‘Five Lessons on Wagner’ by Alain Badiou

Published by Verso in 2010.

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For over a century, Richard Wagner’s music has been the subject of intense debate among philosophers, many of whom have attacked its ideological—some say racist and reactionary—underpinnings. In this major new work, Alain Badiou, radical philosopher and keen Wagner enthusiast, offers a detailed reading of the critical responses to the composer’s work, which include Adorno’s writings on the composer and Wagner’s recuperation by Nazism as well as more recent readings by Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and others. Slavoj Žižek provides an afterword, and both philosophers make a passionate case for re-examining the relevance of Wagner to the contemporary world.

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