During his lifetime, Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was not only productive as a composer. He also worked literary as an author of dramatic text for his own musictheatrical oevre on the one side and, on the other side, journalistically as “commentator” of his own musical creative work as well as of the events in art, history, philosophy, religion, politics, and society at that time. The oevre - in Wagner’s terminology called “poetry” and “writings” - which emerged within half a century, belongs to the complete works of the artist as integral component. It is an outstanding culture-historical testimonial and likewise a testimonial in the history of thought of the 19th century with imaginably wide influence.
Subject to the editorial project is the corpus of Wagner’s “writings”, which contains approximately 230 titles and has a scope of circa 4000 pages. The aim is the scientific analysis of the texts and their complete edition. Methodically, the project utilizes historical-critical practices, approved and established in the humanities. The edition follows the current editorial standards - explicitly also the literary computing - and corresponds to the present state of research of musicology, literary study, science of history, and cultural history.
The edition will be presented as a hybrid-edition. Next to the established print medium, it deploys all useful possibilities of digital text entry, text processing and text presentation. The project is subdivided into eight modules. Each module will materialise in one or two reading volumes as well as in a commentary volume. The printed volumes offer a substantial extract from the electronic edition completely available in the digital medium with all textual witnesses, the critical apparatus, fundamental documents, and complementary testimonials.