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Part 6: Scruton's critique of my book, & my response

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:41 am
by alberich00
The radical political vision that had compelled Wagner on to the barricades with Bakunin survives, according to Berry, in the mordant deconstruction of Wotan, representing law, and of Alberich, representing capitalist accumulation. Feuerbach’s debunking of religion animates the drama, which shows the gods as human dreams, worthless shadows of the live human passions that conjure them. It was indeed the Young Hegelians, and not Nietzsche, who first proclaimed the death of God, and on Berry’s reading "The Ring" is an exploration of what this death means - both personally and politically - for us who have survived it.

RS: Berry leaves the reader in no doubt that there are abundant insights into both music and drama to be obtained by wearing Young Hegelian spectacles. He points to the way in which Hegel’s dialectic of master and slave is repeatedly dramatized in the power-relations among the principle characters, and he emphasizes the enduring dichotomy - love or power - which can be overcome only in the recognition of death as a part of love. He describes the gradual conquest of eros (sexual love) by agape (Christian charity) as the cycle proceeds, and seems to recognize that, by the end of 'Goetterdaemmerung,' the Young Hegelian who had begun work on the cycle a quarter of a century before no longer exists. But what has come to replace him? Berry’s allegory, like Shaw’s and Heise’s, peters out at this point, offering only an enigmatic stare into the void.”

PH: Dr. Scruton describes Dr. Mark Berry as acknowledging something which Dr. Scruton believes also, which is that “… by the end of Goetterdaemmerung, the Young Hegelian who had begun work on the cycle a quarter of a century before no longer exists.” Dr. Scruton is of course referring here primarily to Feuerbach’s influence on Wagner, and, as we will see in the last few pages of Dr. Scruton’s book which I have excerpted for discussion, is also referring to Dr. Scruton’s assumption, also championed by Dr. Kitcher and Dr. Schacht in their interpretation of Wagner’s "Ring," "Finding an Ending," that Wagner lost interest in the allegedly Feuerbachian revolutionary hero Siegfried during the composition of the music of the "Ring," focusing instead on the fates of Wotan and Bruennhilde, though Dr. Scruton, in a passage from his book not reproduced here in my response to it, tries to salvage Siegfried’s integrity as a character fully worthy of the other leading figures of the "Ring."

PH: But Dr. Scruton poses the question, “… what has come to replace him [the Young Hegelian Wagner from a quarter of a century before]?” And Dr. Scruton adds: “Berry’s allegory, like Shaw’s and Heise’s, peters out at this point, offering only an enigmatic stare into the void.” Dr. Scruton, as I said previously, can’t be faulted for not being in possession of my detailed studies of Wagner’s post-"Ring" music dramas "Tristan," "Mastersingers," and "Parsifal," and therefore he isn’t aware (in sufficient detail to include this in his critique of my "Ring" study) that the conclusion of my "Ring" study looks forward to something more substantial than “… an enigmatic stare into the void,” though there are solid grounds for reading the finale of the "Ring" in this way. I have in fact shown how Siegfried lives on in the character Parsifal, the pure fool who does not know who he is, but whose potential muse of unconscious artistic inspiration, Kundry, does know who he is, just as Siegfried does not know who he is, because Bruennhilde knows this for him. I have shown (long before the publication of Paul Schofield’s book "The Redeemer Reborn - ‘Parsifal’ as the Fifth Opera of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ " in 2007) that Siegfried and Bruennhilde are virtually reborn in the characters Parsifal and Kundry, but that Parsifal, unlike Siegfried, ultimately not only becomes conscious of who he is (Siegfried does momentarily at the end of his life), but also becomes conscious of how, as an unconsciously inspired artist in his past lives, he has perpetuated religious man’s (Wotan’s, or Amfortas’s) sin of world-denial, sin against the real world, which is the cause of Amfortas’s unhealing wound (and similarly the basis of Alberich’s curse on his Ring, since Alberich’s curse punishes Wotan’s sin). In fact, it is man's (Amfortas's) service to the Grail as the archetype of all religious mystery, the illusory affirmation of man's allegedly transcendent value, which, in my interpretation, is the ultimate cause of Amfortas's unhealing wound. In my interpretation Parsifal, having become conscious of his formerly unwitting complicity in religion’s sin against Mother Nature (the authentically unconsciously inspired artist doesn't truly know who he is), renounces any further complicity in this sin by rejecting his potential muse of unconscious artistic inspiration Kundry, thereby healing Amfortas’s formerly unhealing wound, and restoring the innocence of Mother Nature (Parsifal’s figurative atonement for having caused his mother’s - Nature’s - death through service to the Grail).

