Marcia Hammerhead: Once again, I have the distasteful chore of interviewing my least favorite author, Hank Quense. This time around, I hope he hasn't destroyed another Shakespearian play. Mr Quense, what work of art have you trashed this time?
Hank Quense: Hi Marcia. Thank you for the warm welcome. This time I rewrote an old legend known as the Rhinegold. It's called Brunnhilde's Quest.
MH: So tell us about his myth.
HQ: The myth takes place in Northern Germany during the Dark Ages. The Rhinegold is a horde of goldwith magical properties. One of those properties is that it keeps Wotan and the other gods from aging. A dwarf named Albrecht finds the gold, and fashions it into a ring of immense power. Eventually the Ring is cursed and prevents Wotan from stealing it back; it has to be freely given to him in order to negate the curse. To accomplish that, he plans to breed an old-fashioned hero, one strong in arm and short on brains.
MH: Isn't that the story behind Richard Wagner's great opus, the Ring Cycle of Operas?
HQ: It is. My version of the myth isn't nearly as depressing as Wagner's version.
MH: Wagner virtually owns the Rhinegold myth. No one ever heard of it until he used in his Ring Cycle. How dare you change it at this late date?
HQ: Wagner's ending was terrible. It was nonsensical. Wagner could compose great music, but he was a terrible story teller. I used my story telling skills to improve the ending. I actually have a semi-happy ending whereas Wagner's ending was depressing.
MH: I suppose your story makes the god, Wotan, look foolish and comical.
HQ: So? He deserves it. Wotan was a dirty old man. Well, more accurately, a dirty old god. And a murderous one besides.
MH: Obviously, you can't develop your own stories so you steal them from others. That is so despicable.
HQ: Not true. Many readers believe I improve the stories and they thank me for doing so
MH: What a terrible development! Encouraging you will only make you desecrate more works of art.
HQ: That's true. As soon as we finish here, I have to get back to rewriting Hamlet and Othello, my newest work.
MH: You, an unknown scribbler, dare to think you can improve on the old masters such as Shakespeare and Wagner? Such chutzpah!
HQ: I think these old stories needed to be updated for modern readers. In my opinion, I introduce these stories to an entire new generation of readers.
MH: I can't stand this anymore. This interview is over.
HQ: I had fun Marcia. Let's do this again.
Author's note (post interview): Get a copy of Brunnhilde's Quest and see if you agree with Marcia or me.
Leave a comment to tell me who you agree with.