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Siegfried: Page 509
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(#41:) Now, Fafner’s valiant conqueror (:#41; :#21), (#48) listen, you ill-fated dwarf: [[ #118: ]] only he who never knew fear (#57/#34) will forge the sword anew (:#118).

(Mime stares at him, wide-eyed: he turns to go: #34)

 

Wanderer: Henceforth ward your wise head well: (#26a?) (#92:) Forfeit I leave it to him (:#92) (#92c or #71 vari “hero” or #57 vari?:) who knows not the meaning of fear (:#92c or #71 vari “hero” or #57 vari?). (#34: He turns away, smiling, and disappears quickly into the forest. Mime has sunk down on the stool as though crushed.)

 

If we examine Wotan’s initial remark closely, {{ we find that #46 seems to rise from the orchestra as Wotan chastises Mime for asking after futile, far-off (“Fernen”) things, }} and #37 is heard as Wotan points out that what Mime most needed to know, he failed to inquire after. {{ If #46, the motif representing Alberich’s Hoard of knowledge, is indeed sounding at this point [#46’s presence here needs to be vetted], }} the implication is that Mime asked only about objective matters, matters embraced by our general fund or hoard of knowledge, which concern the ways of the world and its history, and the egoistic nature of man, which Wotan had been content to suppress by storing this knowledge in his unconscious mind, Bruennhilde. It is precisely this knowledge – of what Wotan calls futile, far-off (“Fernen”) things - which Bruennhilde redeems from its horror by distilling its essence as musical motifs. This term “far-off” (“Fernen”) is Wagner’s code-word for all the knowledge of the world and history and their concerns, and self-knowledge, which Wotan had to cast away by storing it in Bruennhilde through his confession, so that he could be reborn, minus the burden of this conscious knowledge, as the innocent Siegfried, as per Wagner’s following observation:

[P. 202] In the free self-determining of the Individuality there … lies the basis of the social Religion of the Future … .

[P. 203] (…) … we may guess the measureless wealth of living individual relationships, if we take them as purely-human, ever fully and entirely present; i.e., if we think every extrahuman or non-present thing that in the State, as Property and historic Right, has placed itself between them, has torn asunder their ties of Love, has dis-individualised, Class-uniformed, and State-established them, -- if we think this all sent far away [“Fernen”?]. “ [514W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 202-203]

What ought to have concerned Mime most was how to re-forge Nothung, i.e., how to restore lost innocence and obtain redemption from the loveless, prosaic reality represented by Alberich’s Hoard of knowledge and his Ring-power. The price man has paid for possessing Alberich’s Ring of consciousness is represented motivally by #37, the “Loveless Motif,” which is derived from #18, the motif representing both Alberich’s renunciation of love (instinctive feeling, the heart) for the sake of the Ring’s power (the power of thought, the head), and man’s need to restore the love which has been sacrificed.

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