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Siegfried: Page 537
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but, as Wagner so often said, the mere fact that we are emotionally struck by its coherence, unity, and power, proves beyond doubt that it is founded upon the highest possible form, that which penetrates the soul of man. Wagner was beset all of his life by fools who, unable to respond to his revolutionary artworks with the naivete and awe necessary for grasping their new forms, sought to critique his challenging art on the basis that it lacked traditional forms. But, as Wagner said, all new art of worth establishes its own new forms, and it is the responsibility of those who seek them to find them, as Hans Sachs put it so well when defending the novelty of Walther’s audition song to the conservative masters in Act One of The Mastersingers of Nuremberg. This lends a special ironic punch to Mime’s insistence that since Siegfried had not properly learned the techniques Mime had taught him, Siegfried would be ill-suited to grasp how to re-forge his father’s sword.

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