Reblogging: Three Day Quote challenge: Day 3 Joy, Creativity and Money


RICHARD WAGNER on Joy, Creativity and Money.

I decided to go off the deep end, and post three quotes by Richard Wagner, the composer best known for the wrong reasons. Notorious for his anti-Semitism and for his most improbably complex opera saga “The Ring”, many people associate him exclusively with the horrors of WWII goose-stepping Nazism and/or with the trumpets and cymbal clashing Ride of the Valkyries. At most the wedding march from “Lohengrin”. Shocking to say, his documented anti-Semitism was not unusual in his time, but he’s also on record as having had a number of Jewish friends and colleagues his whole life. He wasn’t around when Nazis appropriated his music to provide a soundtrack for their Third Reich, a good 50 years after his death. Hitler was indeed made welcome at the Bayreuth Festival, but it was at the enthusiastic invitation of controversial English-born Winifred Williams, the widow of Wagner’s son Siegfried. Apparently, Wagner wasn’t even Hitler’s favourite composer, Anton Bruckner was.

What’s less well-known are his social and revolutionary ideas that got him exiled from his native Germany, the fact he owned one of the largest private libraries of his time in Europe. He notated most of his books and discussed them in his extensive correspondence. He was a prolific writer of books, poems and articles and had a deep interest in Far Eastern philosophies and music. He’s said to have been personally obnoxious and arrogant, but he was also an eclectic intellectual giant who is credited with having laid the foundations of modern theater and cinema.

Horns and cymbals to the contrary, he composed some of Western music’s most emotional and romantic music with “Tristan and Isolde”.  Many regret he never got around to writing the “Buddhist” opera he had mentioned in his diaries and letters and worked on for years. In the end though, that material morphed into the lyrical-spiritual “Parsifal”.

Michael Tanner - Bryan Magee

So here are three of his quotes:


“Joy is not in things, it is in us.”

“One supreme fact that I have discovered is that it is not willpower but fantasy imagination that creates. Imagination is the creative force. Imagination creates reality.”

And thirdly, a wise but rather funny quote, if you consider his love life, philandering, marital woes…  and financial straits:

“Divorce is one of the most financially traumatic things you can go through. Money spent on getting mad or getting even is money wasted.”


Thanks again to for re-challenging me!

I like bending the rules, so The 3 Day Quote Challenge is now open to all!

  • post for 3 consecutive days
  • you can pick one or three quotes per day
  • challenge three different bloggers per day

Photos mine:  covers of Wagner’s “My Life” and of two books on his works – “Wagner”  by Michael Tanner 1996, – “Aspects of Wagner” by Bryan Magee 1988


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10 Responses to Reblogging: Three Day Quote challenge: Day 3 Joy, Creativity and Money

  1. Joel F says:

    Never been married, but i love the divorce quote. Thanks for sharing this Bea.

  2. Barb Knowles says:

    I love the divorce quote And am impressed that you know so much about Wagner. I only knew the superficial stuff.

  3. Bea thank you so much! You have the best quotes and I love that you opened up the challenge.

  4. Interesting quotes from an interesting man. The quote about divorce is odd, but true ☺

  5. Bea, other than his music, you’ve told me everything I know about Wagner, and I like and agree with all his quotes. This post also brings up a question: What’s the link between genius and eccentric behavior and lifestyle? There must be some connection, because history is replete with eccentric geniuses like Wagner. ~James

    • Bea dM says:

      I’m pleased to get a positive reaction to Wagner who many people see through a distorted lens. I agree there must be a connection, over the top genius often goes hand in hand with over the top behaviour.

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