A+ a-
Wagnerheim Logo
Wagnerheim Bookmark System
The Valkyrie: Page 424
Go back a page
424
Go forward a page

dependence for his sense of security on faith, which makes consciously accumulating Alberich’s hoard of objective knowledge of the world, of man and nature, a psychological impossibility, and prevents religious man from fully exploiting his mind (Ring) and imagination (Tarnhelm). Fafner sitting on the inert hoard, without using it for power’s sake, embodies the stranglehold of religious faith - and the ancient traditions created by man yet regarded as divinely sanctioned - on progress, which depends upon freedom of thought and uncensored acquisition of objective knowledge.

It is interesting that Siegfried the savior is born in the East. Could this be a metaphor for Wagner’s racist comment that Jesus, whom Wagner regarded as somehow, miraculously, not a Jew, was born in the east in the worst of all places, among the Jews. Of course, Mime, in whose cave Sieglinde will give birth to Siegfried, and who will, as Siegfried’s foster father, raise Siegfried, represents Wagner’s idea of the ultimate philistine, and Liszt noted that when Wagner used the word Jew as invective he meant philistines of any race. Mime is, as Wagner said of the Jews [Judaism in Music: PW Vol. III, p. 89-90], incapable of original thought or action. He only mimes what others have done, and he is devoted exclusively to practical, utilitarian concerns which satisfy his own ego. In other words, he represents the conventional world into which any genius is born, the vulgar masses among whom the genius must try to navigate his life course without breaking up on the rocks.

[V.3.1: C]

Bruennhilde instructs Sieglinde to take refuge near Fafner’s lair so that she can - as the reward of immense suffering (“Noth”) - give birth to the greatest of all heroes, Siegfried, whom Bruennhilde takes the liberty of naming without asking Sieglinde’s leave. Bruennhilde takes this liberty presumably because they instinctively understand each other, and know intuitively that Siegfried and Bruennhilde will someday join in loving union. Siegfried is to be born near Fafner’s lair because Wotan never goes there: Siegfried will presumably be safe from Wotan’s wrath against Bruennhilde and the Waelsungs (i.e., Wotan’s wrath against his own dependence on self-deception to make his life meaningful) in the tabooed realm of Wotan’s repressed knowledge:

 

[The Valkyries give more warnings of Wotan’s approach accompanied by #83?.]

 

Bruennhilde: Then hurry away and head for the east! In brave defiance bear all burdens – hunger and thirst, thorns and stones: laugh if need [“Noth”] (#40?:) or suffering plague you (:#40?)! Know this alone and ward it always: ([[ #92ab: ]] the world’s noblest hero, O woman, you harbour within your sheltering womb (:#92ab)! ([[ #92a; #93c – or #71 vari, or #57 vari? ]] [in major, drawn from #71’s initial segment, sometimes called the “hero motif”?])

 

(She takes the fragments of Siegmund’s sword from beneath her coat of mail and hands them to Sieglinde.)

 

Go back a page
424
Go forward a page
© 2011 Paul Heise. All rights reserved. Website by Mindvision.