Biographical Note on the Author
Born on 1/11/53, Paul Heise's decisive confrontation with Wagner occurred in the summer of 1971. Having heard the orchestral excerpt from Wagner's Ring, Siegfried's Forest Murmurs, on Washington, DC's classical radio station, WETA, he obtained - and experienced in one sitting - the Seraphim mono recording of the Ring, with Wilhelm Furtwaengler conducting the Italian Radio Orchestra. Though Heise experienced the Ring as a dramatic, conceptual, and musical whole, a survey of current Wagner scholarship revealed that no viable global interpretation had yet been proposed, and that many scholars denied its possibility. Heise withdrew from Anthropology graduate school (Southern Illinois Univ. in Carbondale, USA) in 1976 in order to solve this problem.
From 1976 until 2009, while working at a variety of jobs, such as Library Assistant, Probation Officer for Juveniles, restaurant Dishwasher, Executive Recruiter (financial services), and Security Guard (and living off of personal savings, and loans from family and friends, for a period of years during which the author deemed it essential to forego employment in order to devote himself full-time to this project), Heise systematically developed a coherent, unified interpretation, which offers striking and strongly vetted solutions to many classic conundrums in Wagner scholarship. Having completed his study, The Wound That Will Never Heal, in 2009, Heise proposes that the entirety of the Ring's music, libretto, and dramatic structure can be construed in extraordinary detail within one universal frame of reference. Further, he proposes that Wagner's other canonical operas and music-dramas, from The Flying Dutchman through Parsifal, can be fruitfully construed in light of the coherent world-view which Heise maintains gives the Ring its conceptual and artistic coherence. While this overall framework does not exhaust the meaning of the Ring, Heise believes it to be the first successful effort to construe it as a whole. This interpretation is the centerpiece and raison d'etre of this website, www.wagnerheim.com.
The author has made this product of his lifelong devotion to grasping the mystery of Wagner's genius available to the public with the hope and desire that visitors will enjoy this site as a resource, and he encourages visitors to contribute their viewpoints in the discussion forum, where it is hoped their perspectives will generate lively debate. Contributors to the forum are encouraged to offer counter proposals where the author seems to be in error. Advice on how this website may be improved will be most welcome, and the authors of suggestions which are incorporated into the website will be recognized here.