Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-12

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-12

Postby alberich00 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:31 am

[P. 106] “ … this opera-subject [Beethoven’s Fidelio] embraced so much that was
foreign to Music and unassimilable, that in truth the great Overture to Leonora
alone makes really plain to us how Beethoven would have the drama understood.
Who can ever hear the thrilling tone-piece without being filled with the conviction
that Music includes within itself the most consummate Drama? What is the
dramatic action of the librettist’s opera ‘Leonora’ but an almost repulsive watering
of the drama we have lived through in its overture, a kind of tedious commentary
by Gervinus on a scene of Shakespeare’s?
{SCHOP} {FEUER} Seeing that Music does not portray the Ideas inherent in
the world’s phenomena, but is itself an Idea of the World, and a comprehensive
one, it naturally includes the Drama in itself; as Drama, again, expresses only the
world’s idea proportionate (adaequat) to Music. Drama towers above the bounds of
Poetry in exactly the same manner as Music above those of every other art, and
especially of plastic art, through its effect residing solely in the Sublime. As a
drama does not depict human characters, but lets them display their immediate
selves, so a piece of music gives us in its motives the character of all the world’s
appearances according to their inmost essence (An-sich). Not only are the
movement, interchange and evolution of these motives analogous to nothing but
the Drama, but a drama representing the [world’s] Idea can be understood with
perfect clearness through nothing but those moving, evolving and alternating
motives of Music’s. We consequently should not go far astray, if we defined Music
as man’s qualification a priori for fashioning the Drama. Just as we construct for
ourselves the world of semblances through application of the laws of Time and
Space existing a priori in our brain, so this conscious representment of the world’s
idea in Drama would thus be foreordained by those inner laws of Music, operating
in the dramatist equally unconsciously [P. 107] with the laws of Causality we bring
into employment for apperception of the phenomenal world.” [782W-{9-12/70}
Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 106-107]

[P. 108] {FEUER} “We have called Music the revelation of the inner vision of the
Essence of the world, and Shakespeare we might term a Beethoven who goes on
dreaming though awake. What holds their spheres asunder, are the formal condit-
ions of the laws of apperception obtaining in each. The perfect art-form would
therefore have to take its rise from the point where those respective laws could
meet.” [784W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 108]

[P. 109] {SCHOP} {FEUER} “We have … seen that the dream-message received by this inner organ can be transmitted [to the waking consciousness] only through a second type of dream, a dream that directly precedes our wakening, and which can render in none but an allegoric form the contents of the first … . Further, we have compared the work of the Musician to the clairvoyante’s hypnotic vision (dem Gesichte der hellsehend gewordenen Somnambule), as the direct transcript of the inmost dream [Wahrtraum – Lit. [p. 110] ‘true-dream’] beheld by her and now imparted … to those outside … . – Still pursuing our analogy, with this physiologic phenomenon of hypnotic clairvoyance let us couple its fellow, that of ghost-seeing, and borrow from Schopenhauer, again, his hypothesis that it is a state of clairvoyance occurring in the waking brain; that is to say, it results from a temporary reduction in the waking power of sight, whose clouded eyes are now made use of by the inner impulse to impart to the form of consciousness most near to waking the message of the inmost veridical dream. This shape, projected before the eye from within, belongs in nowise to the material world of Appearance; yet it appears to the ghost-seer with all the signs and tokens of actual life. With this projection of the inner image before the waking eye – an act the inner will can accomplish only in rare and extraordinary cases – let us now compare the work of Shakespeare; and we shall find him to be the ghost-seer and spirit-raiser, who from the depths of his own inner consciousness conjures the shapes of men from every age, and sets them before his waking eye and ours in such a fashion that they seem to really live.
{FEUER} As soon as we have fully grasped the consequences of this analogy we may term Beethoven, whom we have likened to the clairvoyant, the hidden motor (den wirkenden Untergrund) of Shakespeare the ghost-seer: what brings forth Beethoven’s melodies, projects the spirit-shapes of Shakespeare; and both will blend into one being, if we let the musician enter not only the world of Sound, but at like [P. 111] time that of Light. (…) But we have already recorded the indisputable fact that, while we are lost in the hearing of music, our sight is so far paralysed that it no longer perceives objects with any degree of intensity; so this would be the state induced by the innermost Dream-world, the blinding of the eye that it might see the spirit-shape.” [785W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 109-111]

