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Considerations with philosopher Konrad Paul Liessmann

An Assault on Moral Decency?
Wagner's «Parsifal» and the Cult of Compassion

Introduction/abstract

An Assault on Moral Decency?
Wagner's «Parsifal» and the Cult of Compassion

The philosopher and essayist Konrad Paul Liessmann, professor at the University of Vienna, is a lover of classical music. He feels drawn especially to the works of Richard Wagner. Before the concert performance of the third act from «Parsifal», Liessmann discusses the central themes in Wagner's last music drama - guided by Friedrich Nietzsche:
«No one has reacted as vehemently to Richard Wagner's Parsifal as Friedrich Nietzsche:
‹I despise anyone who does not experience Parsifal as an assault on moral decency›, the philosopher wrote in his reckoning with the former idol of his youth. How so? Does Wagner's great Bühnenweihfestspiel really contain that soul-corrupting poison of compassion? Parsifal - not just for Nietzsche, but for us as well - remains a provocation, an annoyance and - an experience.»

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