Free Reading Winnie And Wolf Author A.N. Wilson – Selindameditasyon.com

Winnie And Wolf A reader that does not know the significance of Houston Stewart Chamberlain or Bayreuth or even know what they are should probably steer clear of A N Wilson s novel Winnie and Wolf I have done some deep reading into Nazi Germany over the past six years or so and am familiar with most of what Wilson is writing about.That being said, Winnie and Wolf gave me invaluable insight into the Germany of the 20s and 30s as well as insight into Adolf Hitler s artistic and racial preoccupations an A reader that does not know the significance of Houston Stewart Chamberlain or Bayreuth or even know what they are should probably steer clear of A N Wilson s novel Winnie and Wolf I have done some deep reading into Nazi Germany over the past six years or so and am familiar with most of what Wilson is writing about.That being said, Winnie and Wolf gave me invaluable insight into the Germany of the 20s and 30s as well as insight into Adolf Hitler s artistic and racial preoccupations and their ramifications In one brilliantly rendered scene, a young, destitute Hitler is employed to sweep snow to make a path for the well heeled pedestrians, he comes across an old acquaintance, Ludwig Wittgenstein, an old school friend, coming out the grandest hotel in Vienna So I swept the snow from under their feet and his father tipped me he gave me a few thalers The humiliated Hitler remembers the young Wittgenstein as a lofty Jew and goes unrecognized Look, it s me I was at school with Ludwig and then like him I fought in the war, and look where it has got me help, please help 162 This resentment to Jewish wealth and privilege and an all encompassing devotion to the mythic operatic works of Richard Wagner of which most of this book is concerned propelled Hitler to a position of power that was to prove cataclysmic to the whole world It is not to our credit that we failed to notice the evil things that were there from the beginning, the narrator of the book says at one point But the truth is that most Europeans say and think unpleasant things about the Jews Although H itler , like Mr Chamberlain, took this to truly manic extremes both in what he said and what he wrote, it wasn t the anti Semitism that made him distinctive Most public figures had that What made him special was his mesmeric qualities of hope, his hypnotic faith in the future 61 Hitler is an intimate to the characters of this novel He is their house guest and their famous politician friend, their fellow devotee of Wagner whose opinions of Wagner s operas and their performances figure largely in this novel But even Hitler s friends experience misgivings from time to time, especially after Hitler s niece, Geli, commits suicide in 1931 It was not the suspicion of murder, nor even the suspicion of improper relations with his niece, which were damaging to H at this time It was something much less specific and much deeper It was a generalized association between H and death, H and disaster, calamity 152 I have read a number of other books by A N Wilson, among them The Victorians, After the Victorians and his short biography of Hitler Not for beginners, but Winnie and Wolf Winnie being the wife of Siegfried, Wagner s son is an extraordinary read, although at times feeling like a slog So much about Wagner and his dog As one character says about Wagner s operas half hours of dullness followed by minutes of brilliance the same could be said of this, otherwise, insightful examination of the beginning of the end of Europe While this is fiction, it certainly gives you a real insight into what was going on in Germany under Hitler The background on Wagner is interesting too.A bit confusing at first but once you get into it, it is quite gripping. Winnie and Wolf is the story of the extraordinary relationship between Winifred Wagner and Adolf Hitler that took place during the years, as seen through the eyes of the secretary at the Wagner house in BayreuthWinifred, an English girl, brought up in an orphanage in East Grinstead, married at the age of eighteen to the son of Germany s most controversial genius, is a passionate Germanophile, a Wagnerian dreamer, a Teutonic patriotIn the debacle of the post Versailles world, the Wagner family hope for the coming, not of a warrior, a fearless Siegfried, but of a Parsifal, a mystic idealist, a redeemer figure In , they meet their Parsifal a wild eyed Viennese opera fanatic in a trilby hat, a mac and a badly fitting suit Hitler has already made a name for himself in some sections of German society through rabble rousing and street corner speeches It is Winifred, though, who believes she can really see his poetry Almost at once they drop formalities and call one another Du rather than Sie She is Winnie and he is WolfLike Winnie, Hitler was an outsider Like her, he was haunted by the impossibility of reconciling the pursuit of love and the pursuit of power the ultimate inevitability, if you pursued power, of destruction Both had known the humiliations of poverty Both felt angry and excluded by society Both found each other in an unusual kinship that expressed itself through a love of operaIn AN Wilson s most bold and ambitious novel yet, the world of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany is brilliantly recreated, and forms the backdrop to this incredible bond, which ultimately reveals the remarkable capacity of human beings to deceive themselves Very much an apology and reclamation of Wagner from the Nazis I ve read other Wilson works of non fiction and I know that there are problems with his conclusions Lewis and sex, for example , so there s a slight sense of hmmm is this really what s going on or while you read However, I did learn a lot about pre Nazi Germany, and the explication for the so called Good German does tie in with other sources I ve read. Brilliant, worth rereading, it grows on you liek a good wine. Wanted to read this, I was familiar with A.N Wilson as a biographer, wasn t disappointed.This novel enjoyment will be directly proportional to your knowledge of a Germany in between wars and b Wagner s operas, if you know little log both, the prose is easy on the reader. Plot timeline is a occasionally a little confusing but the book as a whole is a surprising and charming history of Wagner s music, life, and times. another that s a 3.5 rounded up JEEZ, peoplecan we please get the 1 2 star thing rant over.I do have to admit to finishing this book in one sitting I liked it, didn t love it, although there was something about it that really intrigued me and kept me reading What I did like was its warning about the folly of a person s or put in much wider perspective, a nation s admiration for charismatic individuals leading to blindness, gullibility, and outright denial of said charismatic indivi another that s a 3.5 rounded up JEEZ, peoplecan we please get the 1 2 star thing rant over.I do have to admit to finishing this book in one sitting I liked it, didn t love it, although there was something about it that really