RS: “Any interpretation that respects the dramatic pressure of the narrative must acknowledge the sympathy which the music conjures for Wotan, and the very real attempt to present the rule of law - established though it is by an ‘original usurpation’ - as the necessary background to enduring love. Wagner’s original conception, which saw Siegfried as the emancipating hero who was to break the bonds of an old and moribund authority, gave way to another and quite incompatible vision, in which Siegfried is the true transgressor, the one who, by failing to understand the meaning of promises, contracts and laws, brings about his own and others’ destruction. No matter that the god who upholds these contracts and laws is a projection of our human imperfections; no matter that he, like us, must die. The point is that, in destroying the gods, we destroy a large part of ourselves. In liberating ourselves from religion, therefore, we expose ourselves to another kind of spiritual disorder.”

PH: Here Dr. Scruton’s own interpretation of the "Ring" parts company with mine to an appreciable degree. My interpretation does, however, acknowledge the sympathy which Wagner’s music expresses on Wotan’s behalf, not least because in my interpretation Siegfried, Bruennhilde’s lover, is Wotan reborn minus consciousness of his true identity and history (knowledge which Bruennhilde, Siegfried’s unconscious mind, holds for him), and Bruennhilde is likewise Wotan’s unconscious mind, in the collective sense, i.e., the collective unconscious into which the artist-hero Siegfried taps for inspiration, so that the music for Wotan, Bruennhilde, and Siegfried is inextricably interwoven. Therefore any sympathy the music makes us feel for one, we feel for all three.

PH: My interpretation also concurs with that of Dr. Scruton in suggesting that though it is collective, historical man’s (Wotan’s) destiny to overthrow the very belief in the gods which man formerly, unwittingly brought into being, through mankind’s gradual acquisition of a hoard of objective knowledge which overthrows religious faith, nonetheless it is man’s very nature to posit his own transcendent value, so mankind undermines his very being in striving for knowledge of truth which, though it grants him seemingly unlimited power, destroys much of what mankind has formerly regarded as worth living for. In my interpretation Siegfried’s alleged transgression is actually the inevitable consequence of man’s gradual evolution from unconsciousness to consciousness. Siegfried’s evident brutality in abducting his own true love Bruennhilde, under the influence of Hagen’s potion (representing in my interpretation the influence of the modern, secular, scientific worldview in making what formerly was unconscious become conscious, what was formerly only felt become thought, what was formerly love become construed as power), in order to give her in a forced marriage to another man, Gunther, is in my interpretation an inevitable outgrowth of the very nature of the highest art, such as Wagner’s music-drama. This is because, as Wagner said himself, the very music into which he dipped his drama in order to redeem us from our terrible nature and history and sublimate this into mythological timelessness (as if Wagner had restored the lost paradise of the Rhinedaughters), by virtue of the music's association, in the specific musical language of motifs, with moments from that historical drama, made the artist’s profoundest secret, formerly concealed even from the unconsciously inspired artist himself, available to Wagner’s audience. This is what, in the end, betrayed the secret of religious revelation (the creation of Valhalla out of Alberich’s Ring) and the related secret of unconscious artistic inspiration (Siegfried’s loving relationship with his muse Bruennhilde, and his inspiration by Wotan’s hoard of forbidden knowledge, which ultimately becomes identical with the Ring and its curse), the secret of Isolde’s womb of night, to the light of day. Siegfried, in other words, unconsciously and unwittingly and inevitably transgressed. Thus it was that Siegfried, as Alberich’s pawn via Alberich’s son Hagen, Siegfried who thus becomes an unwitting member of Alberich’s host of night, fulfilled Alberich’s prophecy in R.3 that he would compel Wotan’s heroes to fight against the gods, would force himself on the gods’ women, and that Alberich’s hoard would rise from the silent depths to the light of day and destroy the gods. As Wagner said in the 1840's, Siegfried becomes a Nibelung by virtue of winning the Nibelung Hoard.

RS: “The "Ring" cycle therefore warns us of a deep and ineradicable fault in the scheme of things, a fault that lies concealed in freedom itself, and which we must confront not in the realm of power politics but in our own hearts, where love battles with selfishness, and renunciation with biological need. "The Ring" is not simply about power or money or even love; it is also about original sin, what Schopenhauer called ‘the crime of existence itself’. Heise grasps this point, and tries to embed it in his complex allegorical reading of the drama. But it is not through allegory that we understand such deep features of the human condition. We understand them through the symbolism inherent in the drama, and not by looking behind the characters and actions to the abstract ideas and arguments that they supposedly represent.”

