Dear members of, and visitors to, http://www.wagnerheim.com's discussion forum:
I read a few years ago Berger's book "Wagner Without Fear." Obviously, his useful book is intended to introduce the otherwise intimidated to Wagner's allegedly arcane and difficult world, and does a pretty good job of it. Individuals come to Wagner in many ways, and it ultimately doesn't matter how, so long as they enjoy an authentic experience of Wagner, in their own way.
However, it dawned on me that since my online book "The Wound That Will Never Heal" assumes, in advance, that any visitors to the site, and dedicated fans, are willing to jump headlong into the metaphysical vortex of Wagner arcana, to risk their very sanity and perhaps even their lives, in order to confront and if possible grasp the most dangerous mysteries hidden within the Wagner oeuvre, that http://www.wagnerheim.com's nickname ought, perhaps, to be "Wagner with Fear."
I confess it has always annoyed me when I wished to introduce friends or casual acquaintances to something which I had experienced as sublime, grand, deeply truthful, terribly moving, stunningly beautiful, frightful but important, highly informational, socially necessary, etc., and was rebuffed with the facile remark: "That's all a bit too deep for me." Often as not, I've found that they assumed, apriori, that they couldn't access something which, had they dared the experiment, might have enriched their lives.
So there it is! Without apologies to the self-proclaimed weak at heart, I offer wagnerheim.com and its discussion forum again to you, proudly, as we prepare, sadly, to leave behind us the only Wagner-bicentennial year we will ever experience, as Wagner with Fear (but also with enchantment, beauty, seductiveness, sublime depravity, as Thomas Mann put it, etc.).
To gain the courage for this, just remember Siegfried, who had to learn the meaning of fear before he could forget it.
General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung
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