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Enlightenment Erotica

David Nokes, 4 August 1988

Eros Revived: Erotica of the Enlightenment in England and America 
by Peter Wagner.
Secker, 498 pp., £30, March 1988, 0 436 56051 8
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’Tis Nature’s Fault: Unauthorised Sexuality during the Enlightenment 
edited by Robert Purks Maccubin.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 34539 1
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The New Eighteenth Century: Theory, Politics, English Literature 
edited by Felicity Nussbaum and Laura Brown.
Methuen, 320 pp., £28, February 1988, 0 416 01631 6
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... of Sporting Ladies (c. 1770) is typical of many entries from whores’ directories included by Peter Wagner in Eros Revived. Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies, published regularly between 1760 and the early 1790s, prided itself on providing up-to-date information for the sporting gentlemen of London, including full details of starting prices and ...
Wagner in Performance 
edited by Barry Millington and Stewart Spencer.
Yale, 214 pp., £19.95, July 1992, 0 300 05718 0
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WagnerRace and Revolution 
by Paul Lawrence Rose.
Faber, 304 pp., £20, June 1992, 9780571164653
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Wagner Handbook 
edited by Ulrich Müller and Peter Wapnewski, translated by John Deathridge.
Harvard, 711 pp., £27.50, October 1992, 0 674 94530 1
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Richard Wagner’s Visit to Rossini and An Evening at Rossini’s in Beau-Séjour 
by Edmond Michotte, translated by Herbert Weinstock.
Quartet, 144 pp., £12.95, November 1992, 9780704370319
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... The bewildering variety of interests and standards in Wagner scholarship (or what passes for it) is congenitally resistant to study.’ Thus John Deathridge, the leading Wagner scholar of the English-speaking world, at the beginning of his chapter on Wagner research in the Wagner Handbook ...

Is Wagner bad for us?

Nicholas Spice, 11 April 2013

... death is the real terminus that yields to no one.’Like anyone who has spent time thinking about Wagner, I have inevitably come back to the subject of boundaries and limits, and in particular to questions about the boundary that lies between Wagner’s works and his listeners, and about the experience, apparently not ...
The Bayreuth Ring 
BBC2, October 1982Show More
Parsifal 
directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg.
Edinburgh Film Festival, September 1982
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Parsifal 
by Lucy Beckett.
Cambridge, 163 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 521 22825 5
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Wagner and Literature 
by Raymond Furness.
Manchester, 159 pp., £14.50, February 1982, 0 7190 0844 1
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Wagner to ‘The Waste Land’: A Study of the Relationship of Wagner to English Literature 
by Stoddart Martin.
Macmillan, 277 pp., £20, June 1982, 0 333 28998 6
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Wagner and Aeschylus: ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Oresteia’ 
by Michael Ewans.
Faber, 271 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 0 571 11808 9
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... as ‘the Ring of the century’ – an accolade which plainly belongs to the 1951 Wieland Wagner production which inaugurated the ‘New Bayreuth’. Musically, the Boulez Ring cannot compare with Furtwängler’s La Scala performance or Knappertsbusch’s 1957 cycle, both available on record. Moreover, if the New Bayreuth approach to ...

Hitler and History

Hans Keller, 5 February 1981

Hitler 
by Norman Stone.
Hodder, 195 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 0 340 24980 3
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Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ in Britain and America: A Publishing History 1930-39 
by James Barnes and Patience Barnes.
Cambridge, 158 pp., £8.50, September 1980, 0 521 22691 0
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The Berlin Secession: Modernism and Its Enemies in Imperial Germany 
by Peter Paret.
Harvard, 262 pp., £10.50, December 1980, 0 674 06773 8
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German Romantic Painting 
by William Vaughan.
Yale, 260 pp., £19.95, October 1980, 0 300 02387 1
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... of the belief that Hitler has a specific history in German Romanticism. It is a delusion which Peter Paret and especially William Vaughan are quite ready to take for reality, while Norman Stone’s own dreams about ‘the positive qualities of Hitler, his real achievements’ (thus Professor J.H. Plumb’s Introduction) aid and abet it: if Hitler was some ...

Doing Some Measuring ahead of Time

Richard Davenport-Hines: Sade in Prison, 9 August 2001

Letters from Prison 
by the Marquis de Sade, translated by Richard Seaver.
Harvill, 401 pp., £20, October 2000, 1 86046 807 1
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De Sade's Valet 
by Nikolaj Frobenius, translated by Tom Geddes.
Marion Boyars, 242 pp., £9.95, November 2000, 0 7145 3060 3
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... in social issues, and he used sex in his writings as a way of describing power relations. As Peter Wagner demonstrated in Eros Revived (1988), politicised pornography was an 18th-century commonplace. Sade’s pornography, as one would expect from a man who so calamitously lacked the power to refrain, is boringly exaggerated. The interminable and ...

At the British Museum

Anne Wagner: Käthe Kollwitz, 2 January 2020

... Kollwitz modelled for this image in front of a mirror, sitting naked cradling her young son Peter. Her mouth is pressed to his chest as if, in the words of her friend Beate Bonus-Jeep, she is trying ‘to swallow back into herself the disappearing life that once belonged to her womb’. Peter died in the first months ...

