Wagner . . .
Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.
. . . in the ironic guise of a man betrayed . . .
George Steiner, In Bluebeard’s Castle.
. . . declared that the young Nietzsche had budded and bloomed, but now only the bulb was left—”a really disgusting object.”
Robert W. Gutman, Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music.
‘Fool!’ I tell myself.
Richard Wagner, Letter to King Ludwig II.
“The man is a fool!”
E. Phillips Oppenheim, The Tempting of Tavernake.
Fool! Imbecile! Traitor! Lackey!—I wouldn’t be caught dead reading those books . . .
Simon Gray, Butley.
. . . of his.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Guardian Angel.
Nietzsche!
Cosima Wagner, Letter to Richard Strauss.
Yes, I did sometimes pity him.
George Eliot, Daniel Deronda.
I remember when . . .
Simon Gray, Butley.
. . . he . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Thursday, June 3, 1869).
. . . stood in this room, . . .
Simon Gray, Butley.
. . . on his first visit, . . .
Jack London, Burning Daylight.
. . . darkly dressed to colour up . . .
Simon Gray, Butley.
. . . his . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Thursday, June 3, 1869).
. . . melancholy, and I had . . .
Simon Gray, Butley.
. . . him . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Thursday, June 3, 1869).
. . . read a little Eliot to me. Do you remember?
Simon Gray, Butley.
Cosima, . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Thursday, June 3, 1869).
.. . . You must remember—
George Eliot, Daniel Deronda.
Little did we know that a long time away, far into the future, we would be worrying and fretting together about . . .
Simon Gray, Butley.
. . . how the boy had. . .
Bret Harte, The Three Partners.
. . . lost his head completely . . .
Cosima Wagner’s Diaries (Thursday, June 3, 1869).
. . . the conceited wretch.
Bret Harte, The Man of No Account.
Our beginnings never know our ends. They’re always so sad, so sad.
Simon Gray, Butley.

___________________________

I attended the Wagner Junior High School in Philadelphia in the 7th and 8th grades.  My English teacher in the 8th grade was a young man named Louis Silverstein.  I think he was going to graduate school at the time.  He graduated from The Central High School of Philadelphia.   I remember that year we read Robinson Crusoe and Jack London’s Call of the Wild (or was it White Fang?).

In any event, at the end of the school year, in my Junior High School yearbook he wrote the following note, “To a budding scholar.”  Little did Mr. Silverstein know that a long time away, far into the future, he would wonder how I had lost my head completely — yes, I, the conceited wretch.  Our beginnings never know our ends. They’re always so sad, so sad.

 

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