PH: Dr. Scruton is right to point out here that perhaps Wagner’s primary concern, his primary impetus for creating the "Ring," was Wagner’s need to preserve the sanctity of what he regarded as the very meaning of human existence, which is our allegedly transcendent capacity for selfless sacrifice for others, in the face of scientific man’s acquisition of objective knowledge of man and nature, the primary implication of which for man’s bid for transcendent meaning, is that this bid may be futile, a product of self-deception, and that man may have no transcendent significance or value. Dr. Scruton is also very much on-point when he states that the "Ring" (whatever else it is about) is certainly a meditation on man’s original sin, which in my interpretation is the very thing which distinguishes man from his animal forebears, reflective consciousness, symbolized in my interpretation by Alberich’s Ring. Dr. Scruton acknowledges that I have grasped this point, and says further that Paul Heise “… tries to embed it in his complex allegorical reading of the drama.” My only difference with Dr. Scruton on this point is that I believe I do not only try, but that I succeed in making this fact one of the keystones of my interpretation.

PH: But then Dr. Scruton adds: “But it is not through allegory that we understand such deep features of the human condition. We understand them through symbolism inherent in the drama, and not by looking behind the characters and actions to the abstract ideas and arguments that they supposedly represent.” I think it would be safe to say (and I hesitate to speak for Dr. Scruton, so readers should regard my following reflection on what I take to be his position as mere speculation) that Dr. Scruton is distinguishing here two distinct ways of understanding the human being, whom he has noted elsewhere can be understood as an object in nature, bound by natural law, or be understood as a conscious, responsible self, who interacts with other conscious selves one to one, under the assumption that both you and I are free beings who acknowledge that each other are ends, not means. If I am wrong he can correct me. I suspect he is equating my allegorical readings of the Ring’s characters with the scientific understanding of man as objects under natural law (which is at least partly the truth), and privileging his own reading of the “… symbolism inherent in the drama … “.

PH: I don’t believe that Dr. Scruton has made the case, in the passages I’ve quoted, or anywhere else in his book, for his argument that “… it is not through allegory that we understand such deep features of the human condition.” First, I am not sure whether he’s saying, more generally, that any conceivable allegorical interpretation of a work of art is apriori, of its very nature, incapable of helping us understand the deep features of the human condition, or whether his critique of allegory applies primarily or only to my allegorical interpretation of the "Ring." In either case, how can he demonstrate that my allegorical reading hasn’t helped us understand deep features of the human condition? I feel reasonably certain that he has, both in his new book which I am critiquing, and also in his prior commentaries on the value of my interpretation, credited me with various insights into the "Ring," and I suspect that anyone who reads deeply in my online book here at would concur that I am plumbing some of the deepest depths of the "Ring," and showing how Wagner has raised some of the profoundest questions about the nature of man. To be frank, I know of no other study of the "Ring" which has plumbed the depths of these questions more profoundly than my own, so I’m not sure what Dr. Scruton is talking about.

PH: I would argue, on the contrary, that it is solely thanks to my allegorical approach, which was developed under the constraint that I would not propose any reading of the "Ring" until I could make sense of virtually the entirety of the "Ring" libretto and music without cherry-picking only those passages which support my position, and omitting those which don’t, that I have been able to propose a coherent account of the entire "Ring" and reveal the conceptual continuities from the "Ring" to Wagner’s other canonical operas and music-dramas. So far as I know my interpretation is the only one yet undertaken which has attempted a complete account of all the content of the "Ring," words, drama, and music, or which has demonstrated its conceptual and philosophic and dramatic unity. One can construe the "Ring" any way one likes if, like Dr. Philip Kitcher and Dr. Richard Schacht in their book "Finding an Ending," one cherry-picks only those passages, words and music, which illustrate the case they wish to make, and omits from consideration much of the textual, musical, and conceptual content of the "Ring," on the spurious argument that one can make more sense of the "Ring" by subjecting to analysis only a small proportion of its content, than by attempting a comprehensive account like mine. Something quite remarkable and unexpected rises from the silent depths to day when one assesses the "Ring" from a comprehensive standpoint, which tackles virtually all of the dramatic, musical, and conceptual conundrums, as I have done. It was only in this way that I was able to solve numerous conundrums left unaddressed or unresolved by prior "Ring" interpretations. As Dr. Scruton said in a passage from one of his prior critiques of my book (quoted earlier in this essay), I have resolved many of the Ring's enigmas.

