Written in exile from Germany, this potent study of Europe's most controversial composer explodes the frontiers of musical and cultural analysis. Measuring key elements of Wagner's oeuvre with patent musical dexterity, Adorno sheds light on a nineteenth-century bourgeois figure whose operas betray the social gestures and high-culture fantasies that helped plant the seeds of the modern Culture Industry. A foreword by Slavoj � i� ek situates Adorno's reflections within present debates over Wagner's anti-Semitism and the moral status of his work, proving why this book remains one of the most important character studies of the twentieth century.
Theodor W. Adorno was director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt from 1956 until his death in 1969. His works include Minima Moralia, Quasi una Fantasia, Aesthetic Theory, Negative Dialectics and (with Max Horkheimer) Dialectic of Enlightenment.