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The Ring of the Nibelung
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mature philosophy, there are corresponding passages in Feuerbach’s writings to which Wagner would be similarly hostile. In fact, there are several instances in which Wagner seems to have confused Nietzsche with Feuerbach.

Similarly, I have placed {SCHOP} before every passage in the Wagner anthology in which one can detect Schopenhauer’s influence. Wagner tends to credit Schopenhauer for specific insights far more often than Feuerbach, even though Feuerbach’s overall influence, in my view, is much greater. But there are several passages in the anthology dating from before Wagner’s first known reading of Schopenhauer in 1854, in which Wagner seems to have anticipated ideas which he would later find in Schopenhauer’s writings. Such passages are preceded by {Pre-SCHOP}.

My specific sources, in English translations, are listed below. Eventually I will provide the German original for all these selected passages. In instances such as Stewart Spencer’s selections of reminiscences of Wagner, and his collaboration with Barry Millington in selecting Wagner’s letters for his anthology, obviously a significant part of the job of selecting appropriate passages from a huge wealth of Wagner documents has been done for me, but nonetheless I have chosen only a small portion of passages from among these two collections. There are numerous letters by Wagner to which I have no access, and it is possible that some of these may have considerable value, and therefore will of course eventually be included in this anthology, which may be regarded as a work in progress. Though Ashton Ellis’s English translation of Wagner’s prose works, in eight volumes, is notorious among scholars for its inaccuracy, nevertheless I have found his translation invaluable, and hope eventually to replace any inaccurate translations with more accurate ones. In general, in my interpretation of Wagner’s operas and music-dramas, I have only drawn significant conclusions from extracts of Wagner’s writings and recorded remarks which have corroborating evidence in numerous similar passages.

I welcome any suggestions for improving this selection from Feuerbach’s writings, and from Wagner’s writings and recorded remarks. If, for instance, a reader knows of passages from my sources, or from other sources not included by me (such as the numerous Wagner letters which have not yet been published, or which at any rate are not contained in my sources listed below), which have crucial importance for grasping the meaning of Wagner’s operas or music-dramas, or more generally for understanding his creative process, but which are missing from my anthology, I will gladly consider including them if the reader can make a strong case. Future editions of my book will include this additional material, and credit the source of the suggestion. I would also like to hear from any readers who detect mistakes, particularly mistakes in translation. I have, however, avoided including passages from Wagner’s writings and recorded remarks which have only a technical interest, or a merely biographical interest, but which do not enlighten us on the meaning of Wagner’s operas and music-dramas, or on the nature of his creative impulse.

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