The number of eminent thinkers and artists who have engaged seriously with Wagner's art has no parallel in the field of music. In this unit we will scrutinise those aspects of his art and thought which provoked such strong reactions, by looking at critical responses from figures as divergent as Baudelaire, Mann, Adorno and Zizek (to name but a few of those to be studied). By looking at what made his dramas so rich and provocative, students will come to see how music can be situated within various humanistic and political discourses, while still capable of providing pure escapist pleasure.
1 x 2hr seminar/week
1 x 3000wd research essay (50%), 1 x 15min presentation (20%), 2 x reading responses (20%), overall seminar participation (10%)