Free Kindle Book: Wagner And His Isolde

Written By The Wagnerian on Saturday, 1 February 2014 | 4:38:00 am

"The world has been overcome. Through our love, our sorrow, it has overcome itself. It no longer is an enemy before which I flee, but an object wholly indifferent and unessential to which I can turn without fear or pain; therefore, even without any real disgust. This I realise all the more because, theoretically, my impulse to withdraw from the world no longer is as strong as formerly. Until now that impulse was the result of unstilled longing, seeking and yearning, which have now— I feel it—been assuaged. The later developments as between ourselves have made me fully conscious that we have nothing further to seek, nothing further to long for. Considering how completely you have given your self to me, I cannot characterise my feeling as resignation, least of all as despair. This daring interpretation of my state of mind appeared to me formerly as an impossible result of my yearning quest. Now, made happy by you, I am absolved from it. A holy peace is mine. The impulse is dead be cause it has been satisfied.

This calm state of mind (the result of in numerable struggles with the world, and finally of my salvation through your love), probably will lead me eventually to settle in some spot where the means of exploiting my art will be at my disposal, something that will be a sore trouble to me (since the game no longer seems worth the candle), so that, according to my humour or caprice, I can arrange for occasional and at least tolerable performances of my works. Of course any thing like a position or an appointment does not enter my mind. Moreover, I have not the least preference for one place or another, for —nowhere would I seek anything definite or individual, and least of all intimate. I am free of any such desire! On the contrary, I will grasp only at that which will enable me to maintain the most ordinary, indeed superficial, relations with my surroundings, and this may prove the easier the larger the place is. The possibility of falling back upon some intimate relationship such as I might establish in a place like Weimar, I do not for a moment consider. Such an idea is decidedly repulsive to me. I can show due regard for my deep-rooted prejudice against the world only by dealing with humanity in its totality, without any closer, individual relationship. An effort, like that in Zurich, where I sought to attract everyone toward me, I never could be capable of making again". RW

As we have previously noted there are many interesting Wagner books that have fallen into the public domain. Alas, while many of them can be found and read freely on such sites as the Internet Archive, reliable - or at least readable versions in either Epub or Kindle format are hard to find. With this in mind we are considering beginning a project that makes many of these freely available in both these formats.

As a first step in this process we are "releasing"Gustav Kobbe's 1903 selected translations of the Wagner/Wesendonck letters below.  If you have not come across them previously then you can have a look at the original below before deciding to download the book.

It should be noted that while our version is certainly better than any other epub/kindle version available it is an early version and thus is far from free of "printing errors" - despite a  great amount of time being spent on it.  However, should this prove popular enough, we will make further refinements over the next few months. We will also turn to other reprints of Wagner's letters.