[P. 111] {FEUER} “ … Shakespeare’s spirit-shapes would be brought to sound through the full awaking of the inner organ of Music: or Beethoven’s motives would inspire the palsied sight to see those shapes distinctly, and embodied in those spirit-shapes they now would move before our eyes turned clairvoyant. In either case, identical in essence, the prodigious force here framing appearances from within outwards, against the ordinary laws of Nature, must be engendered by the deepest Want (Noth). And that Want presumably would be the same as finds vent in the common course of life, in the scream of the suddenly awakened from an obsessing vision of profoundest sleep [* Translator’s Footnote: “Cf. Kundry’s awakening in Parsifal, acts ii. and iii.] … . {FEUER} This awaking out of deepest Want we witness in that redoubtable leap from instrumental into vocal music – so offensive to ordinary aesthetic criticism – which has led us from our discussion of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to [P. 112] the above prolonged digression. What we here experience is a certain overcharge, a vast compulsion to unload without, only to be compared with the stress to waken from an agonising dream; and the important issue for the Art-genius of mankind, is that this special stress called forth an artistic deed whereby that genius gained a novel power, the qualification for begetting the highest Artwork.” [786W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 111-112]

[P. 116] {FEUER} “If we would conjure up a paradise of the human spirit’s productivity, we must transfer ourselves to the days before the invention of Writing and its preservation on parchment or paper. We cannot but hold that here was born the whole of that Culture which now maintains a halting life as mere object of study or useful adaptation. Here Poesis was nothing other than the actual invention of Myths, i.e. of ideal occurrences in which the various characteristics of the life of man were mirrored with an objective reality like to that of ghostly apparitions. This faculty we see innate in every Folk of noble blood, down to the point when the use of written letters reached it. From then it loses its poetic force; Speech, theretofore in a living flux of natural evolution, now falls into the crystallising stage and stiffens; Poetry becomes the art of decking out the ancient myths, no longer to be new-invented, and ends in Rhetoric and Dialectics.” [788W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 116]

[P. 120] {FEUER} “Far as our eye can roam, the Mode commands us. – But coevally with this world of Mode another world has risen for us. As Christianity stepped forth amid the Roman civilisation of the universe, so Music breaks forth from the chaos of modern civilisation. Both say aloud: ‘our kingdom is not of this world.’ And that means: we come from within, ye from without; we spring from the Essence of things, ye from their Show.” [790W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 120]

[P. 121] {SCHOP} {anti-FEUER} “Everywhere we see the inner law, only conceivable as sprung from the spirit of Music, prescribe the outer law that regulates the world of sight: the genuine ancient Doric State which Plato tried to rescue for philosophy, nay, the order of war, the fight itself, the laws of Music led as surely as the dance. – But that paradise was lost: the fount of motion of a world ran dry. Like a ball once thrown, the world span round the curve of its trajectory, but no longer was it driven by a moving soul; and so its very motion must grow faint at last, until the world-soul has been waked again.
{FEUER} It was the spirit of Christianity that rewoke to life the soul of Music. (…)
[P. 123] {FEUER} As for our present Civilisation, especially insofar as it influences the artistic man, we certainly may assume that nothing but the spirit of our Music, that music which Beethoven set free from bondage to the Mode, can dower it with a soul again. And the task of giving to the new, more soulful civilisation that haply may arise herefrom, the new Religion to inform it – this task must obviously be reserved for the German Spirit alone, that spirit which we ourselves shall never rightly understand till we cast aside each spurious tendency ascribed thereto.” [791W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 121; p. 123]

[P. 126] {FEUER} “ … what our thinkers, our poets, in toilsome transposition, had only touched as with a half-heard word, the Beethovenian Symphony had stirred to its deepest core: the new religion, the world-redeeming gospel of sublimest innocence, was there already understood as by ourselves.” [792W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 126]

[P. 337] {FEUER} ” … if everything that belonged together were to be united, we should have the perfect harmony, but also an end of life – that would be the Nirvana of the Buddhists. There had to be a fundamental division in Nature, though of course we can no more comprehend this than the state of complete harmony which excludes life. That is the reason for the popular belief that Paradise would be a boring place.” [794W-{2/14/71}CD Vol. I, p. 337]

“… seeing how fond people are of ascribing to Music, particularly of the passionate and stirring type, a simply pathologic character, it may surprise them to discover through this [P. 153] very instance how delicate and purely ideal is her actual sphere, since the material terror of reality can find no place therein, albeit the soul of all things real in it alone finds pure expression. – Manifestly then, there is a side of the world, and a side that concerns us most seriously, whose terrible lessons can be brought home to our minds on none but a field of observation where Music has to hold her tongue: this field perhaps may best be measured if we allow Shakespeare, the stupendous mime, to lead us on it as far as that point we saw him reach with the desperate fatigue we assumed as reason for his early withdrawal from the stage. And that field might be best defined, if not exactly as the soil, at least as the phenomena of History. To portray its material features for the benefit of human knowledge, must always remain the Poet’s task.” [800W-{3-6/71}The Destiny of Opera: PW Vol. V, p. 152-153]

