Wednesday, April 1 (1st of April 1874)

Cosima Wagner Diaries

R. sings the chorus ‘Wach’ auf’ (glad that it has been chosen to celebrate our friend Riedel’s jubilee in Leipzig). He says: “This for me was the quintessence of the work, it was the very first thing that came to me in Paris, and I said to Weissheimer in Biebrich, ‘You will see, the prelude to the third act will be the main thing.’ I thought as I sketched it out, ‘This is right for a German, no pathos, no ecstasy, but emotional depth, good humour, on this foundation there is hope, it is what I like to think.’ ” — 

We then get to Bismarck and the present situation, hoping for a dissolution of the Reichstag. “We might at a pinch have a German Reich, but we have no German nation. In France, on the other hand, everyone is a Frenchman, held fast in the vise.” R. wishes Germany to have a completely different form of representation. — 

God knows how we came to speak of Minna. He says what drove him to marriage was in part the fact that he had approached her very thoughtlessly and had then perceived that she was a respectable person and that relationships with others which he had believed to be dishonorable had in fact been quite honorable ones. 

“The difference in intelligence is the worst of it,” he says. “Persons of different character attract and complement one another, but when the intelligence cannot keep pace, then the character, too, becomes demoralized.” (Everything here in blue ink I wrote in R.’s workroom in the new house.) [This refers to past entries, from the middle of March 2nd onward] “Also, I lacked a maternal home to which I would

have been glad to return; my marriage was a sort of emancipation.” —

In the morning and afternoon I go to the house. In the evening we start on Euripides’s Iphigenia in Aulis, but cannot continue with it for long; to restore our spirits we take up Racine’s version, and finally—just in order to immerse ourselves in the most genuinely great—some scenes from Julius Caesar, the remarkable thing about which, as R. observes, being that Shakespeare shows us only the unsympathetic Caesar as he appears to us (without our knowing why) in history. Astonished admiration for the way in which Caesar is first introduced and then

worked out (in the scene in which he meets Cicero). —

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