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by Richard Wagner. Reprint of the 1850 William Ashton Ellis edition.
Statement of Purpose: “explaining that unconscious feeling which proclaims itself among the people as a rooted dislike of the Jewish nature,” especially with regard to music.
Argumentum: Jews have taken control of the world through money and now have taken control of art. Jews look like outsiders. They cannot serve as actors because the very image of them as “hero or lover” is ludicrous. They are therefore unfit subjects for art, and thus incapable of expressing any artistic utterance.
The Jew also invariably speaks with an accent. Their mother tongue is foreign, and they cannot express themselves in our language. They speak in “a creaking, squeaking, buzzing snuffle” — they garble their syntax and grammar. Hearing them, we can think only of how unpleasant they sound; we cannot think of what they mean. The Jew does not engage us as humans, but only speaks with us for his own profit or vanity; he cannot convey emotion to us. Song is elevated passionate speech. Jews, incapable of conveying emotion in speech, cannot convey it in song.
Let us examine the Jew’s place in music. Jews are incapable of acting, speaking emotively, or singing. How then can a Jew be a musician? “The cultured Jew…is the most heartless of all human beings.” He relates to people only in terms of money. He can buy and pay for culture, but it remains a luxury for him, not an expression of self. Since Jewish art is a superfluity, it can express nothing but the trivial and indifferent. Jews, being monied, have no need for deep expression, so when they turn to art, it is art of the “moment,” speech without content, a babbling parroting of human art.