[P. 391] {FEUER} “A profound, indescribable impression; a wooing of the utmost
beauty; Siegfried’s fear, the fear of guilt through love, Bruennhilde’s fear a
premonition of the approaching doom; her virginal and pure love for Siegfried
truly German.” [801W-{7/18/71} CD Vol. I, p. 391]

[P. 396] {anti-FEUER} “R.: ‘The word ‘eternal’ is a very fine one, for it really means ‘holy’: a great feeling is eternal, for it is free from the laws of change to which everything is subject: it has nothing to do with yesterday, today, or tomorrow. Hell begins with arithmetic.’ “[804W-{7/25/71} CD Vol. I, p. 396]

[P. 407] {FEUER} “ ‘An improviser such as an actor must belong entirely to the present moment, never think of what is to come, indeed not even know it, as it were. The peculiar thing about me as an artist, for instance, is that I look on each detail as an entirety and never say to myself, ‘Since this or that will follow, you must do such and such, modulate like this or like that.’ I think, ‘Something will turn up.’ Otherwise I would be lost; and yet I know I am unconsciously obeying a plan." [805W-{9/1/71} CD Vol. I, p. 407]

[P. 410] {FEUER} “Siegfried does not know what he is guilty of; as a man, committed entirely to deeds, he knows nothing, he must fall in order that Bruennhilde may rise to the heights of perception.” [808W-{9/6/71} CD Vol. I, p. 410]

[P. 435] {FEUER} “On his return R. says to me, ‘Prometheus’s words ‘I took [P. 436] knowledge away from Man’ came to my mind and gave me a profound insight; knowledge, seeing ahead is in fact a divine attribute, and Man with this divine attribute is a piteous object, he is like Brahma before the Maya spread before him the veil of ignorance, of deception; the divine privilege is the saddest thing of all.” [809W-{11/29/71} CD Vol. I, p. 435-436]

[P. 268] {FEUER} “With the sketch of ‘Tristan und Isolde’ I felt that I was really not quitting the mythic circle opened-out to me by my Nibelungen labours (dem Kreise der durch meine Nibelungenarbeit mir erwecken dichterischen und mythischen Anschauungen). For the grand concordance of all sterling Myths, as thrust upon me by my studies, had sharpened my eyesight for the wondrous variations standing out amid this harmony. Such a one confronted me with fascinating clearness in the relation of Tristan to Isolde, as compared with that of Siegfried to Bruennhilde. Just as in languages the transmutation of a single sound forms two apparently quite diverse words from one and the same original, so here, by a similar transmutation or shifting of the Time-motive, two seemingly unlike relations had sprung from the one original mythic factor. Their intrinsic parity consists in this: both Tristan and Siegfried, in bondage to an illusion which makes this deed of theirs unfree, woo for another their own eternally-predestined bride, and in the false relation hence arising find their doom. Whereas the poet of ‘Siegfried,’ however, before all else abiding by the grand coherence of the whole Nibelungen-myth, could only take in eye the hero’s downfall through the vengeance of the wife who at like time offers up herself and him: the poet of ‘Tristan’ finds his staple matter in setting forth the love-pangs to which the pair of lovers, awakened to their true relation, have fallen victims till their death. Merely the thing is here more fully, clearly treated, which even there was spoken out beyond mistake: death through stress [P. 269] of love (Liebesnoth) – an idea which finds expression in Bruennhilde, for her part conscious of the true relation. What in the one work could only come to rapid utterance at the climax, in the other becomes an entire Content, of infinite variety; and this it was, that attracted me to treat the stuff at just that time, namely as a supplementary Act of the great Nibelungen-myth, a mythos compassing the whole relations of a world.” [811W-{12/71} Epilogue to The Nibelung’s Ring PW Vol. III, p. 268-269]

[P. 457] “Of ‘Opera and Drama,’ which he is correcting, he says: ‘I know what Nietzsche didn’t like in it – it is the same thing which Kossak took up and which set Schopenhauer against me: what I said about words. At the time I didn’t dare to say that it was music which produced drama, although inside myself I knew it.’ “ [814W-{2/11/72}CD Vol. I, p. 457]

