Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Finding an Ending: Reflections on Wagner's Ring Paperback – September 22, 2005
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"Determined like no other composer to 'fathom the depths of philosophy,' Wagner wrote operas exploring the elemental passions and conflicts of the human condition. Kitcher and Schacht, distinguished philosophers in their own right, present a profound analysis of the guiding ideas of the Ring which enables us to grasp as never before the power of Wagner's most ambitious work."--Charles E. Larmore, University of Chicago Law School
"Each chapter contains thought-provoking discussions that will intellectually engage readers, even those who are unmoved, or perhaps repelled, by Wagner's music and ideas."--Library Journal
"A strikingly successful reading of Wagner's music drama as a philosophical meditation on the meaning of human existence and freedom."--Paul Boghossian, New York University
"An analytic gem...[Kitcher and Schacht's] definitions and explanations [are] crystal clear.... This book will surely satisfy Wagner aficionados as much as it will make those who are new to the Ring feel welcome."--Nicholas Vazsonyi, Wagner Notes
About the Author
Philip Kitcher is John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. He is the author of seven previous books, is a past president of the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division), and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He currently holds the Romanell Professorship in Philosophy, awarded annually by Phi Beta Kappa. Richard Schacht is Professor of Philosophy and Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His previous books include Hegel and After, Nietzsche, The Future of Alienation, and Making Sense of Nietzsche.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Parenthetically, it also reveals how shallow our LA Ring is and what a travesty Achim Freyer's staging has made of this magnificent work. But that is the subject of another discussion.
This is a very ambitious undertaking and my brief description doesn't do justice to the careful development of the authors' analysis. I certainly found it convincing. If anything, Kitcher and Schacht may not go far enough. Their analysis emphasizes human construction of meaning.Read more ›
The Ring, according to the authors, was written under the influence of Feuerbach's secular humanist optimism, complicated by Wagner's own experience of the failure of worldly political utopianism. The ending symbolizes the "death of God," not merely the death of the Idols, as theologians would have it. The atheist pessimism of Schopenhauer came to seem more realistic to Wagner (with his last opera Parsifal??), but not before he finished the Ring with a ringing affirmation of life and love.
In trying to articulate how it is that, in spite of defeat and death, "not everything has been lost," they come surprisingly close, but are finally blocked by the ghost of logical positivism. In Mozart's Don Giovanni, the authors see Nietzsche's Ubermensch; a figure literally beyond good and evil, and not subject to any truth or negative judgment beyond the conflicting prejudices of finite creatures. In the judgment of the authors, the Commendatore, and the transcendent Judgment he symbolizes, is laughable. So also with positive judgment; the final theme of the Ring cannot be "redeemed by Love," but merely "triumph and vindication of Brunnhilde." (In whose eyes? If all judgment and truth are relative? If all who judge are temporary, finite, fallible creatures? If there is no Ideal Observer?)
i was hoping for points of view with which to examine subtleties and/or subplots within the ring. what i got was an unreadable drek.