Date of this Version
Rev. of The Longing for Myth in Germany by George S. Williamson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004, in Baylor Journal of Theatre and Dance Vol. 4.2 (2006), 139-143.
Williamson has written a superb work of scholarship, examining trends in German cultural thought from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the death of Nietzsche in 1900. He has also provided an insightful Epilogue, recapitulating what preceded in the body of his book and extrapolating on the longing for myth into the twentieth century. The book’s greatest value lies in the background Williamson provides for the best known (to English-speaking readers, at least) manifestations of myth in both aesthetic and intellectual life, specifically in the work of Wagner and Nietzsche.