The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125667   Message #2787699
Posted By: Joe_F
13-Dec-09 - 07:54 PM
Thread Name: great crabby artists
Subject: RE: great crabby artists
Auden, in a review of a biography of Wagner, says:

"...It is sad, but a fact, that while the lives of decent folk usually make dull reading, the lives of bad hats are nearly always interesting, and Wagner, in spite of being one of the greatest musical geniuses who ever lived, was a very bad hat indeed.

    "In financial matters,... he was a... crook:....

    "Socially, he was a spoiled brat:....

    "...It was precisely about those composers from whom he had learned most that Wagner was nastiest....

    "In his sexual life, he indulged in one affair after another... but... in opera after opera, extolled the virtues of renunciation and charity....

    "Such weaknesses... make amusing reading, but there is nothing funny about Wagner's hatred of the French and the Jews. He was furious at Bismarck for not razing Paris to the ground.... Most nineteenth-century anti-Semites would have been genuinely horrified by Auschwitz, but one has the uncomfortable suspicion that Wagner would have wholeheartedly approved...."

This last is followed by a quotation that could have come straight out of _Mein Kampf_.