Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
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Monday, July 16, 2007

A Quick Question for the Readers

I am preparing a lecture on Wagner to be given in conjunction with the Kirov Ring at Lincoln Center, and am compiling a list of poets, painters, philosophers, writers, etc. who were known to be anti-Semitic. My list, so far: Wagner (of course), T.S. Eliot, Philip Larkin, Stravinsky, Chopin, Martin Luther, Webern, Strauss, PIcasso, Simenon. Can anyone add, and quick?

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have Eliot, you also have to have Pound. Degas is in there, too.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Brooklyn Kitchen said...

Ezra Pound?

12:28 PM  
Blogger Brooklyn Kitchen said...

This could help:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-123583301.html

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Ezra Pound springs to mind. I'll keep thinking about it.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wallace Stevens, e.e. cummings...

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mussorgsky's 'Schmuyle' is supposed to be anti-semitic.

So are Hans Sachs' vocal lines supposed to be anti-semitic.

Don't believe the hype!

3:59 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

I will happily answer the last anonymous contributor if he-she were to actually write under a name. I am not interested in a polemic here, just want to know who was considered famously anti-Semitic, not if Hans Sachs' vocal lines were. Wagner was without question the biggest hater pre-Hitler, and Mussorgsky by all accounts was no slouch himself, so your comment about "hype" is inflamatory done behind a wall of secrecy. Come out, come out...

9:22 PM  
Blogger Caleb Deupree said...

The French writer Louis-Ferdinand CĂ©line.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous svengali said...

You should also consider the fortnightly "Deutsche Tischgesellschaft", a political salon which existed from 1811 to 1813 and included most of the prominent Romantic writers, philosophers and political thinkers of Prussia: Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano, Fichte, Schleiermacher, Savigny, Clausewitz, Schinkel. The society's programmatic statements mixed anti-modern and Romantic sentiment with clear-cut anti-Semitic (and anti-French) attitudes, most obviously in von Arnim's flamboyant speeches "On the Characteristics of the Jewry".

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Sara said...

notwithstanding the comment made by Daniel about avoiding polemic, I'd like to stick up for Georges Simenon. In several of his books (The Strangers in the House, The Engagement) Jews, while not blameless (no one is blameless in Simenon) are not depicted unsympathetically. And yes, my company does publish these books, so I'm certainly invested in this question.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Sara, I'd love to hear from you directly--I am indeed a massive Simenon fan, have read all the books I could find (in English, alas, but we've all got limitations!), and actually have no problem with his work. It was more reading his biography, hearing how he was accused (and acquited, though there were some hazy reasons) of collaborating.

But if you get this, do write to me directly.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Wagner's writing on the subject is certainly ugly, but I don't think it's a rationalization to point out that, like a lot of his political stances, his anti-Semitism was much more about posturing and opportunism than actual animosity (cf. his relationship with Hermann Levi). I would say "biggest hater pre-Hitler" is a little strong. In terms of how his reputation was used posthumously, on the other hand, maybe not.

To add to the list: Vincent d'Indy and Randall Thompson (ah, the genteel New England anti-Semite).

A critic for the Chicago Phoenix (I really should look the name up one day, it's so brilliant) once quipped that Cats was God's revenge on T. S. Eliot for his anti-Semitism.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Chris Schloemp said...

Walt Disney was supposed to have been anti-Semitic, if you want to toss in a less highbrow figure.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous yr friend Adam said...

Better late than never? There was an Austrian painter named Adolf something...

7:05 AM  

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