Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-13

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-13

Post by alberich00 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:28 am

[P. 305] {FEUER} The longing to raise the Opera to the dignity of genuine Drama could never wake and wax in the musician, before great masters had enlarged the province of his art in that spirit which now has made our German music acknowledgedly victorious over all its rivals. Through the fullest application of this legacy of our great masters we have arrived at uniting Music so completely with the Drama’s action, that this very marriage enables the action itself to gain that ideal freedom – i.e. release from all necessity of appealing to abstract reflection – which our great poets [P. 306] sought on many a road, to fall at last a-pondering on the selfsame possibility of attaining it through Music.
{FEUER} By incessantly revealing to us the inmost motives of the action, in their widest ramifications, Music at like time makes it possible to display that action itself in drastic definition: as the characters no longer need to tell us of their impulses [or ‘grounds of action’ – Beweggruende] in terms of the reflecting consciousness, their dialogue thereby gains that naïve pointedness (Praezision) which constitutes the very life of Drama. Again, whilst Antique Tragedy had to confine its dramatic dialogue to separate sections strewn between the choruses delivered in the Orchestra – those chants in which Music gave to the drama its higher meaning – in the Modern Orchestra, the greatest artistic achievement of our age, this archetypal element goes hand in hand with the action itself, unsevered from the dialogue, and in a profounder sense may be said to embrace all the action’s motives in its mother-womb.” [842W-{2/73} Prologue to a Reading of Twilight of the Gods: PW Vol. V, p. 305-306]

[P. 653] {FEUER} “… after lunch conversation about Siegfried and Bruennhilde, the former not a tragic figure, since he does not become conscious of his position, there is a veil over him since winning Bruennhilde for Gunther, he is quite unaware, though the audience knows. Wotan and Bruennhilde are tragic figures.” [846W-{7/4/73} CD Vol. I, p. 653]

[P. 770] {FEUER} “R. spoke recently of the heresy of the Marcionites, which consisted in recognizing a primal being who was neither completely good nor completely evil; admiration for this sensible form of cognition.” [854W-{7/1/74}CD Vol. I, p. 770]

[P. 909] {FEUER} “After lunch R. reflects on whether, in ‘Das Rheingold,’ he should not make Wotan, as he greets Valhalla (‘So nenne ich die Burg’), flourish a sword, which Fafner has contemptuously thrown out of the Nibelung hoard because it is not made of gold. This becomes the sword which Wotan plunges into the ash tree; Alberich has had it forged for his fight against the giants and the gods.” [860W-{5/30/76} CD Vol. I, p. 909]

[P. 7] {FEUER} “Regarding the orchestral prelude [to The Rhinegold] as a whole, built on a single E flat major triad, Wagner insisted that its huge crescendo should throughout create the impression of a phenomenon of nature developing quite of its own accord – so to say, an impersonal impression. Nothing must be forced; there must be no sense of a conscious purpose imposing itself. Thus the goal will be achieved. It will be as though we were experiencing the magical effects of an ideal presence; as though, no [P. 8] longer conscious of the music, we had become immersed in the primal feelings of all living things and were peering directly into the inner workings of natural forces.” [862W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 7-8]

[P. 21] {FEUER} Wagner was particularly anxious that the tone of irony, which conceals Loge’s true nature, should contain no trace of affectation or mannerism. For it is he who embodies the bad conscience of the world of the gods presented to us in all its glitter and glory.” [864W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 21]

[P. 27] {FEUER} “The powerful orchestral piece, depicting the descent from the mountain heights to gloomy, cavernous Nibelheim, was played with a tremendous weight and energy. The Valhalla theme creates an atmosphere of grandiose calm appropriate to the spirit of law and order, but now a daemonic force erupts reveling in its power to destroy the realm of freedom and love. (…) After the Loge motive rises to a gigantic power, imbued with a fury of destructive lust and yet at the same time inwardly cold, it is as though an eternal lament for the destruction of love were reaching our ears. (…)
[P. 28] {FEUER} The performance of the whole period should combine frightening power and painful agitation – as though the spirit of love in the grip of the powers of darkness were uttering a cry of anguish. (…) It was as though we were facing cosmic forces of nature which mercilessly wipe out the lives of [P. 29] individuals.” [866W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 27-29]

