Roger Scruton's brief review of my "Ring" book

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Roger Scruton's brief review of my "Ring" book

Post by alberich00 » Mon May 09, 2016 3:18 pm

Dear members of, and visitors to, the discussion forum:

Since Roger Scruton's new book on Wagner's "Ring," "The Ring of Truth," can be acquired starting on its official Penguin publication date of 6/30/2016, I thought you might find Roger Scruton's two reviews of my own book on Wagner's "Ring" ("The Wound that Will Never Heal," 2nd edition, 2009: the version posted here at of some interest. First, of course, you can read Roger Scruton's introduction to this website. But there is also his article published in the May 2011 edition of The American Spectator, similarly entitled "The Ring of Truth," which contains the following one paragraph tribute to my "Ring" book:

"Everybody with ears knows that the Ring is full of meaning, that plot, character, music, and motives are to be understood as multi-dimensional symbols, and that there unfolds on the stage, in the words, and through the music a complex argument about the nature of human life, about the hopes and fears of our species, and about the cosmos itself. Yet what exactly does it mean? I have wrestled with this question for many years, have been helped by this or that critical discussion or this or that striking performance. But much became clear to me when I discovered what is probably the only complete commentary on the Ring, which goes step by step through the text and the music, and explores some of its many allegorical meanings with relentless devotion and ardor. This is the commentary composed over many years by Paul Heise, which he has now made available to the public on his remarkable website, The site contains a forum for discussion, and will surely be the place where the many interpretations can contend with each other, and so do what I, in this short article, have no hope of doing, which is to establish the claim of the Ring to be the truth of our condition."

Dr. Scruton's two reviews of my book are the most positive notices I've yet received from a member of the published Wagner cognoscenti, with the exception of advocacy by Andrew Gray (author of the English translation of Wagner's "Mein Leben" published by Cambridge Univ. Press back during the centennial year of Wagner's death, 1983), who passed away right after I returned from my first and only visit to the Bayreuth Festival in August of 2001, a trip he financed.
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