So, Wagner has been popping up several times in my life this week.
First in the shape of a facebook quiz named “Which Wagner opera character are you?“. I took the quiz, and here is my result:
You love singing! And swimming. You are one of the Rheindaughters swimming around in the Rhein (where else…?). Your job is to guard the Rheingold. This gold gives the power of the world to whoever owns it. (Then wonder why you and your sisters are just swimming around in a river…)
I am Flosshilde! Which isn’t so bad. I mean, she’s vivacious. And as the quiz creators hint at; she is obviously more into love than power, because she resists using the Rheingold to gain world domination. And according to Alberich, she’s the prettiest of the three Rheindaughters (“Für dumm und hässlich/darf ich sie halten,/seit ich dich Holdeste seh’” says Alberich, ever the smooth-meister). Although I think that that statement should be read in the context of the I’m-horny-and-I’ve-already-hit-unsuccesfully-on-the-two-hot-girls-so-now-I’m-gonna-settle-for-their-dumpy-friend dynamics that we all know from bars and clubs, so who knows, Flosshilde could very well be the ugliest of the three.
Flosshilde is no shrinking violet either, as Aubrey Beardsley captured in his art
Also, I’d like to thank the quiz’s creators for glossing over the fact that Flosshilde (as well as her sisters) is an out-and-out tease who likes to taunt the vertically challenged. I don’t see that as part of my personality.
Scarcely had I finished the quiz before I received an invite on Twitter from the USC Master of Liberal Studies Program to attend a lecture on Wagner’s Ring Cycle. The lecture is called “From Nietzsche to Star Wars: The Wagnerian Power of the Ring”, and here’s a description of the lecture:
Through his “Ring Cycle” of operas, Wagner has profoundly influenced the way we think, feel, and imagine the 21st-century world. A panel of experts, including faculty from the USC Master of Liberal Studies Program, take on how have “The Ring” themes and symbols have permeated 20th-century literature, philosophy, psychology, and even movies and cartoons. No singing required; mind-opening insights guaranteed.
Moderator: James R. Kincaid, USC Aerol Arnold Professor of English and faculty chair, USC Master of Liberal Studies Program
Leo B. Braudy, University Professor and Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature and Professor of English
Hilary Schor, Professor of English, Comparative Literature, Gender Studies, and Law
Roberto Ignacio Diáz, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Comparative Literature
John P. Nuckols, Vice President, Advancement, LA Opera
John Carlos Rowe, USC Associates Chair in Humanities and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity
Dr. Imogen von Tannenberg, translator and author
Register now: http://www.regonline.com/WagnerianPower
From the lecture’s facebook event page
It looks awesome! And that lecture title? It’s as if someone had shaken my nerdy head and made a lecture title based on the random nerdy words that fell out of it. I love it.
The seminar is taking place in Los Angeles, so I can’t be there in person, but the event can be followed live on Twitter, and they even accept questions for the panel from their twittering audience. It will mean that I have to stay up very late on that night, due to the differing time zones, but I am so there. The panel looks great, and I have no doubt that this will be interesting. I’m really looking forward to everyone’s insights on the Wagnerian influence on our culture.