[P. 38] {FEUER} One small point which had a symbolic importance later must not be passed over: Wagner instructed Fafner, while he was gathering up the treasure, to leave behind a worthless-looking, worn-out old sword. (…) [P. 39] {FEUER} As the new theme is sounded, signifying a new deed to be accomplished in the future: … Wotan, seized by a great thought, picks up the sword left by Fafner and, pointing to the castle, cries, ‘So gruess ich die Burg, sicher vor Bang’ und Grau’n!’ “ [870W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 38-39]

[P. 69] “Into her ecstatic outcry: ‘O hehrstes Wunder!’ Sieglinde must put all the intensity of which she is capable, she must release a great flood of emotion, enraptured and enrapturing.” [* Porges’ Footnote: “It is well known that this supremely lovely melody, banishing the terror of death, is employed at the close of Goetterdaemmerung as the song of redemption that overcomes the power of fate.”]” [872W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 69]

[P. 103] “Although he [Wotan] compels her [Erda] with his magic (‘she can only withdraw when he allows her to’, Wagner said) she is his superior in that it is from her lips that he hears the inexorable voice of his conscience which nothing can silence.” [877W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 103]

[P. 103] {FEUER} “Wagner expressly demanded that the Redemption theme [Dunning’s Motif 134; Millington’s Motif 49] as it enters after Wotan’s words, ‘Was in des Zwiespalt’s wildem Schmerze verzweifelnd eins ich beschloss, froh und freudig fuehre, frei ich nun aus’ [from Stewart Spencer’s translation of the Ring, P. 247-248: “Wotan: What I once resolved in despair, in the searing smart of inner turmoil, (134:) I now perform freely, in gladness and joy … “ ]: … should be taken ‘slightly faster’ than the preceding bars and that it should be ‘very brought out (sehr heraus)’, as he tersely put it. He once characterized the spiritual significance of this theme (whilst going through the work at the piano) by the statement: ‘It must sound like the proclamation of a new religion.’ “ [878W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 103]

[P. 104] “ ‘Without any passion’: this was Wagner’s instruction for the performance of the scene between the Wanderer and Siegfried. Every trace of pathos must be eliminated. In this dialogue we have Richard Wagner demonstrating to perfection his art of naturalistic representation in drama as well as in music. But his realism is of a very special kind. Like Goethe’s and Shakespeare’s its basis is a hidden metaphysical background. Thereby he rises far above common reality; we perpetually inhabit the sphere of elevated style.” [879W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 104]

[P. 107] “During the melody, here transformed into an expression of passion (it was first heard from Fricka in ‘Das Rheingold) [* Translator’s Footnote: “At ‘herrliche Wohnung, wonniger Hausrat’.”]: … Siegfried gesticulates wildly.” [881W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 107]

[P. 107] “Before singing the words, ‘Wem ruf’ ich zum Heil, dass er mir helfe?’, he draws away somewhat from Bruennhilde. He should not look at her as he cries, ‘Wie weck’ ich die Maid, dass sie Auge mir oeffne?’ ‘Siegfried is frightened by the [P. 108] thought of all he is about to undergo’, Wagner explained.” [882W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 107]

[P. 132] “Bruennhilde’s appearance is rigidly calm – then her fury breaks out and,
in a loud voice for all to hear, she cries: ‘Ha! – Dieser war’s, der mit den Ring
entriss: Siegfried der trugvolle Dieb!’ Siegfried, absorbed in thoughts of the past,
answers this terrible indictment as if in a dream: ‘Von keinem Weib kam mir der
Reif, noch war’s ein Weib, dem ich ihn abgewann!’ (…) The final words of the
passage: Wohl kenn’ ich seine Schaerfe, darin so wonnig ruht an der Wand
Nothung, der treue Freund, als die Traute sein Herr sich gewann’ in which she
voices her seething emotions in tones of biting irony fused with unutterable
tenderness, should be veiled: she is referring to a secret known only to Siegfried
and herself.” [890W-{6-8/76} WRR, p. 132]

