Family Letters of Richard Wagner William Ashton Ellis

ISBN: 9781406704822

Published: March 1st 2007

Paperback

328 pages


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Family Letters of Richard Wagner  by  William Ashton Ellis

Family Letters of Richard Wagner by William Ashton Ellis
March 1st 2007 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 328 pages | ISBN: 9781406704822 | 3.14 Mb

FAMILY LETTERS RICHARD WAGNER TRANSLATED, INDEXED, ETC. BY WILLIAM ASHTON ELLIS MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED ST. MARTINS STREET, LONDON 1911 TRANSLATORS PREFACE SOMEWHERE I have recently seen this collection of Family Letters referred to by aMoreFAMILY LETTERS RICHARD WAGNER TRANSLATED, INDEXED, ETC.

BY WILLIAM ASHTON ELLIS MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED ST. MARTINS STREET, LONDON 1911 TRANSLATORS PREFACE SOMEWHERE I have recently seen this collection of Family Letters referred to by a well-wishing journalist in advance of its integral English publica tion a few of the letters or portions thereof having been elsewhere translated by me before as c a supplement to Wagners Autobiography.

Upon the assumption that we yet may be given a reliable translation or Mem Leben y to some extent I can accept that description, as all the intimate expres sions of a great mans personality may be said to supplement each other in a sense. But the true counterpart of these letters of Richard Wagners to his blood-relatives and connections is to be found, of course, in those to his first wife Minna, at the end of my preface to which I breathed the hope, now more than two years since, that they might soon be supplemented by an English render ing of the delightful Familienbriefe and in fact it is by the barest chance that the latter rendering did not then take first place, as was my own desire when the two collections made almost simultaneous appear ance in their original vernacular, winter 1907-8.

vi TRANSLATORS PREFACE For my own part, as between the three works just named, in the matter of self-portraiture I should give decided preference and should have even before seeing any of them to the one which displays to us the author in the most levelling of all human relations, that of the member of a large family conclave, and youngest but one of a numerous middle-class brood. Here no possible suspicion of attitudinising can arise in the mind of the mostinveterate carper if I may be allowed to appeal to personal experience of a similar quiverful, elder brothers and sisters knock all that sort of thing out of their juniors mighty soon.

And so we get a picture of the naked human spirit in the driest and most neutral of lights, even the letters addressed to a younger generation, those to two or three adoring nieces, being sobered by the certainty that they will be shewn to the girls parents. Yet what letters they are, the majority of those to his nieces Take No.

65, for instance, with its I court the affection of nobody, and leave people to think what they like of me but ... if but a finger of true unconditional love is held out to me from anywhere, I snatch at the whole hand as possessed, draw the whole mortal to me by it if I can, and give him, an it may be, just such a thorough hearty kiss as I should like to give your self to-day. As pendant to which I may cite that to his brother-in-law Eduard of almost ten TRANSLATORS PREFACE VI 1 years earlier I know no first nor last midst those my heart belongs to Ive only one heart, and whoever dwells there is its tenant from bottom to top p.

56. After reading the above pair of extracts, and comparing them with the letters to Uhlig or Liszt, one may be pretty sure that if this collection is not ten times its present size, the fault largely lies at the recipients door either in that lack of responsiveness so common among large families, particularly when most of the grown-ups have young progeny of their own to attend to, or in simple neglect to treasure up a store whose future value was not realised cf.

p. 278. Yes, and as my friend Herr Glasenapp informs us in his thumb nail sketch at thisvolumes end it is to the half sister, Cecilie Avenarius, her famous brothers only junior, that we owe the conservation of the main bulk of those family-letters we do possess just as it was to her and her husband that by far the chief constituents of its first half were addressed...



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