Today, May 22nd, in Leipzig, 199 years ago, the greatest composer who ever lived, Wilhelm Richard Wagner, was born. He was baptized in the moderately heretical Lutheran sect at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig; his father died shortly thereafter. Wagner thus served as the capstone on the great tradition of Lutheran composers, stretching back through Mendelssohn, Haendel, and Bach to Michael Praetorius, whose “Mass for Christmas Morning” I found so delightful on first hearing, it has become the gift I must, like the Ancient Mariner, bestow upon Lutherans who cross my path. (Of course, one reason it was so good is that, like insects from an ancient time preserved in amber, Praetorius reuses many ancient Catholic hymns discarded by the modernizing Church, and so completely new to me. Take a moment to hear “Quem Pastores Laudavere” and thank your local Lutheran!)
Wagner has garnered more writing about him than any other man of the Romantic Era, musical or otherwise. The closest competitor is Napoleon. (These facts I draw from Joachim Kohler’s excellent biography of the great man, Last of the Titans. ) Like Napoleon, he laid waste to the old order. Wagner, however, created a great new age, and restored to us the Greek Tragedy that had been so long obscured by intervening ages.
What I have never seen in any story on Wagner is an analysis of him in Manosphere terms. I will trace his journey in coming weeks from Pedestalizer to PUA to Patriach, showing examples in his music and writing. For the young man with beta tendencies, fear not: focusing on your craft can lead you to eventual patriarchal glory.
I mentioned above Wagner’s father’s death, and that he never knew the man. As a child, Wagner was known as Richard Geyer, for his (step)father who married his mother after his father’s death; his half-sister was his mother’s eighth child, and only one by Geyer. Wagner was always adrift in life; the opera Siegfried recounts the journey of a young man whose father was slain in battle before he was born, and whose mother died giving birth to him. He was raised by an evil dwarf named Mime (a German word recalling an actor, the profession of Wagner’s stepfather.), and has always felt alienated from him; only in the forest does he feel at home, at one with nature. Showing the fate that awaits all white knights who pursue single mothers, the hero Siegfried later kills the dwarf who raised him from infancy with an eye towards exploiting his strength. Wagner felt this way, and others, too, towards his own stepfather. He was ever inscrutable, and magnificent.
To celebrate this master of music, take eight minutes to enjoy the Forest Murmurs, from Siegfried.