[P. 250] {FEUER} “A certain Count Apponyi from Hungary spoke next. He spoke in the form of a parable, taking his text from Wagner’s Nibelungs: ‘Bruennhilde (the new national art) lay asleep upon a rock surrounded by a great fire. The god Wotan had lit this fire, and only the victorious and finest hero, a hero who did not know fear, was to win her as his bride. Around the rock were mountains of ash and clinker (the miscegenation of our own music with non-German elements). Along came a hero, the like of whom had never been seen before, Richard Wagner, who forged a weapon from the shards of the sword of his fathers (the classical German masters), and with this he penetrated the fire and with his kiss awoke the sleeping Bruennhilde.” [892W-{8/20/76} From a letter by Berthold Kellermann to his parents, reporting on the final performance of the RING and the subsequent celebrations: WR, p. 250]

[P. 391] {anti-FEUER} “Reality surely to be explained by Ideality, not the other way round. A religious dogma may embrace the whole real world: let anyone try, on the contrary, to illustrate Religion from the real world.” [896W-{78-82?}Notes of uncertain date, presumably from 1878-1882: PW Vol. VIII, p. 391]

[P. 392] {FEUER} “Affinities between Religion and Art begin exactly where Religion ceases to be artificial; but if one needs a science for it, then Art is useless.” [898W-{78-82?}Notes of uncertain date, presumably from 1878-1882: PW Vol. VIII, p. 392]

[P. 392] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “Religion, and Art too ere long – mere rudiments of earlier culture: like the os coccyx on the human body.” [899W-{78-82?}Notes of uncertain date, presumably from 1878-1882: PW Vol. VIII, p. 392]

[P. 392] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “All in the long run is done with; even Voltaire’s Tragedie could not hold on, and the thing capsized. What has Science not pinned its faith to, and not so very long ago, that to-day lies on the dust-heap? The contrary with works of Art; alter, transform your views and sciences as ye will – there still stands Shakespeare, there Goethe’s Faust, there the Beethoven Symphony, with undiminished power!” [900W-{78-82?}Notes of uncertain date, presumably from 1878-1882: PW Vol. VIII, p. 392]
[P. 392] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “Physics etc. bring truths to light against which there is nothing to say, but which also say nothing to us.” [901W-{78-82?}Notes of uncertain date, presumably from 1878-1882: PW Vol. VIII, p. 392]

[P. 393] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “The most crying proof how little the sciences help us, is that the Copernican system has not yet dislodged dear God from heaven, for the great majority of men: here an attempt might haply be made from some other side, to which the God Within might lend his aid! To Him, however, it is quite indifferent how the Church may fret about Copernicus.” [902W-{78-82?}Notes of uncertain date, presumably from 1878-1882: PW Vol. VIII, p. 393]

[P. 84] {FEUER} “At lunch on Sunday R. again praised ‘La Juive’ highly; then he spoke about Schumann and said, ‘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]

[P. 91] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “Conversation about the Schopenhauer letters, … R. deploring the mistaken ideas about the dissemination of his philosophy; R. … says: these donkeys who don’t believe in God and who think such figures as Jesus or a great creative genius move according to the ordinary processes of nature! They cannot understand that what prevails here is a special urge, a noble need which in the end produces something good. But one mustn’t think in this connection of the old Jewish God.
[P. 92] Then he reads … some fine pages in Renan about the unification of Jesus with God. R. develops this subject further … , calling this God who dwells within us ‘the inborn antidote to the will’ … .” [917W-{6/11/78}CD Vol. II, p. 91-92]

[P. 101] {FEUER} “(Over coffee in the summerhouse R. quotes ‘Nimm den Eid’ (‘Take my oath’) and recalls the feeling of satisfaction which then imbues Fricka with dignity; no one, he says, has ever said a word to him about Wotan’s inner resolve, and how this is brought about by his having to acknowledge that everything is his own work, all are his creatures, and he can no longer deceive himself about it.)” [920W-{6/25/78}CD Vol. II, p. 101]
[P. 103] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “N.’s book provokes R. into saying playfully, ‘Oh, art and religion are just what is left in human beings of the monkey’s tail, the remains of an ancient culture!’ (…) ‘Actually,’ R. adds with a laugh, ‘genius is simply envy.’ “ [921W-{6/27/78}CD Vol. II, p. 103]

