A number of correspondents have asked me whether I will market this website as a compact disc, or reduce its size and scope to a marketable paperback. It is indeed my intention to attempt to complete, by 2013, the bicentennial year of Wagner's birth, a much shorter version of my book on the "Ring" (the primary content of http://www.wagnerheim.com), which will cut way back on the scholarly apparatus, have far fewer and briefer extracts from the "Ring" and Wagner's writings and recorded remarks, be more accessible, and contain six other chapters on Wagner's six other canonical operas and music-dramas, from "The Flying Dutchman" to "Parsifal." In these chapters I will show how Wagner's canonical operas and music-dramas can best be grasped in light of their systematic conceptual relationship to the "Ring," which is, in effect, the master-myth from which they are drawn (not, of course, in the sense that the "Ring" was created prior to them, but in the sense that it is in the "Ring" that Wagner presents, complete, a world-system which is implicit but incompletely presented in his other artworks from "The Flying Dutchman" onward).
I have already completed a book-length study of Wagner's three romantic operas "The Flying Dutchman," "Tannhaeuser," and "Lohengrin" (my study of Lohengrin, entitled "How Elsa Showed Wagner the Way to Siegfried," is posted in various incarnations on a number of websites, including John Weinstock's website, hailing from the Univ. of Texas at Austin, devoted to Wagner's "Ring," and the website of the Wagner Society of Florida, which can be found at wagnersocietyflorida.org, by going to "resources" and "texts on Wagner," where a number of my essays are posted), and book length studies of each of Wagner's other music dramas, namely "Tristan and Isolde," "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg," and "Parsifal." However, these studies are inadequate for publication and I need to bring each of them up to the level attained in "The Wound That Will Never Heal." I hope to devote the rest of my life to this endeavor. By the way, Stewart Spencer published an earlier version of this essay in the May, 1995 issue of WAGNER, the scholarly journal formerly published by THE WAGNER SOCIETY (London, UK).
However, the effort to prepare this website took the better part of this year and all autumn last year, and having posted it in reasonably good form, I am now temporarily engaged in the necessary effort to disseminate knowledge of it as widely and deeply as possible, so that it will live. To this end I'm spending the summer contacting all the faculty in relevant academic disciplines (i.e., those which address the big questions re man and the cosmos which Wagner addresses) at the world's major universities. I do not currently have the financial means to maintain this website past its first year of existence (as a recession victim, having lost my life savings and used up what would have been a very modest inheritance, and having borrowed from family and friends, in order to complete this project, I was not able to find employment for the past 3 years, and only today will be starting a part-time job which pays only $8.55 per hour). My new part-time job will decimate my work-week (i.e., the time I would otherwise have had to write my prospective hard-copy version of this book) and, combined with other responsibilities in my home (I reside with my aged mother and brother), will, I fear, leave comparatively little time to complete this promised book.
Any helpful hints re how I might solve this time/money problem would be most welcome.
Yours from Wagnerheim,
General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung
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