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Twilight of the Gods: Page 899
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Siegfried: (#33a:; #42 >>:) Believe me, it angers me more than you that I took her in so badly: (#33b; #42?) I almost think that the tarnhelm must have only half concealed me. (#19 frag: [lyrical vari]) But women’s resentment (#37 frag:) quickly passes (:#19?): (#37?) (#59 >>:; #42?:) that I won her for you (:#59; :#42?) (#150 >>:) the woman will surely be thankful yet (:#150).

With tragic naivete Siegfried in his ignorance has asked Gunther to stop his wife Bruennhilde from shamelessly bringing dishonor upon him, accompanied by #150, when in fact it is Siegfried himself who has innocently brought dishonor upon himself and the Gibichungs by presenting Bruennhilde, Siegfried’s true muse, to Gunther as his prize. As Siegfried suggests that they grant the wild woman a moment’s rest so that her brazen rage may abate, that a demon’s cunning craft has raised against them all, {{ there seems to be a reference to music associated in R.4 with Loge releasing Alberich from his bonds at Wotan’s request, after Wotan had forced Alberich to ransom himself with his Hoard, Tarnhelm, and Ring. As Siegfried continues, there is more of this music as he asks the vassals to withdraw in the face of this woman’s wrangling, saying that, like cowards, they gladly give ground when it comes to a battle of tongues. At this point we hear a #36 Variant, a clear reference to Loge, recalling its inception when Wotan in R.2 told the impatient gods that Loge’s advice was best when he paid it out delayingly. Loge’s primary advice to Wotan in R.2 and R.4 was to restore the Ring to the Rhine, but it was also Loge who lured the gods into those tangled machinations from which they seek redemption, a redemption only to be gained by returning the Ring to the Rhine. And it was also Loge who advised Alberich as he was releasing him that if Alberich wished to wreak revenge on the gods, he should first ransom himself with his hoard of treasure (and also the Tarnhelm and Ring), thereby letting the gods co-opt his power.

The meaning of this seems to be the following: the demon whose craft has raised Bruennhilde’s brazen rage against them is in one sense Loge, since he set in motion the gods’ futile quest to free themselves from the claims of the Giants upon Freia and Valhalla, a debt incurred only through Alberich’s forging of his Ring, whose motif #19 gave birth to the first segment of the Valhalla Motif, #20a, during the transition from R.1 to R.2. Since Loge, the first to offer the gods false redemption from the Giants’ claim and the power that Alberich wields with his Ring, is the archetype for the Waelsung heroes, and particularly for the artist-hero Siegfried, it is of course Siegfried who, on this interpretation, is the demon whose cunning craft has raised Bruennhilde’s brazen rage against them. It is Siegfried, the solitary artist-hero, who is the modern embodiment of religious man’s futile longing for transcendence, and dependence upon self-deception to feel as if that longing has been fulfilled. It is the artist-heroes, those who originally involuntarily and unconsciously invented the various religions, and those secular artists who inherited their creative spark, who have made men dependent upon illusion as the meaning of life. As Loge warned Wotan and the gods in R.2, the gods staked everything, the meaning of life itself, the basis of their happiness, on Freia’s golden apples of sorrowless youth eternal, i.e., on belief in man’s ability to participate in supernatural transcendence of natural law. It is this which constitutes the sin of matricide, religious man’s denial of Mother Nature, which Alberich accused Wotan of committing, and which Alberich’s curse on the Ring is intended to punish, and will now punish in fullest measure.

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