RS: (…)

RS: [Referencing Robert Donington’s Jungian interpretation of the "Ring," "The Ring and its Symbols," Dr. Scruton states that:] “This leads me to a general point in response to all psychoanalytic readings, which is that they risk replacing the particular by the general, the deep meaning that resides in the specific drama by the general theory of what we humans are. No interpretation can be valid, or have any real claim on the listener’s attention, if it does not illuminate "The Ring" as a drama. No work of dramatic art can be an effective symbol of some general meaning if it does not work as a drama. And it is by understanding "The Ring" as drama that we can approach, in Wagner’s words, the ‘concealed deep truth’ within it.”

PH: I appreciate Dr. Scruton’s critique of Robert Donington’s attempt at a Jungian interpretation of Wagner’s "Ring" in Donington’s "Wagner’s ‘Ring’ and its Symbols." Like Dr. Scruton, I found a number of key insights in Donington’s book which informed my own interpretation, but found fault with Donington’s argument as it proceeded, in which Donington’s evident need to try and force Wagner’s complex and multi-layered "Ring" into Jungian categories eventually lost touch with the "Ring" itself. Like Dr. Scruton, I concur that a Jungian analysis of the type which Donington presented can be applied equally to any work of art which involves human life and psychology, so that such an interpretation tells us more about Jungian categories than it does about the work of art to which it is applied. My interpretation, to the contrary, was never based upon any apriori application of some specific ideology or theory or methodology, but was generated initially from a very close reading of the libretto and music and motival references, and secondarily (and later) corroborated with the most extensive assessment of evidence from Wagner’s writings and recorded remarks, and from Feuerbach’s writings which can be proved to have influenced Wagner, which has yet been applied to an understanding of the "Ring." Anyone doubting this simply needs to read my online book on the Ring here at, and to survey the 1,150 or so extracts from Wagner's writings and recorded remarks, and from Feuerbach's relevant writings, which can be read in Appendix II of my online book posted here at

PH: It is implicit in Dr. Scruton’s critique above about the disadvantages of Donington’s Jungian approach that Dr. Scruton also applies this critique, at least to some extent, to my allegorical reading, because his critique here corresponds with his prior remarks about my approach. For instance, Dr. Scruton states here that Jungian approaches to the "Ring" “… risk replacing the particular by the general, the deep meaning that resides in the specific drama by the general theory of what we humans are.” But what if the general theory of what we humans are, in contrast and in conflict with man’s personal quest for transcendent value and meaning, is one of the primary subjects dealt with in Wagner’s "Ring," one of the primary sources of its dramatic power, perhaps even the primary conceptual and dramatic frame of reference upon which Wagner constructed his plot? What then? What if Wagner actually created an allegory in creating the "Ring"? What is Dr. Scruton to do?

PH: Dr. Scruton suggests here that “deep meaning” only “resides in the specific drama,” as if my allegorical interpretation was out of touch with, or had nothing to do with the specific drama in which Wagner’s larger-than-life personalities relate and conflict and love, and that therefore I can't unveil the deep meaning of the "Ring" in my allegorical interpretation. But my interpretation embraces both the specific drama of the Ring’s realistically drawn characters and the larger, universal context (represented in the "Ring" by the divine or non-human characters), and continually links the one to the other, just as Wagner’s musical motives do. There is much, by the way, that Wagner’s musical motifs do, for which only my interpretation has offered a plausible explanation. My unique interpretation of Siegfried as Wagner’s metaphor for an inspired artist-hero explains much about the events and music with which Siegfried is associated in the "Ring," that is entirely missing from the bland attempt merely to construe Siegfried as a generic hero, or worse, as a deliberate caricature of a hero whom Wagner set out to ridicule for some obscure dramatic purpose (how odd, if this is so, that Bruennhilde calls him the “greatest of heroes” during her apostrophe to Siegfried in the finale of "Twilight of the Gods"!). Furthermore, if, as I suggest, Wagner’s primary dramatic subject is collective, historical man’s (Wotan’s, and Siegfried’s - Siegfried being a specific, rare class of man) futile bid to affirm man’s transcendent value, in the face of man’s predestined overthrow of his own most cherished beliefs by his gradual acquisition of a hoard of objective knowledge of his true nature, and of his place in nature (first represented by Alberich’s accumulation of his hoard of treasure in the bowels of the earth - Erda, “Erda’s Navel-Nest” - , and later represented by Wotan’s - Light-Alberich’s - gathering of a hoard of knowledge in his wanderings over the earth - i.e., Erda, and through his specific visits to Erda), then those who propose a more conventional reading of the "Ring" as a realistic music-drama about human characters in love and conflict, are only seeing half of the picture. My interpretation has the virtue of embracing both sides of this coin, man both as object (as Alberich sees him), and subject (as Wotan wishes to see him, and as Siegmund and Sieglinde and Siegfried and Bruennhilde see him), the real, and the ideal.

