Presently completing Oxford Univ. Press book proposal

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Presently completing Oxford Univ. Press book proposal

Post by alberich00 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:40 am

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

I've finally resolved some medical issues in my favor, and, though I'm now doing extensive volunteer work in preparation for the USA's midterm elections, I'm carefully preparing my book proposal for the first university press I wish to approach to hopefully publish in hardcopy my final revision of my book on Wagner's "Ring" which has been posted here at since 2011. Oxford University Press is the first one I'll approach. Their book proposal template is also well designed as my template for all other presses I wish to approach in the event I don't get a thumbs up from OUP.

I've added 23 new musical motifs to Dr. Allen Dunning's original list of 177 which I used in my online book, but after omitting others from Dr. Dunning's list which I never really considered true motifs, this has left me with a revised list of 193 motifs. I may eventually add one more if I can persuade a musicologist or two to consider my proposal and inform me whether the three examples I've detected actually constitute a distinct motif.

My revised book is pretty much the same as my online version in all the essentials, but I've made hundreds of subtle, and a few bigger, improvements, mostly by ridding my text of some strained arguments, clarifying hundreds of points, and hugely improving and correcting my embedding of detectable occurrences of the 193 numbered motifs within the context of the libretto. I'm certain my newly revised book will contain by far the most accurate and complete account of Wagner's employment of musical motifs in his "Ring" drama.

You'll be the first to know when a publisher bites. Needless to say, any serious academic publisher who agrees to consider my book for publication will send my book proposal and my sample chapters (I've chosen my Prologue, first two chapters covering "Rhinegold' Scenes One and Two, and the chapter covering "Valkyrie" Act Two, Scene Two (Wotan's confession) to three anonymous reviewers for their critical appraisal, and of course they, and the editor dealing with my book at the press, will all presumably be forwarding to me their questions, complaints, corrections, suggestions, and advice about where and how to cut my book down to a smaller size. I went through this same process way back in 1995 for Stewart Spencer who forwarded my first published article "How Elsa Showed Wagner the Way to Siegfried" to three anonymous reviewers. They forwarded me 60 questions, and after answering them cogently Mr. Spencer said my article seemed eminently publishable, but as a book, not as an article. With a little more convincing and help from a volunteer editor, I finally got my article published in the scholarly journal of The Wagner Society (London).

It will be most interesting to see if I can guess who my anonymous reviewers are. I have absolute confidence I can address any issues with which they confront me. My revised book, by the way, is about 100 pages shorter than my online version, but if you consider that the only previous attempt to do a comprehensive assessment of the entire "Ring" was Deryck Cooke's attempt "I Saw the World End," and it was already 375 pages in length when he'd gotten about 2/5 of the way through, when he died prematurely, my book isn't too long after all. The primary text, i.e., prologue and interpretation, is now about 875 pages (I've added a 55 page Epilogue which contains my critique of Kitcher's and Schacht's "Finding an Ending" and of Sir Roger Scruton's "The Ring of Truth"), and, since each of the four parts of the "Ring" is worthy of a book length study, my comprehensive study, which for the first time appraises virtually all the conceptual and motival content of Wagner's 36 or so scenes, is actually four volumes in one. On average, I devote about 220 pages to each of the Ring's four parts. Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is one fourth the length of the "Ring" libretto, and entire book-length studies have been written about this iconic drama. When you consider that Wagner adds the crucial dimension of music, I hope you'll agree that an 800 and some page book on RW's "Ring" isn't too long but just right to adequately cover what's in it. Also, one must consider that most of what I'm presenting is entirely new, and therefore requires a vast scholarly apparatus in order to make my case.

I really look forward to being able to share with you all, and other interested parties, the final result of my lifelong quest to grasp RW's "Ring," in a hardcopy edition.

Your friend from,

Paul Brian Heise
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