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Just in Case of Wagner: Four Lessons on Wagner’s Gods

Murray Dineen

Prelude

I shall observe in this essay the following principle: when it comes to politics, Wagner’s operas and operatic audiences are in greater need of Badiou than Badiou of Wagner. Badiou’s dependence upon the operatic politics of Wagner, however, cannot be put so easily to one side. The fact that Badiou should leave so compelling an account in his Five Lessons on Wagner is not salved by a reference to “diffidence” in the book’s introduction: “This book possesses something of the diffidence, perhaps, of those fundamental silences that are broken purely by chance” (2010, x).

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