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The Valkyrie: Page 444
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Wotan has already relinquished in favor of the sheer pride of intellectual honesty toward the truth, however bitter it may be, Wotan now observes bitterly that it is easy for Bruennhilde - who inhabits solely the world of feeling, which need not trouble itself about conceptual contradictions known to the conscious mind - to live for love, which Wotan not only presumes is lost forever, but which he believes never existed nor can exist, given the inherent nature of man and the natural world in which he exists and which has given him birth. In so doing he, ironically, paraphrases the complaint Alberich once made to him, in R.4, that thanks to Alberich’s having already paid the price of “Noth” to possess the power of the Ring, Wotan, if he and the other gods co-opt its power, can draw advantage from Alberich’s sacrifice without paying the price he did:

 

Wotan: (#96b vari:; #19 harmony hint?:) And so you did what I longed so dearly to do – but which I was doubly forced not to do by need [“Noth”]. So lightly you thought (:#96b vari; :#19 harmony hint?) that heartfelt delight might be won, (#81/#89:) when burning pain broke into my heart (:#81/#89 figure) (#?: – [entirely new non-motival music, heard next when Wotan says “… divided, we may not act in close concert …”?]) and hideous need [“Noth”] aroused my wrath, so that, out of my love for the world, I was forced to staunch the well-spring of love in this harrowed heart of mine? (#81/#89:) When I turned on myself in consuming torment, starting up, chafing, in impotent pain, furious longing’s fervent desire inspired the terrible wish (#85:) to end my eternal grief (:#85) (#37?:) in the ruins of my own world (:#37?): (#51) (somewhat freely) [Note: Dunning, responding to my surmise, suggests the orchestration of this scene may offer a subtle reference to R.3 when Alberich complained that the gods can live for love on the airy heights while ignoring the dark elves below, but there’s no specific motival link] (#64:) then blissful abandon solaced you sweetly; rapt emotion’s heady delights you drank from (#87:) love’s cup (:#87) with lips parted in laughter (:#64) – while my drink was mixed with the griping gall of (#87?:) godly distress [“goettlicher Noth”] (:#87?)? (#21 vari or #83?) dryly and curtly) Be guided now by your own light thoughts: (#21 vari: [broken up]) from me you have cast yourself free (:#21 vari [broken up]). (#96b) Now I must shun you and nevermore share any whispered counsels with you; (#81/#89?) (#? – music first heard when Wotan said: “… and hideous Noth aroused my wrath, so that, out of my love for the world …”?:) divided, we may not act in close concert (:#?); (#84 & #85 hint:) wherever there’s life and breath, [[ #99 hint?: ]] the god may no longer meet you (:#84 & #85 hint; :#99 hint?)! (#21 vari [broken up]; #81; #96b)

When Wotan says that, thanks to the exigencies of the “Noth” he was forced to acknowledge, he had to staunch the well-spring of love in his heart for the sake of his love for the world, this is an oblique way of saying two things: (1) that for the sake of social order he had to suppress individual

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