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[humanities.music.composers.wagner] Wagner Books FAQ
Section - A. Autobiography

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%T My Life 
%T Mein Leben
%M German *
%A Richard Wagner
%A Martin Gregor-Dellin (ed. German critical edition)
%A Mary Whittall (ed. English translation)
%F Andrew Gray
%D 1983 (second tr.)
%C Cambridge UK, New York
%I Cambridge University Press, Da Capo Press NY
%G ISBN 0 5212 2929 4; ML410.W1 W14 1911 (German), ML410.W1 W14 1969 
(German), ML410.W1 W146 1976 and ML410.W1 W146 1994 (1st English tr.), 
ML410.W1 W146 1983 and ML410.W1 W146 1992 (2nd English tr.)
%X Richard Wagner's autobiography, as dictated to Cosima. Wagner had
the first three volumes printed privately by G. A. Bonfantini in
Basle, in just 15 copies. The first volume was proofread by Friedrich
Nietzsche. The fourth and final volume was printed by Th. Burger in
Bayreuth in 1880. 
  The first edition of 'Mein Leben' is one of the rarest published
documents of the nineteenth century. Of the original 15 copies, those
that Wagner had given to selected friends were recalled by Cosima
after his death. Most were then destroyed (though, unbeknown to
Wagner, his printer Bonfantini had kept a private copy for himself,
which was bought from his widow by Mrs. Burrell). A mere handful of
copies has survived in the great libraries of the world. 
 First public edition was published by F. Bruckmann, Munich in 1911; 
second edition 1915, both with some passages suppressed. Suppressed
passages first published in 'Die Musik', xxii, 1929-30, p.725-31;
translated by Ernest Newman and published in 'Fact and Fiction about
Wagner', London, 1931, p.199-202. First English translation begun by
Wm. Ashton Ellis, completed by an anonymous hand, published 1911 (see
David Irvine's book in subsection D below), reprinted by Scholarly
Press, Michigan in 1976, then by Constable in 1994. Critical edition
of the complete German text, 1963, was the basis for the second
English translation in 1983. %O Take it with a pinch of salt. For the
electronic edition of the German text, see section XII below.


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