[P. 25] {anti-FEUER} “Actively aroused by the perusal of some of Ludwig Feuerbach’s essays, I had borrowed various terms of abstract nomenclature and applied them to artistic ideas with which they could not always closely harmonise. In thus doing, I gave myself up without critical deliberation to the guidance of a brilliant writer, who approached most nearly to my reigning frame of mind, in that he bade farewell to Philosophy (in which he fancied he detected naught but masked Theology) and took refuge in a conception of man’s nature in which I thought I clearly recognised my own ideal of artistic manhood. From this arose a kind of impassioned tangle of ideas, which manifested itself as precipitance and indistinctness in my attempts at philosophical system.
{FEUER} While on this subject, I deem it needful to make special mention of two chief ‘terms,’ my misunderstanding of which has since been strikingly borne in upon me.
{FEUER} {SCHOP} I refer in the first place to the concept Willkuer and Unwillkuer, in the use of which a great confusion had [P. 26] long preceded my own offending; for an adjectival term, unwillkuerlich, had been promoted to the rank of a substantive. Only those who have learnt from Schopenhauer the true meaning and significance of the Will, can thoroughly appreciate the abuse that had resulted from this mixing up of words; he who has enjoyed this unspeakable benefit, however, knows well that that misused ‘Unwillkuer’ should really be named ‘Der Wille’ (the Will); whilst the term Willkuer (Choice or Caprice) is here employed to signify the so-called Intellectual or Brain Will, influenced by the guidance of reflection. Since the latter is more concerned with the properties of Knowledge, -- which may easily be led astray by the purely individual aim, -- it is attainted with the evil qualities with which it is charged in the following pages, under the name of Willkuer: whereas the pure Will, as the ‘Thing-in-itself’ that comes to consciousness in man, is credited with those true productive qualities which are here – apparently the result of a confusion sprung from the popular misuse of the term – assigned to the negative expression, ‘Unwillkuer.’ “ [818W-{1-3/72} Introduction to ‘Art and Revolution,’ ‘The Artwork of the Future,’ and ‘Opera and Drama’: PW Vol. I, p. 25-26]

[P. 466] {FEUER} “Siegfried lives entirely in the present, he is the hero, the finest gift of the will.” [820W-{3/12/72}CD Vol. I, p. 466]

[P. 468] {FEUER} “R. says he is very tired of composing, he has already done so much, and on the arrival of Siegfried’s corpse he could in fact just write in the score, ‘see ‘Tristan,’ Act III.” [821W-{3/17/72}CD Vol. I, p. 468]

[P. 496] {FEUER} {SCHOP} “We talk again about ‘Christus.’ ‘Fear of life after death places all such things as the Regnum Coelorum among the beatitudes. These people have never, either intuitively or consciously, grasped the ideality of time and space, which makes one aware that eternity and truth are always present.” [825W-{6/8/72} CD Vol. I, p. 496]

[P. 502] {FEUER} “ ‘I shall still do ‘Parcival,’ R. says in the evening. ‘Art makes religions eternal.” [826W-{6/20/72}CD Vol. I, p. 502]

[P. 505] {FEUER} “But, alas, how is culture possible when religion has such defective roots, and even terminology is so little defined that one can talk of spirit and Nature as if they were antitheses?” [828W-{6/29/72}CD Vol. I, p. 505]

[P. 506] {FEUER} {SCHOP} “Which the greater, Wotan or Siegfried? Wotan the more tragic, since he recognizes the guilt of existence [P. 507] and is atoning for the error of creation … .” [829W-{7/2/72}CD Vol. I, p. 506-507]

[P. 515] “I am glad that I kept back Sieglinde’s theme of praise for Bruennhilde, to become as it were a hymn to heroes.’ “[832W-{7/23/72}CD Vol. I, p. 515]

[P. 215] {FEUER} “If we abide by the view that the honour to which the mimetic art is elevable can only be conferred on it through a change in the model to be imitated, transferring it from the common experience of physical life to the sphere of an ideal intuition, we certainly may presume that with this transference the Mime himself will also enter into a new social condition.
{FEUER} The latter is quite primly defined by Ed. Devrient … when he
demands of the Mime the truly Republican virtue of self-denial.
{FEUER} At bottom this implies a notable extension of those qualities
which make out the mimetic bent itself, since that bent is chiefly to be understood
as an almost daemonic passion for self-divestment (Hang zur Selbstentaeusserung).
The question then would be, in whose favour, and for what profit, does the act of
this self-divestment, so singular per se, take place? And here we stand before an
utter [P. 216] marvel, at the brink of an abyss illumined by no consciousness of
ours. (…)
{FEUER} Granted that a real putting-off of our Self is possible, we must
assume that our self-consciousness, and thus our consciousness in general, has first
been set out of action. In truth the thoroughly gifted, perfect mime appears in that
act of self-divestment to offer up his consciousness of self to such a degree, that, in
a sense, he never recovers it even in daily life, or never
completely.” [835W{6-8/72} Actors and Singers: PW Vol. V, p. 215-216]

