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Tolkien and Wagner: The Ring and Der Ring Paperback – 25 Feb 2012

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Paperback, 25 Feb 2012
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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Walking Tree Publishers (25 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3905703211
  • ISBN-13: 978-3905703214
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,312,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ross Smith on 15 Jan. 2013
Serious studies of Wagner's possible influence on Tolkien have been hampered to date by two major obstacles. The first is Tolkien's steadfast refusal to admit any significant prior influence with regard to his fictional creations. He would grudgingly accept that some ancient sources, such as Beowulf, might have found their way into his stories, but he was most unwilling to admit to any more modern influence. The second is the reputation of Wagner himself: his association with the Nazis and with Nietzsche make him a delicate subject, however illogical, or even tiresome, this may sometimes be.
Dr. MacLachlan does not trundle out the usual objection to the Wagner-Hitler association, this being that the former died six years before the latter was even born and therefore any linkage to the Nazis was hardly his fault. Undoubtedly aware that the ethical minefield of Wagner's opinions on race and statehood is best given a very wide berth, the author concentrates on questions of Art. MacLachlan's purpose is predominantly literary and he sticks to his mission of explaining what he regards as the undeniable influence of Richard Wagner's four "Ring" operas on Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit".
His explanation is very convincing. As MacLachlan tells us with admirable clarity, other scholars have come very close to openly stating that "The Lord of the Rings" is deeply indebted - in terms of theme, storyline and cast - to the Ring Cycle, but at the last minute they have shied away, probably too fearful of bringing upon themselves the accusation of being the first to clearly associate the venerable old Professor with the disgraced totalitarian composer.
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