PH: These considerations place in their proper perspective Dr. Scruton’s remarks (ostensibly about Donington, but also clearly applicable to my allegorical interpretation) that “No interpretation can be valid, or have any real claim on the listener’s attention, if it does not illuminate "The Ring" as a drama. No work of dramatic art can be an effective symbol of some general meaning if it does not work as a drama. And it is by understanding "The Ring" as drama that we can approach, in Wagner’s words, the ‘concealed deep truth’ within it.”

PH: I have made my case for my allegorical reading of the "Ring" as a drama in my book posted here at I cannot conceive of anything more inherently dramatic than this conflict between man’s preferred view of himself, and the actual truth of man’s condition and destiny, which I have described as the essence of Wagner’s "Ring," a view which embraces all that Dr. Scruton values about the "Ring" as a drama about human selves in relationships of conflict or love, while at the same time dramatizing Wagner’s own doubts about this ideal view of mankind. These doubts he dramatized in the very plot of the "Ring" itself, especially in Alberich’s proclamation that those who coopted his Ring’s power will fall under its curse, will lust for gold, and will themselves unwittingly conspire to bring their fate to pass, and in Erda’s prophecy that the gods (and presumably also all that Wotan stands for, including Wotan’s longing for redemption through proxies, Bruennhilde and the Waelsungs) will be destroyed by Alberich's son Hagen. This is the very essence of tragedy in the Greek sense, that by virtue of man’s (Wotan’s) hubris in proclaiming man’s (the gods’) transcendent value on the basis, perhaps, of self-deception, man unwittingly set himself up for failure by his own hand. This is what I have described in my interpretation as man’s “existential dilemma,” a phrase I believe I may first have discovered in Ernest Becker’s book "The Denial of Death," back during my college years in the 70’s.

RS: (…)

RS: “To return to the point already made in response to Donington, no interpretation of "The Ring" can illuminate the work if it does not acknowledge that the cycle is, in the first instance, not an allegory or mystery but a drama. Philip Kitcher and Richard Schacht, who are distinguished philosophers in their own right, conceive "The Ring" entirely in dramatic terms, and identify Wotan and Bruennhilde as the central characters.

RS: (…)

Kitcher and Schacht’s approach unlocks many of the secrets of The Ring.”

PH: I have argued that my allegorical reading is an acknowledgment of the "Ring" as a drama in the fullest sense of that term, and that the conflict which is the basis of that drama is precisely the conflict between man’s scientific understanding of himself as an object in nature, and man’s affirmation of the dignity, integrity and transcendent value of the self. I have also argued here that Dr. Scruton has not offered any definitive basis for his assumption that the "Ring" is not an allegory, or that my allegorical interpretation does not acknowledge the "Ring" as a drama. If anything, my extensive study posted online here at m proves the contrary in extraordinary detail, proves in fact that there is much in the "Ring" libretto and music which can’t even be explained without reference to an allegorical reading of the type I have posited. I would also add that the "Ring" is a mystery in much the same way that we speak of the religious mysteries, and that in fact the religious mysteries, and mankind’s eventual exposure of them to the light of day, is a primary subject not only of the "Ring" but of Wagner’s operas "Tannhaeuser" and "Lohengrin," and even "Tristan," "Mastersingers," and "Parsifal," since Wagner designed his "Ring" in the first place as a sort of epitome of all myth, a master myth, into which all specific myths can be assimilated. But the "Ring" as presented in my allegorical interpretation is a mystery even in a deeper sense, because Wagner has explored in it the greatest of unanswered questions, namely, what is the nature of human consciousness, the origin and destiny of mankind?

