I wish first to pay testimony to the keen understanding of - and sympathetic encouragement granted to - my original research into the philosophical implications of Wagner’s Ring, by Dr. Roger Scruton. Having completed my first revised edition of The Wound That Will Never Heal in the summer of 2009, I emailed an announcement of its completion, along with word document attachments of my introduction and book proposal, to over 300 Wagner scholars, officers of most of the Wagner societies, and others with significant direct or indirect links to the Wagner-world. Dr. Scruton’s primary contribution to our knowledge of Wagner, aside from various lectures and articles, are two books: Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner’s ‘Tristan and Isolde’ (2004) and Understanding Music (2009). Of the responses I received, by far the most substantial was that of Dr. Scruton, who has made the creation of Wagnerheim.com possible. Dr. Scruton is the first to have read the entirety of my as-yet-unpublished text – nearly 1,000 pages in length – complete. His response is reflected in the introduction he wrote for this website. Dr. Scruton has not only read my entire text, and not only understood it in detail; he has grasped its widest implications. Were it not for his astute assessment of the value of this research project for not only Wagnerians, but all thinking people, it would not have been possible to present this book and its scholarly apparatus online in the splendid manner you will experience as you peruse its contents.
With respect to the responses to my 2009 announcement, special thanks are also due to Dr. Thomas Grey, Professor of Music at Stanford University, who wrote a detailed response to my 16 page introduction, and engaged in a significant correspondence with me regarding the claims I make in my book.
I wish to thank my father (deceased), Richard Edward Heise Jr., and my mother, Marjorie Lois Heise (nee Cox), for their life-long moral encouragement, and long-term practical aid in financing my work with loans so that I could devote myself full-time to this project for several years without interruption. Much needed financial aid was provided through a loan donated by Dotti and Bruno Szymanski, who made it possible for me to devote a whole year exclusively to this project. Andrew Gray (translator of Wagner’s autobiography My Life for Cambridge University Press -1983) financed my first and only trip to the Bayreuth Festival in 2001, and has provided invaluable practical aid over the years, including putting me in touch with some key Wagner pundits and major university presses in my quest to seek critical reviews and potential publishers, and providing me an excellent forum to test my ideas. He was also my consultant on Wagner's German texts. Dr. Denis Donovan and Deborah McIntyre, and Tom and Nancy Marks, bought me a new computer when I was down and out, making it possible to complete the text currently in your hand. Furthermore, Dr. Donovan, a worldly child psychiatrist with a great breadth of knowledge and experience, who has posed searching questions about the nature of music, language, and meaning, as well as making signal contributions to our knowledge of child-rearing and adoptions, has provided me a unique opportunity to discuss my ideas as they evolved, providing extraordinarily helpful criticism and practical advice. He continues to work with me to seek paths for the wide dissemination of my work. My wonderful friend and intellectual comrade of recent years, Alexander Balko, has provided me a sounding board and very useful critical advice, as well as many helpful editorial suggestions, as I’ve brought my project to its conclusion. I also wish to thank Stephen Klemawesch, MD (allergist), and Louis Apter, MD (ophthalmologist), for medical services granted to me pro bono in order to aid me in the completion of my book.