[P. 73] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “So much for the utilitarian round of our Academic officialdom. Close by, however, there runs another, with claims to quite an ideal use, from whose correct accomplishment the academician promises the healing of all the world: here reign pure Science and its eternal Progress. Both are committed to the ‘Philosophic faculty,’ in which Philology and Natural Science are included. Indeed that ‘progress’ on which our governments expend so much, is furnished almost solely by the various sections of Natural Science; and here, if we mistake not, stands Chemistry at top. (…) On Philosophy proper, however, the accumulating discoveries of Physics, above all of the same Chemistry, react as veritable charms, from which every poor Philology may draw her ample share of profit. (…) From Physical Science, however, especially when they foregather on the field of Aesthetics, both philologists and philosophists obtain peculiar encouragement, nay obligation, to an as yet illimitable progress in the art of criticising all things human and inhuman. [* Translator’s Footnote: ‘Alluding to F. Nietzsche’s ‘Menschliches, Allzumenschliches’ – ‘Human, All-too-human’ – first published in May 1878; the two immediately succeeding sentences, and the last of this paragraph, are peculiarly applicable to the ‘case of’ Nietzsche.’] It seems, to wit, that from that science’s [P. 74] experiments they derive profound authority for an altogether special skepsis … which ensures them their appointed share in the general everlasting Progress. (…) In lesser cases such a thing may become amusing, for instance when one Aesthete forbids the creation of types, and the next re-grants that privilege to poets. ‘Tis graver where all Greatness in general, and the so highly objectionable ‘genius’ in particular, is dubbed pernicious, nay, the entire idea of Genius cast overboard as a radical error.
{anti-FEUER/NIET} This is the outcome of the newest scientific method, which dubs itself in general the ‘historical school.’ “ [923W-{3-7/78} Public and Popularity: PW Vol. VI, p. 73-74]

[P. 74] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “But the dauntless judge of all things human and divine, the latest product of the Historical school of applied philosophy, will never touch an archive not first subjected to the tests of Chemistry or [P. 75] Physics in general. Here all necessity for a metaphysical explanation of those phenomena in the life of the universe which remain a little unintelligible to purely physical apprehension is rejected with the bitterest scorn. So far as I can understand the doctrines of the pundits, the upright, cautious Darwin, who pretended to little more than an hypothesis, would seem to have given the most decisive impetus to the reckless claims of that historical school by the results of his researches in the province of biology. (…) The gravest defects I deem the banishment from the new world-system of the term spontaneous, of spontaneity itself … . For we now are told that, as no change has ever taken place without sufficient ground, so the most astonishing phenomena – of which the work of ‘genius’ forms the most important instance – result from various causes, very many and not quite ascertained as yet, ‘tis true, but which we shall find it uncommonly easy to get at when Chemistry has once laid hold on Logic. Meanwhile however, the chain of logical deductions not stretching quite so far as an explanation of the work of Genius, inferior nature-forces generally regarded as faults of temperament, such as impetuousity of will, one-sided energy and stubbornness, are called in to keep the thing as much as possible upon the realm of Physics.
{anti-FEUER/NIET} As the progress of the Natural Sciences thus involves the exposure of every mystery of Being as mere imaginary secrets after all, the sole concern must henceforth be the act of knowing; but intuitive knowledge appears to be entirely excluded, since it might lead to metaphysical vagaries, namely to the cognisance of relations which are rightly withheld from abstract scientific comprehension until such time as Logic shall have settled them upon the evidence of Chemistry.
[P. 76] {anti-FEUER/NIET} Though we have only superficially described the issue of the newer, so-called ‘historical’ method of Science (as is unavoidable by men outside the esoteric pale), I believe we are justified in concluding that the purely comprehending Subject, enthroned on the cathedra, is left with sole right to existence. A worthy close to the world-tragedy! (…) … to Art – which the Goliath of Knowledge more and more regards as a mere rudiment from the earliest stage of human reason, not unlike the os coccyx we still retain from the animal tail – he only pays attention when it offers archaeologic prospects of his launching some Historical thesis … .” [924W-{3-7/78} Public and Popularity: PW Vol. VI, p. 74-76]

[P. 77] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “ … the Folk gets its learning on a diametrically opposite path to that of the historic-scientific Comprehender, i.e. in his sense it learns nothing. Though it does not reason (erkennt), still it knows (kennt): it knows the great men, and loves the Genius those others hate; and finally, to them an abomination, it honours the Divine. To act upon the Folk, then, of all the academic faculties there would remain but that of Theology.” [925W-{3-7/78} Public and Popularity: PW Vol. VI, p. 77]

