Today I came across an enlightening criticism of Ashton Ellis’ translation of Wagners’ (in)famous “Das Judenthum in Der Musik” (actually, his first version, published in the Bayreuther Blatter, in 1981). As many of you are probably aware, this piece of Wagner writing is much too often quoted as an evidence for his so-called anti-semitic stance.
A first thought we should bare in mind is the rather unusual absence of a proper English translation since 1908, when William Ashton Ellis (see here) published the only (and last) translation. Some argue that there was no commercial value on such an endeavor. I myself (and I’m sure I’m not alone in this) would rather claim that there is a more “interested” and “convenient” reason for this, which is to say the stubbornness of reproducing the myth of Wagners’ anti-semitism.
For all Wagner lovers I leave here an alternative comment to Ellis’ appalling translation, which might (at least at first sight) rescue what was “lost in translation” and settle the argument in Wagners’ favour (read here).
In addition, and for the enjoyment of Wagnerians alike, I leave “Personal Recollections of Wagner”, by Angelo Neuman, translated by Edith Livermore (1909):
© Carlos Catalao 2015