Elimination

Peter Barham: Henry Cotton, 18 August 2005

Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine 
by Andrew Scull.
Yale, 360 pp., £18.95, May 2005, 0 300 10729 3
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... and the criminal, the professional and the political. Scull recounts the story of Julius Wagner von Jauregg, who was threatened with prosecution for the barbaric electrical treatment he had inflicted on recalcitrant soldiers in the First World War. He was rescued by Freud, who helped turn Wagner von Jauregg’s ...

Wittgenstein’s Bag of Raisins

Norman Malcolm, 19 February 1981

Culture and Value 
by Ludwig Wittgenstein, edited by G.H. von Wright, Heikki Nyman and Peter Winch.
Blackwell, 94 pp., £9.50, September 1980, 0 631 12752 6
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... civilisation, philosophy, faith, God, talent, originality, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner. It seemed to Georg Henrik Von Wright, one of Wittgenstein’s literary executors, that many of these reflections would be of interest to people who would not read Wittgenstein’s philosophical work, even though the best understanding of most of them ...

The Trouble with Publishers

Fritz Stern, 19 September 1996

The Nietzsche Canon: A Publication History and Bibliography 
by William Schaberg.
Chicago, 297 pp., £29.95, March 1996, 0 226 73575 3
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... records Nietzsche’s devotional concern for his books. As his friend and helpmeet in publishing, Peter Gast (the familiar pseudonym for Heinrich Köselitz), wrote to him, probably after having seen early versions of passages from Ecce Homo (in a letter not cited in Schaberg’s book): ‘Life and philosophy are the same for you: thus you must tell your life ...

Cooking it up

Rupert Christiansen, 19 January 1989

Maria: Callas Remembered 
by Nadia Stancioff.
Sidgwick, 264 pp., £13.95, April 1988, 0 283 99645 5
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Callas at Juilliard: The Master Classes 
by John Ardoin.
Robson, 300 pp., £16.95, April 1988, 0 86051 504 4
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Callas as they saw her 
edited by David Lowe.
Robson, 264 pp., £6.95, April 1988, 9780860514961
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The Great Caruso 
by Michael Scott.
Hamish Hamilton, 322 pp., £16.95, June 1988, 0 241 11954 5
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Chaliapin 
by Victor Borovsky.
Hamish Hamilton, 630 pp., £25, April 1988, 0 241 12254 6
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... to the general. This applies just as much to the self-confessed puritans of the genre (Gluck, Wagner, Birtwistle) as to the unapologetic sensualists (Handel, the Italians, Strauss): perhaps only Debussy in Pelléas et Mélisande has successfully transcended this fundamental crudity of impact. In the period since Brecht’s strictures, however, a nouvelle ...

Tomorrow is here again

Anne Wagner: The First Pop Age, 11 October 2012

The First Pop Age 
by Hal Foster.
Princeton, 338 pp., £20.95, October 2011, 978 0 691 15138 0
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... Transposition of what? Foster begins his book with the pronouncement of the architects Alison and Peter Smithson: ‘Today we collect ads.’ For the first Pop artists this was an article of faith. Avid bottom-feeders, they scraped up regular doses of tabloid violence and pulp pornography, raiding the corner shop for its comic books and scouring flea markets ...

The German Ideal

Misha Donat, 30 December 1982

Carl Maria von Weber: Writings on Music 
edited by John Warrack, translated by Martin Cooper.
Cambridge, 402 pp., £35, December 1981, 0 521 22892 1
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... Kakadu Variations for piano trio): but who today has heard of Bernard Anselm Weber’s Deodata, Peter von Winter’s Das Unterbrochene Opferfest, Friedrich von Drieberg’s Don Tacagno, Friedrich Himmel’s Fanchon, Anton Fischer’s Das Hausgesinde or Carl Ludwig Hellwig’s Die Bergknappen? One opera that prompted an unusually long review was ...

The Ultimate Magical Synaesthesia Machine

Rob Young: Painting Music, 22 September 2011

The Music of Painting 
by Peter Vergo.
Phaidon, 367 pp., £39.95, November 2010, 978 0 7148 5762 6
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... going to happen at all, it was most likely during the futurist frenzy of the early 20th century. Peter Vergo, in The Music of Painting, examines a neglected aspect of the modernist era, when a variety of painters, poets, composers and inventors became preoccupied with the convergence of visual and aural stimuli – a utopian race towards a future of total ...

Et in Alhambra ego

D.A.N. Jones, 5 June 1986

Agate: A Biography 
by James Harding.
Methuen, 238 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 413 58090 3
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Subsequent Performances 
by Jonathan Miller.
Faber, 253 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 571 13133 6
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... a new idea. It is easiest to make such changes when the playwright is dead. John Osborne and Peter Nichols did not want Miller to alter their plays, but he was more fortunate when he directed Robert Lowell’s version of Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound. Since Miller did not want to set this play in the Caucasus, with an actor tied to a rock, he ...

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