Dear Wagnerheim.com discussion forum participants:
I have now edited and revised my eight-part review of Mark Berry's 2006 book "Treacherous Bonds and Laughing Fire." You will find some improvements in presentation and some additional material. For those who wish to make a quick and dirty comparison between Mark Berry's book and my prior copyrighted and sometimes self-published and distributed papers on Wagner's "Ring" and his other canonical operas and music-dramas, consult the transcript of my lecture "The 'Ring' as a Whole," presented to the Wagner Society of Washington, DC (April of 2000 at Funger Hall, George Washington Univ., in Washington, DC), and my essay "How Elsa Showed Wagner the Way to Siegfried," published (and considerably altered from the original thanks to editorial advice offered by Stewart Spencer, three unnamed scholarly referees, Andrew Gray, and especially Chad Taylor, who offered his services pro bono as an editor) by Stewart Spencer in the 5/95 issue of WAGNER, the (now defunct) scholarly journal of The Wagner Society (London, UK). Both of these papers are posted here in this discussion forum.
If you check my list of papers copyrighted at the Library of Congress since 1981, you will find quite a number of papers which I have shared with only a small number of people, and a few more ambitious studies which I have shared with a fairly large proportion of the significant Wagner scholars of the past thirty-some years. For a complete comparison between my research and Berry's book, one would have to consult all these papers, which is impractical. However, I think the two papers I've posted here at this website, which predate Berry's book, will give readers a reasonable idea of how our readings of the "Ring" differ, and where Berry is on the same page with me. However, if you visit http://www.wagnersocietyflorida.org, and click first on "Resources," and then click on "Texts on Wagner," you will find a much more elaborate version of my paper "How Elsa Showed Wagner the Way to Siegfried," which fills in many logical gaps which mar my original published version (the one posted here in the discussion forum). You will also find several other essay length papers which offer more detailed considerations of Wagner's other canonical artworks. Eventually I will post those papers here at http://www.wagnerheim.com. I also have dvd's of my lecture "How Elsa Showed Wagner the Way to Siegfried," presented to the Philosophy, Germanic Studies, and Music departments of the Univ. of Texas at Austin (thanks to an invitation extended to me by both Dr. John Weinstock of the Germanic Studies Dept., and Dr. Tom Seung of the Philosophy Dept.), and of my lecture on Feuerbach's influence on the libretto of "Parsifal," presented to the Boston Wagner Society at the public library in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Eventually I will post these audio/visual presentations here at http://www.wagnerheim.com as well.
In a very few days I will embark on the task of revising "The Wound That Will Never Heal" (i.e., Volume One, on the "Ring," which constitutes the primary document posted here at http://www.wagnerheim.com) so that I can offer it for publication in hardcopy, or even as an e-book, in a much briefer and more accessible form, shorn of much of its clunky scholarly apparatus. Upon completing this first volume, presumably sometime next year (2013 being the bicentennial of Wagner's birth), I will immediately embark on my second task, completion of Volume Two of "The Wound That Will Never Heal," which will demonstrate how one can very fruitfully construe Wagner's other canonical operas and music-dramas ("The Flying Dutchman," "Tannhaeuser," "Lohengrin,"
"Tristan and Isolde," "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg," and "Parsifal") in light of my insights into the conceptual unity of "The Ring of the Nibelung." These interpretations of Wagner's six other significant musical dramas are predicated upon my demonstration that in the "Ring" Wagner constructed a master-myth which virtually embraces all of the significant mythic content of these six other works. These works of course stand on their own as unique works of art with their own special flavor and idiosyncratic content, but astonishing insight into them becomes accessible by viewing them in light of the "Ring" considered as their master-myth, a sort of template. Needless to say, Wagner authored and composed "The Flying Dutchman," "Tannhaeuser," and "Lohengrin" prior to creating his "Ring," but they can be construed as necessary steps toward Wagner's creation of his master-myth. "Tristan and Isolde," "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg," and "Parsifal," are even more systematically linked with the conceptual structure of the "Ring," so much so, that I have been saying since my 1983 "Doctrine of the Ring" that they can best be understood by construing them as a single, unified work of art, in which each plays a different role in presenting Wagner's mature world-view.
General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung
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