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Twilight of the Gods: Page 905
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To Siegfried, who gain’d me, I’ve lent it.

The Walkueren:

Gav’st thou away, too, thy holiest lore,’

the runes that once Wotan had taught thee?

Bruennhild:

I taught them to Siegfried, whom love I.

(…)

The Walkueren (still closer):

Bruennhild! Bruennhild! Long-lost sister!

Ev’ry craven now can bend thee,

to cowards an easy booty! –

O burnt but the fire anew round the fell,

from shame the fenceless bride to shelter!

Wotan! All-giver! Ward off the worst!” [382W-{10-11/48} Siegfried’s Death: PW Vol. VIII, p. 16]

 

And the unspoken secret, Wotan’s forbidden hoard of runes, which Siegfried has taken from Bruennhilde, is not merely the key to Siegfried’s own unconscious artistic inspiration, its true source, but it contains the key to all religious revelation, religious mysteries, and unconscious artistic inspiration whatsoever. Whatever value is lost from Siegfried’s art by virtue of exposing its secrets to the light of day, retrospectively devalues all prior religio-artistic imagination going back to the beginning of human life, the origin of human culture. It is this world-historical knowledge that Siegfried holds, without truly knowing it, and which, as Bruennhilde complains, he is glibly giving away. And remarkably, this is actually Wagner’s own - perhaps subliminal - confession, of the ultimate consequence which follows from his creation and public performance of his Ring.

[T.2.5: B]

Bruennhilde now asks who could offer her that sword which would sever her bonds with the damnable traitor Siegfried, and Hagen naturally volunteers. He has already ventured his spear-point to back up the oath of atonement between Siegfried and Gunther, an oath Hagen accuses Siegfried of having broken:

 

Bruennhilde: (#170a/#164 >>:) Who’ll offer me now the sword with which to sever those bonds (:#170a/#164)?

 

Hagen: (drawing closer to Bruennhilde: #173 on bassoon?:) Have trust in me, deserted wife! Whoever betrayed you, I shall avenge it (:#173).

 

Bruennhilde: (looking around weakly: #173?) On whom?

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