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My Pilgrimage, Chapter Nineteen: An Excerpt from Michael Moriarty’s Novel, The Exile
By Michael Moriarty
Having awoken from his customarily daily nap, Peter sat before his computer with a deeply self-satisfied smile.
While hearing Esther prepare the videos for a You Tube presentation of Peter’s Symphony No. 6, Peter stared at the Christian Thielemann study of Richard Wagner, my life with WAGNER, knowing that he would read each page slowly and carefully.
As Mr. Thielemann described his euphoria after first conducting the Prelude to Tristan and Isolde, the conductor writes that he was “enraptured” and “blissfully happy” for hours.
Wagner’s music as an undeniable form of the drug known as Ecstasy.
Yet, as Peter realized, the ultimate Fate for all involved, particularly in the legendary Ring of the Nibelungen, was not only the “Death of the Gods” but, in Wagner’s bleakly prophetic way, the death of an entire nation.
That nation being Wagner’s own homeland, Peter wondered if this Genius of Opera, a driving force beneath the German self-image that created and built Hitler’s Third Reich, if the composer knew that his megalomaniacal fantasies were all an inevitably symbolic suicide.
Creating his music out of a manic euphoria and, doubtlessly, a blood-thirsty sense of vengeance upon all of Jewry… but for what?!
The Nibelungen’s covetous vision of “The Ring” and its unrelenting curse upon “The Ring’s” next owners?!
“The Curse of Greed” is unquestionably recorded by History as universal!
That sin knows no particularly racial limitations.
Its rapacious virulence culminated not in a Jewish triumph but in Germany’s Nazi dreams of World Domination!
The monster Wagner inevitably hated most was, in the end, his own Nazi ambitions.
And, finally, Wagner’s own and rather frequent presumptions of Godhead helped lead to his nation’s own Gotterdammerung!
In that sense, the entire drama of World War II, from a German point of view, is mirrored in the fates of heroes and heroines within Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungen.
Somehow Wagner knew the ultimate fate of his own obsessions and in, perhaps, an entirely subconscious way, painted his final hero Siegfried as an unconscionable egomaniac rather like himself.
Perhaps Wagner’s greatest genius was not in the talents he consciously exploited.
Gotterdammerung, or The Death of the Gods, was in fact Wagner’s unerring prophecy of absolute destruction for Nazi Germany!
One slowly but surely begins to comprehend why so many artists, such as Maestros Thielmann and Leonard Bernstein, learn to see Wagner in a remarkably prophetic way but, perhaps, without understanding why!
In my experience, I know of no greater example of pure schizophrenia than the Anti-Semitic insanities of the Nazi Wagner pitted against the redemption of a biblically prophetic portrait artist, capturing his Nazi nation’s inevitable self-destruction.
Undeniably a genius beyond its owner’s own understanding.
The torturously insane artist caught for decades in a fit of his own volcanic creativity.
The overall message in his Ring of the Nibelungen?
Arian Supremacy and its self-declared Godhead will inevitably self-destruct!
Man, despite his own presumptions, is not The God he has always thought he can be!
That’s a delusion most profoundly captured by Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungen.
Peter somehow felt that this excerpt from his novel, The Exile, should go into his weekly contribution to a political site on the internet.
His readers would know nothing, till now, of this burgeoning novel.
They would know even less about “Peter’s” existence in his own opera, Richard Wagner in Hell!
It would be an update!
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.