The “nationalist rhetoric of Wagner and his works” (Grey 2002) has come to dominate our perception of the composer as staunchly and exclusively German. Yet his first published writings lauded Italian opera and singers, he maintained a lifelong allegiance to Bellinian melody, visited Italy no fewer than nine times, and was happy to die in Venice. This chapter explores Wagner’s concealed Italianism. It asks to what extent Wagner’s writings individuated common outsider perspectives on Italian identity—eroticism, sensuality (Sinnlichkeit), vitality, instinct, warmth—from figures such as Goethe and de Staël. And by charting the “discourse networks” surrounding Wagner’s literary encounters with Italy, it seeks to quality our Germanocentric view of Wagner.
|Title of host publication||The Legacy of Richard Wagner|
|Place of Publication||Turnhaut|
|Number of pages||35|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
- Richard Wagner
- Germaine de Stael
- literary fantasy