Wagner and Cultural Revolution

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“Wagner was as committed as ever to the overthrow of existing conditions. However, the scope of his rebellion had changed. His desire for change now went deeper than the political process in terms of its end and beyond the political process, beyond even revolutionary politics, in terms of the means to bring that revolutionary change about. In the aftermath of 1849, Wagner went from being a failed political revolutionary to being an enormously successful revolutionary musician. The publication of the ostensibly so radical Art and Revolution was in reality the beginning of a turn inward that would be consummated some years later. Wagner was still for revolution, but the terms of the revolution had changed from the political to the cultural.” [E. Michael Jones, Dionysos Rising (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1994), p. 14]

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