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The Ring of the Nibelung
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Abbreviations for Key References (from primary sources)

All the extracts from the following key sources used in this book are from a chronological anthology of 1,151 numbered passages (see Appendix II, pages 1167-1450) which I selected from the writings of Ludwig Feuerbach (whose published works had an incalculable impact on Wagner as he wrote the libretto - and therefore influenced the music – of the Ring), and from the writings and recorded remarks of Richard Wagner. All these extracts are from translations of the original German into English. My choices were based upon the value of these passages for grasping the allegorical meaning of Wagner’s ten repertory operas and music-dramas, from The Flying Dutchman through Parsifal. Because the main body of Feuerbach’s writings preceded most of Wagner’s important writings and recorded observations, the chronological anthology begins with Feuerbach. Therefore, the numbered passages from 1F through 352F are drawn from Feuerbach’s writings in chronological order (dictated by date of publication of his four books upon which I drew for this anthology, and within each book by following the order in which the passages are presented). The remaining numbered passages, from 353W through 1,151W, are selections from Wagner’s writings and recorded remarks (as found in Wagner’s published writings, personal diary entries, letters, autobiography, and remarks attributed to him on certain dates by Cosima in her diaries, and others), and are numbered in correspondence with the relative date of origin of the extract.

In the body of my text, after each quotation from Feuerbach or Wagner drawn from this anthology, I have placed in brackets the following reference information, reading from left to right: the number identifying the quotation; “F” for a passage from Feuerbach, “W” for a passage from Wagner; the date of the passage if it is from Wagner’s writings or recorded remarks (in some instances having this date is very important to interpretation); the title (solely in abbreviated form if it is from one of Feuerbach’s four books, such as TDI – see list below); the volume number if relevant, and finally the page number where this quotation can be found in the source.

Ludwig Feuerbach's Writings

  • TDI      Thoughts on Death and Immortality. Translated from German by James A. Massey. Originally published in 1830.

  • EOC     The Essence of Christianity. Translated from German by George Eliot (the British novelist). Originally published in 1841.

  • PPF      The Principles of the Philosophy of the Future. Translated from German by Manfred Vogel. Originally published in 1843.

  • LER      Lectures on the Essence of Religion. Translated from German by Ralph Manheim. Based on a book published in 1845 entitled The Essence of Religion, which was intended to fill in some gaps left by     The Essence of Christianity.

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