Dr Jeremy Coleman's new book Richard Wagner in Paris: Translation, Identity, Modernity will be published later this year by Boydell & Brewer.
In Dr Coleman’s words: ‘Friedrich Nietzsche more than once claimed that Wagner’s only true home was in Paris. This book is the first major study to trace Wagner’s relationship with Paris from his first sojourn there (1839-1842) to the Paris Tannhäuser (1861). How did Wagner’s experiences in Paris influence his works and social character? How does his sometime desire for recognition by the French cultural establishment square with his German national identity and with the related idea of a universally valid art? The book presents Wagner’s perennial ambition of an international operatic success in the “capital city of the nineteenth century” (as Walter Benjamin later put it) and the paradoxical consequences of its failure. Through a critical examination of previously neglected source materials, the study engages with ideas in the so-called “Wagner debate” as an ongoing philosophical project that tries to come to terms with the composer’s Germanness and modern significance.’