The Wagner Complex: Genesis and Meaning of The Ring from Free Scholar Press
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Now in its 2nd, revised edition, The Wagner Complex sets forth an unapologetically psychoanalytic interpretation of Wagner’s Ring. Though it seems a commonplace that Wagner’s works offer fertile ground for such an approach, remarkably little analysis along these lines has actually been published. This book fills a conspicuous void in the vast literature on Wagner. Its primary focus is on the genesis and meaning of The Ring, but the book is by the way an essay in the intellectual and cultural history of nineteenth century Europe, an exploration of the Zeitgeist in whose atmosphere Wagner's operatic creations and Freud's psychological speculations alike came to fruition, most notably the emerging conjecture--scientific as well as philosophical--of the fundamental role played by the unconscious in everyday life and the creative process. The overarching conclusion of The Wagner Complex is that The Ring comprises not merely fanciful adventures (and misadventures) of gods, giants, and dwarves, of super-human heroes and anti-heroes such as traverse its intricate surface, but shadows forth symbolically the drama of unconscious psychic conflict.