Wagner's close ties with many talented Jews, then, are surprising. Most writers have dismissed these connections as cynical manipulations and rank hypocrisy. Examination of the original sources, however, reveals something different: unmistakeable, undeniable empathy and friendship between Wagner and the Jews in his life. Indeed, the composer had warm relationships with numerous individual Jews. Two of them resided frequently over extended periods in his home. One of these, the rabbi's son Hermann Levi, conducted Wagner's final opera--Parsifal, based on Christian legend--at Wagner's request; no one, Wagner declared, understood his work so well. Even in death his Jewish friends were by his side; two were among his twelve pallbearers.
The contradictions between Wagner's antipathy toward the amorphous entity "The Jews" and his genuine friendships with individual Jews are the subject of this book. Drawing on extensive sources in both German and English, including Wagner's autobiography and diary and the diaries of his second wife, this comprehensive treatment of Wagner's anti-Semitism is the first to place it in perspective with his life and work. Included in the text are portions of unpublished letters exchanged between Wagner and Hermann Levi. Altogether, the book reveals astonishing complexities in a man long known as much for his prejudice as for his epic contributions to opera.
Rosenblatt acknowledges that later in Paradise Lost, after the fall, a Pauline hermeneutic reduces the Hebrew Bible to a captive text and Adam and Eve to shadowy types. But Milton's shift to a radically Pauline ethos at that point does not annul the Hebraism of the earlier part of the work. If Milton resembles Paul, it is not least because his thought could attain harmonies only through dialectic. Milton's poetry derives much of its power from deep internal struggles over the value and meaning of law, grace, charity, Christian liberty, and the relationships among natural law, the Mosaic law, and the gospel.
Informed by a range of critical methods, the essays examine the diverse - sometimes conflicting - and strained expressions of nationhood and national identity in Milton's writings, to address the literary, ethnic, and civic dimensions of his nationalism. These essays enrich our understanding of the imaginative achievements, religious polemics, and political tensions of Milton's poetry and prose, as well as the impact of his writings in the later seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Early Modern Nationalism and Milton's England also illuminates the formation of early-modern nationalism, as well as the complexities of seventeenth-century English politics and religion.
Presents new and authoritative essays by internationally respected Milton scholars Explains how and why Milton’s works established their central place in the English literary canon Structured chronologically around Milton’s major works Also includes a select bibliography and a chronology detailing Milton’s life and works alongside relevant world events Ideal as a first critical work on Milton