Category Archives: Wagner, Richard

Tannhäuser with gas chambers

John Podsnap

John Podsnap

Burkhard C. Kosminski’s production, staged by Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg, elicited this remark from James Kennaway, described as an historian:

While Wagner has questions to answer in relation to the Third Reich, a degree of subtlety would help.

Dalrymple’s comment:

Mr Kennaway presumably meant that Wagner was an important figure in a nasty intellectual (or at any rate ideological) tradition that, in the event, led to Nazism. True, but he was also something else; and in any case this is not the same as ‘having questions to answer,’ a formulation that combines the inexactitude of the pub bore with the moral self-examination of Mr Podsnap.