Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
Life as Opera

Salvador Dalí's satirical Tristan and Isolde

Dali Tristan and Isolde

Leave it to a Spanish painter (or Catalan) to return the favor and spell out what he really thought of the gloomy Tristan and Isolde myth - Salvador Dalí's satirical painting of 1944.

Back in 1929, when Buñuel and Dali unleashed Un Chien Andalou on Parisian audiences, they took great delight in playing the Liebestod, the finale to Wagner's opera, on a phonograph in the theater. In later decades, when film prints of Un Chien Andalou were made available, Buñuel included the Liebestod again on the soundtrack.

In recent decades, Wagner has been criticized for ruining opera with all this religiosity - whereby audiences are obliged to worship his operas (indeed all operas) in silence and without moving from their seats as if they are in church. Now the same thing is ruining the movie experience.

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