Melancholia

Matters about the idea of the end of the world seems to always bring to my mind the one thing that ever stayed with me when our favorite world mythologist, Joseph Campbell, once said that the end of the world should not be thought of as an event to come and referred to it as the annihilation of an old way of living in the world. “It is an event of psychological transformation, of visionary transformation. You see not the world of solid things but a world of radiance,” Campbell said.

While not as conclusive to Campbell’s interpretation, Melancholia does serve up a nice picturesque dichotomy between two opposing effects of imposing doom on the human psyche. There was a sense of weight, a sense of burden, and a sense of relief all in one fell swoop of a scene and it was magnificent.

 

“I’m trudging through this grey wooly yarn, it’s clinging to my legs; it’s really heavy to drag along.”

melan

but I smile, and I smile and I smile…

Richard Wagner

Whatever my passions demand of me, I become for the time being — musician, poet, director, author, lecturer or anything else.
– Wagner, letter to Liszt


For me Wagner is impossible… he talks without ever stopping. One can’t just talk all the time.
– Robert Schumann, quoted in H Gall, Johannes Brahms (1961)


His is the art of translating, by subtle gradations, all that is excessive, immense, ambitious in spiritual and natural mankind. On listening to this ardent and despotic music one feels at times as though one discovered again, painted in the depths of a gathering darkness torn asunder by dreams, the dizzy imaginations induced by opium.
– Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), Richard Wagner et Tannhäuser à Paris (1861)


If one has not heard Wagner at Bayreuth, one has heard nothing! Take lots of handkerchiefs because you will cry a great deal! Also take a sedative because you will be exalted to the point of delirium!
– Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), letter, 1884


Wagner’s art recognises only superlatives, and a superlative has no future. It is an end, and not a beginning.
– Edward Hanslick (1825-1904), in: Pleasants, ed., Hanslick’s Music Criticism (1950)

Is Wagner a human being at all? Is he not rather a disease? He contaminates everything he touches — he has made music sick. I postulate this viewpoint: Wagner’s art is diseased.
– Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), Der Fall Wagner (1866)

Of all the affected, sapless, soulless, beginningness, endless, topless, bottomless, topsiturviest, scrannel-pipiest, tongs and boniest doggerel of sounds I ever endured the deadliest of, that eternity of nothing was the deadliest — as far as the sound went.
– William Ruskin, letter, 1882, referring to a performance of Die Meistersinger,


Wagner has lovely moments but awful quarters of an hour.
– Gioacchino Rossini, 1867


I have been told that Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.
– Mark Twain, Autobiography (1924)


Not until the turn of the century did the outlines of the new world discovered in Tristan begin to take shape. Music reacted to it as a human body to an injected serum, which it at first strives to exclude as a poison, and only afterwards learns to accept as necessary and even wholesome.
– Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), The Craft of Musical Compostions (1837)

notes of music

“ I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired.
— Richard Wagner.

“ Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts successively, I hear them all at once. What a delight this is! All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing, lively dream.
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“No one feels another’s grief, no one understands another’s joy. People imagine they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by.”
—  Franz Schubert

“I try to decorate my imagination as much as I can.”
— Franz Schubert