[P. 216] “ ‘What’s Hecuba to him?’ – asks Hamlet, having seen the player moved
to tears by the dream-image of the poem, whereas he feels himself but ‘John-a-
dreams’ in presence of the sternest call to action.
{FEUER} Manifestly, we are standing before an excess of that mother-force
from which springs all poetic and artistic faculty; whilst the latter’s most
beneficent products, the most fruitful for the weal of man, are due to wellnigh
nothing but a certain diminution, or at least a moderation, in the violence of its
expression. Let us therefore conclude that we owe the highest art-creations of the
human mind [P. 217] to that rarest of intellectual gifts which endows this capability
of total self-divestment with the clearest perspicacity (Besonnenheit) to boot, in
power whereof the state of self-divestment itself is mirrored in that very
consciousness which in the case of the mime is wholly dethroned.
{FEUER} Through that capability of self-divestment in favour of a purely
visionary image the Poet thus is ure-akin to the Mime, whereas he becomes his
master through this other one, of clearest perspicacity. To the mime the poet brings
his self-possession and his lucid brain, and thus their intercourse acquires that
incomparable gaiety known only to great masters in their comradeship with
dramatic performers … . But this gaiety is the element withal that holds the gifted
mime secure above the gulf toward which he feels his supernatural trend to self-
divestment impelling him in the practice of his art. Whoso can stand with him at
brink of that abyss, will shudder at the peril of this playing with one’s personality,
that a given moment may turn to raving madness; and here it is just that conscious-
ness of play which saves the mime, in like manner as the consciousness of his self-
divestment leads the poet to the highest creative discernment.
{FEUER} That saving consciousness of play it is, that lends the gifted mime
the childlike nature which marks him out so lovably from all his lesser-gifted
colleagues, from his whole surrounding burgher-world. (…)
[P. 220] (…) {FEUER} The art of sublime Illusion, as practised by the chosen
mime, comes not by any form of lying; and this is the wall that parts the genuine
mimic artist from the bad comedian whom present taste delights to load with gold
and laurels. (…) This wondrous playing with the Self, wherein the player clean
forgets himself, is no pastime for one’s personal pleasure; ‘tis a mutual game, in
which all the winnings fall to you spectators. But you must gather them for
yourselves: the sublime illusion, on which the mime stakes his whole personality,
must search you through and through; and from you must his own relinquished
soul make answer to him, or he slinks away a lifeless shadow.” [836W-{6-8/72}
Actors and Singers: PW Vol. V, p. 216-217; p. 220]

{FEUER} (…) And certainly the greatest difficulty is to place ‘music’ in a
proper position toward ‘drama,’ since it can be brought into no equality therewith
… , and must rank as either much more or much less than ‘drama.’ The reason
surely lies in the fact that the word ‘music’ denotes an art, originally the whole
assemblage of the arts, whilst ‘drama’ strictly denotes a deed of art. (…) The
primary meaning of ‘drama’ is a deed or action: as such, displayed upon the stage,
it at first formed but a portion of the Tragedy, i.e. the sacrificial choral chant, but at
last invaded it from end to end and thus became the main affair. (…) But Music is
placed in an utterly false relation to this ‘show-play,’ if she now is to form but a
part of that whole; as such she is wholly superfluous and disturbing, and for this
reason has at last been quite excluded from [P. 302] the stricter Play. Of a truth she
is ‘the part that once was all,’ and even now she feels called to re-assume her
ancient dignity, as very mother-womb of Drama. Yet in this high calling she must
neither stand before nor behind the Drama: she is no rival, but its mother. She
sounds, and what she sounds ye see upon the stage; for that she gathered you
together: what she is, ye never can but faintly dream; so she opens your eyes to
behold her through the scenic likeness, as a mother tells her children legends
shadowing the mysteries of religion.” [837W-{10/72}On the Name ‘Music
Drama’: PW Vol. V, p. 300-302]

[P. 303] “I would gladly have called my dramas deeds of Music brought to sight
(ersichtlich gewordene Thaten der Musik).” [838W-{10/72}On the Name ‘Music
Drama’: PW Vol. V, p. 303]
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