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Perfect Wagnerite Commentary the Ring - George Bernard Shaw

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The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring by
by Bernard Shaw

Preface to the First German Edition

In reading through this German version of my book in the
Manuscript of my friend Siegfried Trebitsch, I was struck by the
inadequacy of the merely negative explanation given by me of the
irrelevance of Night Falls On The Gods to the general philosophic
scheme of The Ring. That explanation is correct as far as it
goes; but, put as I put it, it now seems to me to suggest that
the operatic character of Night Falls On The Gods was the result
of indifference or forgetfulness produced by the lapse of
twenty-five years between the first projection of the work and
its completion. Now it is clear that in whatever other ways
Wagner may have changed, he never became careless and he never
became indifferent. I have therefore inserted a new section in
which I show how the revolutionary history of Western Europe from
the Liberal explosion of 1848 to the confused attempt at a
socialist, military, and municipal administration in Paris in
1871 (that is to say, from the beginning of The Niblung's Ring by
Wagner to the long-delayed completion of Night Falls On The
Gods), demonstrated practically that the passing away of the
present order was going to be a much more complicated business
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