Wagner.
. . . the identification between Mathilde and Isolde, Wagner and Tristan, Wesendonk and Mark cannot be successful . . .
Hans Mayer, Portrait of Wagner.
. . . and it is sheer idle speculation whether Wagner's passion was released by the artistic concept which was filling his innermost being, or whether to that passion must be ascribed the direct cause of the composition of Tristan.
Hans Gal, Richard Wagner.
I believe that we are here face to face with the outstanding characteristic of great tragedy—that it is the equivalent both of a historical record of real events and, at the same time, of a dream.
K.R. Eissler, Discourse on Hamlet and HAMLET.
I am not sufficiently well-read to know whether this fact has already been remarked upon; possibly, indeed, some writer on aesthetics has discovered that this state . . . is a necessary condition when a work of art is to achieve its greatest effects. . . .

Let us consider Shakespeare's masterpiece, Hamlet, a play now over three centuries old.
Sigmund Freud, The Moses of Michelangelo.
Was Shakespeare expressing his own conflicts by having Hamlet act as he does in the tragedy? This question is of a different order of relevance. It is theoretically conceivable that a poet could create such personages without deriving the stuff for them from his own life history. Instead, the stuff of his personages could be derived mainly from his observations of others about him. Since it is known, however, that the process of observation also depends on the observer's unconscious, one feels inclined to assume, in this instance too, that the poet's own unconscious has been deeply involved.
K.R. Eissler, Discourse on Hamlet and HAMLET.
The author directs his attention to the unconscious in his own mind, he listens to its possible developments and lends them artistic expression instead of suppressing them by conscious criticism. Thus he experiences from himself what we learn from others—the laws which the activities of this unconscious must obey.
Sigmund Freud, Jensen's Gradiva.
I have always sought not to put anything of myself into my works and yet I did put in a great deal.
Gustave Flaubert, Letter to Louise Colet.
One of the memorable moments in Madame Bovary is the scene where the heroine seeks help from the village priest. Guilt-ridden, distraught, miserably depressed, the adulterous Emma—heading toward eventual suicide—stumblingly tries to prod the abbe into helping her find a way out of her misery.
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
Emma’s disillusionment and its reconstructions are very similar to the chronic pessimism so characteristic of Flaubert. It was his profound belief that happiness is a myth and that attachments bring nothing but pain; one day they must all be relinquished or they will become draining. The outcome of such philosophy of life was to lead to a withdrawal, similar to Emma’s, into his inner world.
Francis D. Baudry, On The Problem of Inference in Applied Psychoanalysis: Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.
Solipsism is suggested by the fact that reality for . . .
Bryan Magee, Aspects of Wagner.
. . . Flaubert . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (editor’s note).
. . . is always to be found in the psyche, not the external world. Inner emotion is so overwhelmingly experienced that everything else, including other people, has only a shadowy existence on its periphery.
Bryan Magee, Aspects of Wagner.
Hence, the inability to reach happiness through external reality and involvement with others is Emma’s main problem, as it is Flaubert’s. In this instance, then, when Flaubert was describing this aspect of Emma, he was really writing about himself.
Francis D. Baudry, On The Problem of Inference in Applied Psychoanalysis: Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.
Until the onslaught of my own illness and its denouement, I never gave much thought to my work in terms of its connection with the subconscious—an area of investigation belonging to literary detectives. But after I had returned to health and was able to reflect on the past in the light of my ordeal, I began to see clearly how depression had clung close to the outer edges of my life for many years. Suicide has been a persistent theme in my books—three of my major characters killed themselves.
William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.
To Mathilde . . .
Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.
. . . Wagner . . .
The Diary of Richard Wagner 1865-1882 – The Brown Book.
. . . observed, "My poetic conceptions have always been so far ahead of my experiences that I can only consider these conceptions as determining and ordering my moral development."
Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.
Indeed, from a certain point of view (a very doubtful one), one may say that nothing can happen in a man's life without its acquiring the meaning or function of a wish fulfillment.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
One goes astray in trying to interpret an artist's life by his work, for it is exceptional to find one a counterpart of the other. It is more likely that an artist's work will express the opposite of his life—the things he did not experience.
Romain Rolland, Wagner: A Note on Siegfried and Tristan.
The idea of Tristan and Isolde was in fact conceived not by a man in love but by someone conscious of his lack of love. As early as December 1854 Wagner had written to Franz Liszt: . . .
Hans Mayer, Portrait of Wagner: An Illustrated Biography.
. . . to the devout Abbe Liszt, whose apartment in the Vatican had been steps from the Sistine Chapel . . .
Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.
"Since in my life I have never enjoyed the real good fortune of love, I want to set up a monument to this most beautiful of all dreams, a monument in which from start to finish this love might for once be satiated: in my head I have planned a Tristan and Isolde, the simplest but most full-blooded musical conception; it is with the 'black flag' that waves at the end that I want then to cover myself, in order to—die."
