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A Knight at the Opera: Heine, Wagner, Herzl, Peretz and the Legacy of 'Den Tannhauser' (Paperback)
  • A Knight at the Opera: Heine, Wagner, Herzl, Peretz and the Legacy of 'Den Tannhauser' (Paperback)
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A Knight at the Opera: Heine, Wagner, Herzl, Peretz and the Legacy of 'Den Tannhauser' (Paperback)

(author)
£43.50
Paperback 192 Pages / Published: 30/10/2011
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A Knight at the Opera examines the remarkable and unknown role that the medieval legend (and Wagner opera) Tannh user played in Jewish cultural life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The book analyzes how three of the greatest Jewish thinkers of that era, Heinrich Heine, Theodor Herzl, and I. L. Peretz, used this central myth of Germany to strengthen Jewish culture and to attack anti-Semitism. Readers will see how Tannh user evolves from a medieval knight to Peretz's pious Jewish scholar in the Land of Israel. The book also discusses how the founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, was so inspired by Wagner's opera that he wrote The Jewish State while attending performances of it. A Knight at the Opera uses Tannh user as a way to examine the changing relationship between Jews and the broader world during the advent of the modern era, and to question if any art, even that of a prominent anti-Semite, should be considered taboo.

Publisher: Purdue University Press
ISBN: 9781557536013
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 267 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The playing of Richard Wagner's music still evokes controversy because of the antisemitic German composer's appeal for Hitler. Garrett (Jewish civilization/historical studies, Monash U., Australia) presents a synopsis of his Tannhauser opera, tracing of its sources to folklore, and analysis of how its nationalistic theme was ironically appropriated by three leading Jewish figures. In "Der Tannhauser" by Heinrich Heine, the German-Jewish poet satirized Christian ideas of sin and redemption. Zionist Theodor Herzl found inspiration in the opera for his manifesto for a Jewish state.Polish-Yiddish storyteller Isaac L. Peretz reworked the opera to extol Jewish values in Mesires-nefesh (Self-Sacrifice). Discussion questions conclude the text. (Annotation (c)2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
"Leah Garrett's A Knight at the Opera reveals the important role played bythe Tannhauser legend in the work of Heine, Hertzl, and Peretz, demonstratingthat three of the greatest Jewish writers and thinkers of the pre-WorldWar I era were obsessed with a literary motif that was central to Germannationalism. At the core of this eye-opening work is Wagner's great opera, with which each of the three writers had an unexpectedly intimate connection."--Raymond Scheindlin, Professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature atThe Jewish Theological Seminary

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