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Siegfried: Page 545
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shines in the night of man’s inmost heart, with a light quite other than the world-sun’s light, and visible nowhence save from out that depth [This of course is the essence of Tristan and Isolde].”

(…) Profoundest knowledge teaches us that only in the inner chamber of our heart, in nowise from the world presented to us without, can true assuagement [i.e., redemption from Alberich’s curse of consciousness] come to us.” [705W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 29-30]

Wotan, we may recall, had in essence confessed to Bruennhilde that he was prepared to embrace the end of the entire supernatural world and its divine laws which he (religious belief) had built, because religious man’s illusions could not be sustained in the face of Alberich’s threat to raise the truth, his hoard of knowledge, from the silent depths of man’s unconscious to the light of day. Alberich, Erda had declared, was predestined to attain victory over the gods through his son Hagen. The only way out of this impasse would be if Wotan could find a free hero in whom Wotan’s ideals and longing for transcendent value could live on, minus all that made religious belief vulnerable to contradiction by Alberich’s knowledge of the real world. In Siegfried the secular artist, Wotan’s heir, Wotan has found that free hero, and therefore Wotan need no longer play the self-destructive nihilist, since through the observation of art, which does not strive to alter the world or escape fate, Wotan can have peace. As Wagner put it:

[P. 84] “… ‘No dedicated artist or poet goes mad, and it is no credit to Kleist that he committed suicide, for it is precisely this which marks out the artist – that through all torments he retains the serene capacity to observe.’ “ [915W-{6/4/78}CD Vol. II, P. 84]

[S.2.1: C]

But Alberich suspects that Wotan has not, in spite of his protestation to the contrary, taken a hands-off attitude to who will inherit the Ring. And Alberich also notes that he himself has gained greatly in sophistication, experience, and knowledge since Wotan first deprived him of his Ring and its power, in primal times. For this reason Alberich will not so easily be gainsaid his rightful property now, as he was by his alter ego, Light-Alberich, in former times:

Alberich: You mine of malicious tricks! (#7?:; #voc?: [music which may reference Alberich’s remark to Wotan: “You upbraid me, you crook, for the wrong you so fondly desired?” from R.4?]) Were I, as you wish, still as stupid as then, when you bound the foolish dwarf, how easy, indeed, it would prove (furiously) to deprive me once more of the ring (:#7?; :#voc? [possibly music from r.4?])! (#81) (#81:) Beware: I know your ways [“Kunst”] well enough, (mockingly: (#81:; #?: [possible foreshadowing of music, perhaps a #15 vari &/or a #150 vari, which accompanies Bruennhilde in T.2.5 as she tells Hagen and Gunther how she protects Siegfried, unbeknownst to him, at the front, with magic, or perhaps of music associated in T.2.5 with Bruennhilde’s remark to Hagen: “Oaths true or false, an idle concern”?]) but where you are weak has not escaped me either.

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