Hans Mayer, Portrait of Wagner: An Illustrated Biography.
Was he contemplating suicide?
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
Wagner . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust (Part II).
. . . could readily imagine that he, like . . .
Arthur B. Reeve, The Poisoned Pen.
. . . Tristan was foredoomed to sorrow from the moment of his birth:
Ernest Newman, The Wagner Operas.
. . . doomed, since childhood, to live a miserable and unfortunate life that could all too easily lead to suicide, whatever the particular external circumstances of his later life might have been.
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
He tried to occupy his mind with books; but his soul was gangrened with bitterness against the world, which, in his opinion, had cruelly denied him the simple right to live.
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
My nights are often sleepless; I get out of bed wretched and exhausted, with the thought of a long day before me which will not bring me a single joy. The society of others tortures me, and I avoid it only to torture myself. Everything I do fills me with . . .
Romain Rolland, Wagner: A Note on Siegfried and Tristan quoting Wagner.
. . . this terrible yearning in my heart . . .
Richard Wagner, Tristan und Isolde.
I awake with horror in the morning,
And bitter tears well up in me
When I must face each day that in its course
Cannot fulfill a single wish, not one!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust.
Ay me! Sad hours seem long.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
At midnight
I awoke
And looked up at the sky.
Not a star in the galaxy
smiled at me
at midnight.
At midnight
my thought went
out to the limits of darkness.
There was no thought of light
to bring me comfort
at midnight.
Gustav Mahler and Friedrich Ruckert, Excerpt from the Song "Um Mitternacht."
What if her eyes . . .
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
. . . Mathilde’s . . .
Martin Gregor Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
. . . eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
O God, send peace and heavenly shining
On the dark desert of my heart.
Gustav Mahler, Symphony no. 8 in E-flat (quoting Goethe, Faust (Part II) (Final Scene).
This is how Wagner wrote . . .
Romain Rolland, Wagner: A Note on Siegfried and Tristan.
. . . in the diary he kept for Mathilde in Venice
Martin Gregor Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
In the same way Michelangelo wrote to his father in 1509: "I am in agony. . . . I am wasting my time to no purpose. Heaven help me!"
Romain Rolland, Wagner: A Note on Siegfried and Tristan.
'Verily, verily . . .'
Clifford Odets, Communication to William Gibson.
". . . to put up with living one has to be dead!"
Cosima Wagner's Diaries (Monday, October 9, 1882).
Yet the very hopelessness of it all kindled a mystic hope in him. Only where there are graves, as Nietzsche says, are there resurrections.
Ernest Newman, The Life of Richard Wagner.
When he prayed, "Dear God, help me!" he was praying to himself, beseeching himself to have fortitude, to be invincible of body and spirit, to have the stamina and will to create mightily in a vision of a more heroic world.
Irving Stone, The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Novel of Michelangelo.
He did not . . .
Thomas Hardy, Life’s Little Ironies.
. . . after all commit suicide . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . tho thoughts . . .
Henry Van Dyke, Ships and Havens.
. . . of self-destruction were never far away.
William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill; Visions of Glory: 1874-1932.
Sometimes . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust.
—sometimes mysteriously so—
Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism.
. . . death is never quite a welcome guest.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust.
Writing to Mathilde . . .
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
Wagner
The Diary of Richard Wagner 1865-1882 – The Brown Book.
. . . confessed:
Martin Gregor-Dellin, Richard Wagner: His Life, His Work, His Century.
Among a considerable collection of weapons I possessed a handsome, well-polished dagger. This I laid every night by my bed, and before extinguishing the candle I tried whether I could succeed in plunging the sharp point a couple of inches deep into my heart. Since I could never succeed in this, I at last laughed myself out of the notion, threw off all hypochondriacal fancies, and resolved to live.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Fiction and Truth.
Perhaps fate intervened this time on the side of right.
Brooks Peters, September Songs.
Wherever he went, conflicts speedily evolved; and he always seemed to achieve victory at first, only to hurt himself subsequently. He was forever achieving a new rise—until this drive toward self-destruction set the mortal wound. Yet even that final disaster . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . and subsequent . . .
Thomas Hardy, Desperate Remedies.
.
. . Flight to Italy . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters.
. . . was followed by an elevation, in the form of . . .
K.R. Eissler, Talent and Genius.
. . . a new trust in his perceptions and emotions and in his power to convey them
T.J. Reed, Introduction to Goethe, The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters.
He is a prototype of Ambiguous Man, compulsively engineering his own destruction, and simultaneously flying on into the future.
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question.
It was more biblical than Shakespearean—the story of a man who sinned, suffered, died, and rose again.
Leonard Garment, Crazy Rhythm.
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1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

I created this post on 2/27/11 and backdated it to 2008.