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The Ring of the Nibelung
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Next in succession after these divisions are my own final divisions of scenes into passages from the libretto text designated by capital letters, for convenience of discussion, and for the convenience of the reader who wishes to look up specific passages from the Ring to check the libretto text and motifs in play, and to see my commentary on each of these passages. In the “Detailed Table of Contents” which follows on page 69, to the left you will find the abbreviated locations of each passage of the libretto text, followed to the right by brief verbal descriptions of the content of these passages, including some examples of  key musical motifs which occur, sometimes for the  first time, in the designated subchapter, designed to allow those already familiar with the Ring to quickly look up any passage at will. On the far right of each passage you will find the page number where this passage can be found. Here are some examples:

  • [R.1.B] Woglinde’s Lullaby    112-113
  • [V.3.3.A] Bruennhilde: Was what I did so wrong? I represented your better self    439-441

As this book is intended both as a guide-book and permanent resource for serious students of Wagner who wish to know Wagner’s Ring intimately, and also for those in the opera house who wish to refresh their memory of a specific passage from the Ring and/or to read my take on it, through constant use of the “Detailed Table of Contents” which follows the reader’s ability to quickly look up specific passages will soon become second nature.

There are two more symbols routinely employed in this online book:

Aside from my use of brackets “[ ]” to enclose the address for each subchapter of my book, or the reference information for a quotation from Appendix II, my anthology  of numbered extracts from the writings of Feuerbach and  the writings and  recorded remarks of Richard Wagner,  brackets also enclose my own editorial remarks. For instance, within the context of specific passages of text from the Ring or of quotations from Feuerbach and Wagner, when I enclose anything in brackets “[ ]”, this represents either my summation in my own words of a passage from the libretto of the Ring which I didn’t deem necessary to quote in full, or my editorial commentary upon the libretto text or upon some extract from Wagner or Feuerbach. There are numerous extracts from Wagner and Feuerbach in which it is extremely helpful to draw attention to links between them and their allegorical equivalent in the Ring drama, right within the context of the extract, so that the reader can see what the author of this study has seen, directly.

Whenever the reader encounters a discussion in the book enclosed within "{{ ... }}," this generally signifies that the discussion enclosed within these symbols is considered by this author  to be dangerously speculative, often based upon as yet incomplete or perhaps inaccurate knowledge of what motifs or musical references are in play in the passage from Wagner's Ring currently under discussion, or perhaps an insufficient understanding of  the German original. In such cases I am openly soliciting helpful advice from readers who can fill the gaps in my knowledge of the passage in question. Of course it goes without saying that this solicitation applies to the entirety of  my book: the Ring's full elucidation has always, and always will, require a team effort.

 

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