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Difference and OrientationAn Alexander Kluge Reader$
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Alexander Kluge and Richard Langston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739200

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739200.001.0001

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An Answer to Two Opera Quotations

An Answer to Two Opera Quotations

(p.229) 14 An Answer to Two Opera Quotations
Difference and Orientation

Alexander Kluge

, Richard Langston
Cornell University Press

This chapter highlights Alexander Kluge's engagement with opera. In this essay, Kluge addresses two quotations from opera. The first is from Guiseppe Verdi's Aida (1871): “Do you see? The angel of death…” This line is spoken by the main character Aida. Kluge investigates the concept of the angel of death. He then explains that the mission of the twentieth century is to tell counter-stories to the collected stories of the nineteenth century. The second quote is from Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman (1843): “Here I am, true to you till death!” This line is spoken by the character Senta. Feelings take time to develop. It therefore seems unlikely that love at first sight is mutual. Thus, the suddenness of the Dutchman's and Senta's fatal and mutual falling in love has something of an act of force. One could call it a putsch in the domain of emotion. Kluge then discusses the unfulfilled program of the bourgeois tragic drama.

Keywords:   Alexander Kluge, opera, Guiseppe Verdi, counter-stories, Richard Wagner, feelings, emotion, tragic drama

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