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Old 11-17-2008, 09:46 PM   #1
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Hall, Gertrude: The Wagnerian Romances, v.1, 18 November 2008.

Gertrude Hall [married name: Gertrude Hall Brownell]
(1863-1961)
The Wagnerian Romances (1907)

From the Introduction:
“The attempt has been made in the following to give an idea of the charm and interest of the original text of the Wagner operas, of Wagner’s extraordinary power and fertility as a dramatist. It is not critique or commentary, it is presentation, picture, narrative; it offers nothing that is not derived directly and exclusively from the Wagner libretti and scores.
The stories of the operas are widely known already, of course. As literature, however, one may almost say they are not known at all, unless by students of German. The translators had before them a task so tremendous, in the necessity to fit their verse-rendering of the master’s poetry to extremely difficult music, that we respect them for achieving it at all. None the less must the translations included in our libretti be pronounced painfully inadequate. To give a better, more complete knowledge of the original poems is the object of these essays. The poems form, even apart from the music, a whole beautiful, luminous, romantic world. One would not lose more by dropping out of literature the Idylls of the King than the Wagnerian romances.”
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:15 PM   #2
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How can a eBook titled Romances not be in the category Romance. I know, I know, you don't like that word, but thats no reason not to be more accurate for everyone else.

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Old 11-18-2008, 07:27 PM   #3
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This is romance in the sense of the Old French 'roman'. The Gestes of Roland has been called a romance, even with no love-interest.
Alberich, in the Ring, renounces love. Parsifal doesn't fall for Kundry. These are not love-stories. They are stories about how human redemption is possible. There is light at the end of the tunnel (but, especially in the case of the Ring, it is a very long tunnel).
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for the explanation. Looks like pretty heavy reading.

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