PH: And last, I was startled when I read Dr. Scruton’s book and learned that he had extolled the virtues of "Finding an Ending" (Oxford Univ. Press, 2004) by Dr. Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia Univ., and Dr. Richard Schacht, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois. I recognize, of course, that their study expresses much that would be of interest and attractive to Dr. Scruton, considering his diverse intellectual preoccupations. I can understand the basis for his admiration. I wrote critical remarks in the margin of my copy of "Finding an Ending" after I read it 12 years ago (and in fact I wrote a brief critique of it online back then in a discussion forum monitored by Derrick Everett, in which I stated that it offered little that is new or provocative). When I first read "Finding an Ending" 12 years ago my general impression was that Kitcher and Schacht had expended a great deal of thought on Wagner’s "Ring," but that the constraints under which they stated they were approaching their exploration of it precluded the possibility of grasping it as a whole, and therefore in its essence. I had the impression that they were thoughtful and reasonable outsiders looking in at something which they did not fully understand, and that because they selected such a small proportion of the Ring’s content, both dramatic and musical, from which to draw their conclusions, that they would, in effect, be missing the boat. However, I have been prompted by Dr. Scruton’s critique of my own allegorical approach, in contrast with his praise of Kitcher’s and Schacht’s approach (which Dr. Scruton suggests more fully approximates what audiences experience in the theater, which is surely true, since I am drawing attention to things scarcely even dreamt of previously), that I decided to reread "Finding an Ending" to see if I had missed something crucial in my first reading of it 12 years ago. However, having re-read it, I am more certain than I was 12 years ago of my original conviction. For this reason I have posted here, in this discussion forum, a 20-part, 280 page critical review of their book (which I also forwarded to Dr. Kitcher and Dr. Schacht as an email attachment this week), in which I take issue with the majority of their propositions, and attempt to show how much more completely and accurately my interpretation can address the questions they pose (where their questions have any real relevance to the "Ring" in the first place) than they can. I have also posted as a prelude to this 20-part critical review a more general review, 15 pages in length, in the form of an email (which I also sent as an attachment to Dr. Kitcher and Dr. Schacht this week) which addresses the following two questions.

PH: Their primary fault, in my view (as readers will discover who read the initial posting which precedes my 20-part critical review, unnumbered unlike the rest of them), is that they do not grasp the dramatic significance of Siegfried, dismiss him as representing a holdover from an earlier conception Wagner had of his "Ring" which, according to them, he lost interest in in favor of the drama involving Wotan and his daughter Bruennhilde, and for these reasons relegate the drama and music of most of the last two parts of the four-part "Ring," "Siegfried" and "Twilight of the Gods," to a secondary status in comparison to "Rhinegold" and "The Valkyrie" (as they confirm themselves in their book). My critical review shows how my allegorical interpretation, by comparison, sustains the dramatic and conceptual importance of Siegfried to Wagner’s final, definitive version of the "Ring" (demonstrating, by the way, that Siegfried is not merely a holdover from an original intent no longer relevant, but still the very core of the "Ring"), and wholly integrates "Siegfried" and "Twilight of the Gods" not only into the main conceptual framework for the "Ring," but demonstrates how Wagner’s other canonical operas and music-dramas, from "The Flying Dutchman" through "Parsifal," can be construed in the light of the allegorical approach I took in exploring Wagner’s "Ring," because Wagner designed the "Ring" in the first place as a sort of master-myth, or myth of myths, which is the archetype for all specific myths.

PH: Dr. Scruton states that Kitcher and Schacht, in "Finding an Ending," “… unlock many of the secrets of The Ring.” I have now read their book twice, and reviewed its content multiple times, and I cannot think of a single example in which they unlocked any secrets of the "Ring," though I do credit them with getting some things right, and credit them for some comparatively minor insights.


Sometime later this summer or, at the latest, early in the fall, I will post my more detailed critical response to Dr. Scruton’s book in this discussion forum. Dr. Scruton’s "The Ring of Truth" is an extremely important book on Wagner’s art, one of our finest meditations on the subject. In fact, had Dr. Scruton not included in his book a critique of my own which appears to me to contradict, in some respects, his prior commentaries written in praise of it (his introduction to, and his article The Ring of Truth (5/27/2011 The American Spectator), I would have found comparatively little to take issue with in his book.

Let me add that I will be posting soon a multi-part answer to Dr. Philip Kitcher's 2 questions, (1) what is my evidence that Bruennhilde is Siegfried's unconscious mind, and (2) what is my evidence that Siegfried is Wotan reborn minus consciousness of his true identity.

Re: Part 6: Scruton's critique of my book, & my response

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:06 pm
by alberich00

Re: Part 6: Scruton's critique of my book, & my response

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:55 am
by alberich00