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Michael Portillo On Richard Wagner

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday 18 March 2016 | 10:02:00 pm

Text of remarks made by Michael Portillo at the Longborough Festival Opera, Friday 2 July 1999.

"Then there’s Mime, the whining and potentially murderous dwarf. Well, the Tory party abounds with people who could take that role."

"A friend of mine once put it to me that for the Conservative Party the issue of Europe has been like the Curse of the Ring. Since long ago, when we were first seduced by the Rhine maidens of Euro federalism, every Tory leader who has possessed the ring ­ that is who has held power - has come to a sticky end"

I’ve made a number of unwise speeches in my time, but this one probably takes the biscuit. In my experience, few audiences are less tolerant of error, or more fanatical about precise detail, than Wagner fans. To speak about the Great Genius, is to enter the lions’ den.

I thought, therefore, that I had better speak mainly about politics. Some of you may know that I used to be in that line myself once.

10:02:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More

New Book: Roger Scruton "The Ring of Truth: The Wisdom of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung"

Written By The Wagnerian on Sunday 6 March 2016 | 6:46:00 pm

Due to be published June 30 2016. Sadly very little information available on Dr Scruton's new book around the subject of Wagner and the Ring. However, unless something very strange has happened, we are pretty certain it will not be a Marxist analysis of Wagner's work. It has been a long time since we last saw an examination of the Ring from the "right". It will certainly be interesting hear what someone who said the following of the student protests in paris of 1968 will say of the Ring:

"I suddenly realized I was on the other side. What I saw was an unruly mob of self-indulgent middle-class hooligans. When I asked my friends what they wanted, what were they trying to achieve, all I got back was this ludicrous Marxist gobbledegook. I was disgusted by it, and thought there must be a way back to the defence of western civilization against these things. That's when I became a conservative. I knew I wanted to conserve things rather than pull them down."

Publisher's details: 

The Ring of Truth: The Wisdom of Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung
30 Jun 2016
by Roger Scruton 

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Allen Lane (30 Jun. 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0241188555
ISBN-13: 978-0241188552

Roger Scruton is a writer and philosopher who has held positions at the universities of London, Oxford, Boston and St Andrews and who has written widely on art, architecture, music and aesthetics. His books include his now classic Short History of Modern Philosophy (1981), The Aesthetics of Music (1997), Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde (2004), Fools, Frauds and Firebrands (1985, republished 2015) an examination of the New Left and its influence on intellectual life in Europe and America. He is a fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
6:46:00 pm | 0 comments | Read More