The characters in Wagner's Ring Cycle each have their own lives, histories, philosophies and psychology. Each may also be a different part of a single entity: struggling to gain the gold of a rounded and contented maturity. In youth, Wotan, chief of the Gods, is interested only in power. In order to obtain absolute power he must fight against the evil Alberich who would steal his crown but there exists an even greater threat to Wotan's supremacy. Together can Wotan and Alberich gain greater riches? The answer lies in the hearts of men. This book takes a character in the operas of Wagner as the subject of each chapter. Characters are expanded and the action discussed. Using strong allegorical connotations, the intention is to allow the reader to get to know the characters and the story whilst absorbing the background introduction to Wagner's psychology and philosophy. By taking Wagner's Ring Cycle as the basis of a novel this book is an important addition to the large body of literature about Wagner's greatest work. As well as acting as a pleasurable introduction to the work it presents experienced Wagnerites with food for thought by presenting Robert Donnington's Jungian exploration in a highly readable and enjoyable form: presenting the operas as a personal journey but with a global message. Web site and e book info http://alberich4.tripod.com/alberich.htm
Another door, entering onto a series of warm mountain springs, was Brunnhilde's own. Here could she escape her loud sisters, giggling over their latest fashionable hero. Here could she stand in front of the mirror she had placed on a rocky cleft and slyly, slowly, remove her heavy armor, piece by heavy piece, as if casting off the responsibilities of her post. Her helmet too could she remove and allow her hair to flow and caress her shoulders. Here could she mask the musky smell of the sulphurous springs by practiced use of the plants that grew there. Judicious scattering of crushed herbs and petals onto the waters of the chosen spring and the burning of well chosen barks, produced scents to match her mood. Here could she lower herself into the warm scented waters and allow the small waterfalls and deep powerful obliging eddies to massage her body and here could she dream of perfect, powerful and gentle heroes; strong enough to pierce her armor but, unfortunately, not yet born.
Ian Runcie was born in Birkenhead in 1952 and was educated at Park High School Birkenhead and the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff. He lives with his wife, who is also a doctor and has two daughters. On Writing about Wagner's Ring This novel became necessary on the day I realised that the characters in the Ring had their own lives and aspirations. They were just unfortunate enough to have been caught up in a Wagnerian opera and their stories were crying out to be told in novel form. Take Brunnhilde for instance. As far as we are concerned she goes to sleep and is out of the action for a generation or two and an opera and a half. Things may not be the same from her point of view. She goes to sleep with Wotan and wakes up with Siegfried; therein hangs a tale, surely. I was already familiar with Robert Donnington's work and the application of Wagner's psychological traits and his massive philosophical knowledge to the novel was obviously the way ahead. The ramifications were endless: dragons for example. How did they reach the top of the mythical food chain? Why are they so universal? Why is a fully formed dragon to be found in the art of the Mayan people of Central America from around the time of Christ and how was it possible for this dragon to be adjacent to a God with the face of an Indian elephant? The answer, for me, came during a coincidental visit to the Hill Tribes of Bangladesh. Here were a hill people with woven striped cloth, musical pipes and blowpipes and the similarities to the hill tribes of Peru were striking. These were the people who crossed the Pacific Ocean, or the Bearing Straits, taking with them their memories of real elephants and mythical dragons. All this is nothing to do with Wagner, of course, and it is with regret that I needed to confine the extensive notes to the matter in hand. Web site and e book info h t tp://alberich4.tripod.com/alberich.htm.