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Judaism in Music and Other Essays Paperback – June 28, 1995

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; 1ST edition (June 28, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803297661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803297661
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,637,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Laon on August 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
The German word "Erdball" means "world". It takes a weird translator to want to render it into English as "Earthball". H Ashton Ellis is that translator, a man who, in learning German, forgot all his English. Ellis translates German compound words not with plain English but with strange Germanic formulations, eg "leg-dancers", or "tone-arranger" for a German word that simply means "composer". So while it's good to have these Wagner texts available in English, it's a shame that the re-appearance of these awful translations in a modern edition will publishers from commissioning a new, competent, plain-English translation discourage. Ellis also makes Wagner's "Das Judentum in Musik" harder to evaluate by introducing antisemitic overtones (perhaps of his own) where the Wagner text doesn't justify it. For example, the Ellis text describes Mendelsohn as "a Jew composer", which has a hostile, sneering, sound to it. But Wagner's text has "Judaische"; the correct translation is the merely descriptive "a Jewish composer". There are other, similar examples.
As for Wagner, "Das Judentum in Musik"'s argument is that because [in mod-19th Century Europe] Jews are partly involved in the cultures amongst which they live, and are partly separate and aloof from them, their music and poetry don't have the warmth, depth and humanity that come from having strong folk roots; Jewish art, while Jews remain apart and not assimilated into the mainstream "folk", is likely to be imitative, clever, ironical, and so on, but not deep or passionate.
The essay brings no comfort to Wagner-lovers, but not quite as much comfort to Wagner-haters as is sometimes claimed.
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