Wagner and Venice Fictionalized: Variations on a Theme

The vast literature about Richard Wagner and his works includes a surprising number of fictional works, including novels, plays, satires, and an opera. Many of these deal with his last years and his death in Venice in 1883-and even a fabricated eleventh-hour romance. These fictional treatments-many presented here in English for the first time-reveal a striking evolution in the way that Wagner's character and reputation have been viewed over more than a century. They offer insights into changing contexts in Western intellectual and cultural history. And they make clear how much Wagner's associations with Venice have become part of the accumulated mythology of the floating city. John Barker's Wagner and Venice Fictionalized: Variations on a Theme will be of interest to all lovers of opera, Venice, and European culture generally. John W. Barker is emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in medieval (including Venetian) history. He is also a passionate music lover and record collector, and an active music critic and journalist.