intrigued me and kept me reading What I did like was its warning about the folly of a person s or put in much wider perspective, a nation s admiration for charismatic individuals leading to blindness, gullibility, and outright denial of said charismatic individual s ulterior motives and nefarious methodology This is a topic that is current and should be heeded For this purpose, the author weaves a tale around the relationship between the daughter in law of Richard Wagner Winifred Wagner, married to Siegfried Wagner and Adolph Hitler, known to Wagner s children as Uncle Wolf The narrator, a secretary in the Wagner household in Beyreuth, relates how Winnifred became smitten with Hitler, and how after her husband s death, became sexually involved with him Even after such events as Krystallnacht, the Night of the Long Knives, the harassment of ordinary people by Hitler Youth brownshirt thugs, etc., Winnifred is still so taken by Hitler that she absolutely refuses to see the truth about him and his policies Wilson notes through his narrator, Mr N, that it wasn t just Winifred many intellectual and well educated Germans at the time were happy with the results of Hitler s economic programs less unemployment, an economy that was starting to pick up , and had believed that harsh, authoritarian policies as a short term solution were what Germany needed in the aftermath of the reparations demanded by the Treaty of Versailles and in the aftermath of the Great Depression The belief was that after the economy was flourishing again, the need for such rigid measures would disappear Yeah, uh huh Right Hitler swept in, played on feelings of German nationalism, and bolstered it with the use of the mythology behind Wagner s operas, following all of that up with his understanding of crowd psychology, also noted by Mr N Fascinating stuff But there are a couple of putoffs in this book First of all, I m not a huge opera fan and have never really pictured Wagner as a likely candidate for my own personal historical study, so the amount of history and personal quirks about the famous composer thrown in by the author made it feel sometimes like I was getting lectured However, to be fair, I think that through the narrator, the author was trying to show that even though Wagner was fascinated with the Germanic mythologies and philosophers like Schopenhauer, what he loved most was music and dogs and probably would not have approved of Hitler s hijacking of his work It seems to me that it was not Richard Wagner so much as Winifred Wagner who made this possible Second, I didn t think the author needed to resort to Hitler and Winnifred Wagner having a and I hate this phrase love child as the basis of the story, although from what I have read, this was definitely a rumor that actually took on some credence in many circles The story would have been better had the author just used the narrator as an observer of what went on at Beyreuth with the Wagner family and Hitler There s really no point to it, except to use it as a device around which the narrator tells the story Third this is Hitler we re talking about here and a man who planned genocide on such an epic scale had no soul maybe a desire not to lose loyal followers and their friends in the upper echelons of the social world, but that s probably about it I didn t much care for any of the characters in the book except for maybe Friedelind Wagner, the daughter who couldn t take anyof Uncle Wolf and his raving and decided to leave Germany You can t help but wonder if she was just as disgusted with her mother This is a book that is definitely not for mainstream readers there s so much history and information in here that it can be a little tedious at times I think if you re a reader interested in the rise of National Socialism, or the perils of blind acceptance of someone who is touted as being a savior, then you might like it To enjoy this book it is essential to be fluent in the works of Richard Wagner A.N Wilson titles each of the sections of the book after one of Wagner s music dramas The person story of the narrator, the Wagner family and the rise of Nazism in 1930s German are underscored by the themes of the music drama in the title.It is a very ambitious book in this regard Wilson stretches this ambitiousness by having the book narrated by N , an ironically drawn character whose telling of the story seems To enjoy this book it is essential to be fluent in the works of Richard Wagner A.N Wilson titles each of the sections of the book after one of Wagner s music dramas The person story of the narrator, the Wagner family and the rise of Nazism in 1930s German are underscored by the themes of the music drama in the title.It is a very ambitious book in this regard Wilson stretches this ambitiousness by having the book narrated by N , an ironically drawn character whose telling of the story seems to echo the self delusion that many average Germans practicedduring the rise of the Third Reich The multiple time periods the present day 1960s Leipzig in whose dreary Communist world the narrator is writing this story, the biography of Winifred Wagner and her relationship with Wolf,commonly known as Hitler, as well as glimpses from the life of Wagner himself, as well as his wife Cosima are all deftly intermingled and comment on each other like a house of mirrors.In his attempt to extricate Winnie from Wolf and Wolf from Wagner, N makes them evenindispensible to each other than we had thought.And yet I still worship Wagner. I found this meticulously researched novel engrossing It tells the story of the relationship between Winifred Wagner, wife of Richard Wagner s son, and Adolf Hitler, but it s also the story of the relationship between Nazism and the German people It brought home to me something I knew intellectually but failed to grasp emotionally how absolutely desperate the economic meltdown was in Germany between the first and second wars, and how the seeds of Nazi ideology took root and flourished in this I found this meticulously researched novel engrossing It tells the story of the relationship between Winifred Wagner, wife of Richard Wagner s son, and Adolf Hitler, but it s also the story of the relationship between Nazism and the German people It brought home to me something I knew intellectually but failed to grasp emotionally how absolutely desperate the economic meltdown was in Germany between the first and second wars, and how the seeds of Nazi ideology took root and flourished in this mix of humiliation, economic chaos and widespread longing for rescue, order and strong leadership, whatever the cost I also learned a great deal about Wagner, his family, his music and the phenomenon of Bayreuth


About the Author: A.N. Wilson

Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views He is an occasional columnist for the Daily Mail and former columnist for the London Evening Standard, and has been an occasional contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, The Spectator and The Observer.


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