[P. 77] {anti-FEUER/NIET} {SCHOP} “That a heartfelt, truly blest relation to Christ’s precepts exists among the generality of present Christians, is certainly not so easy to aver. The educated doubts, the common man despairs. Science makes God the Creator more impossible each day; but from the beginning of the Church the God revealed to us by Jesus has been converted by Theologians from a most sublime reality into an ever less intelligible problem. That the God of our Saviour should have been identified with the tribal god of Israel, is one of the most terrible confusions in all world-history; it has avenged itself in every age, and avenges itself to-day by the more and more outspoken atheism of the coarsest, as the finest minds. [P. 78] (…) And it almost seems right that Jehova at last should quite suppress the God so monstrously mistakenly derived from him. If Jesus is proclaimed Jehova’s son, then every Jewish rabbi can triumphantly confute all Christian theology, as has happened indeed in every age. (…) Historical criticism … casts in its lot with Judaism, and, just like every Jew, it wonders that the bells on Sunday morn should still be ringing for a Jew once crucified two thousand years ago. How often and minutely have the Gospels been critically searched, their origin and compilation exposed beyond a doubt; so that one might have thought the very evidence for the spuriousness and irrelevance of their contradictory matter would at last have opened the eyes of Criticism to the lofty figure of the Redeemer and his work.” [926W-{3-7/78} Public and Popularity: PW Vol. VI, p. 77-78]

[P. 79] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “We may console ourselves that after all there are two varieties of the critical mind, two methods of the science of comprehension.” [927W-{3-7/78} Public and Popularity: PW Vol. VI, p. 79]

[P. 79] {FEUER} “Is it so utterly impossible to Theology, to take the great step that would grant to Science its irrefutable truths through surrender of Jehova, and to the Christian world its pure God revealed in Jesus the only?” [928W-{3-7/78} Public and Popularity: PW Vol. VI, p. 79]

[P. 80] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “Can one imagine the state of barbarism at which we shall have arrived, if our social system continues for another six-hundred years or so in the footsteps of the declining Roman world-dominion? I believe that the Saviour’s second advent, expected by the earliest Christians in their lifetime, and later cherished as a mystic dogma, might have a meaning for that future date, and perchance amid occurrences not totally unlike those sketched in the Apocalypse. For, in the conceivable event of a relapse of our whole Culture into barbarism, we may take one thing for granted: namely, that our Historical science, our criticism and chemistry of knowledge would also have come to an end; whilst it may be hoped, on the contrary, that Theology would by then have come to a final agreement with the Gospels, and the free [P. 81] understanding of Revelation be opened to us without Jehovaistic subtleties – for which event the Saviour promised us his coming back.
{anti-FEUER/NIET} And this would inaugurate a genuine popularisation of the deepest Knowledge. In this or that way to prepare the ground for cure of ills inevitable in the evolution of the human race … might fitly be the mission of a true Art appealing to the Folk itself, to the Folk in its noblest, and at present its ideal sense.” [929W-{3-7/78} Public and Popularity: PW Vol. VI, p. 80-81]

[P. 128] {FEUER} “We speak also about my last conversation with Herr Levi. He does not seem to fully understand ‘Parsifal,’ and I tell him that R.’s article theoretically bears almost the same relationship to the poem as his words on music (the loving woman) and on drama (the man) in ‘Opera and Drama’ bear to Bruennhilde and Siegfried.” [933W-{8/2/78}CD Vol. II, p. 128]

[P. 128] {anti-FEUER/NIET} “Through this R. comes to Nietzsche, of whom he says: ‘That bad person has taken everything from me, even the weapons with which he now attacks me. How sad that he should be so perverse – so clever, yet at the same time so shallow!’ “ [934W-{8/2/78}CD Vol. II, p. 128]

[P. 86] {anti-FEUER/NIET} {SCHOP} “If in a review of the course of history we go by nothing but its ruling laws of gravity, that pressure and counter-pressure which bring forth shapes akin to those the surface of the earth presents, the wellnigh sudden outcrop of over-topping mental heights must often make us ask upon what plan these minds were moulded. And then we are bound to presuppose a law quite other, concealed from eyes historical, ordaining the mysterious sequence of a spiritual life whose acts are guided by denial of the world and all its history. For we observe that the very points at which these minds make contact with their era and surroundings, become the starting points of errors and embarrassments in their own utterance: so that it is just the influences of Time, which involve them in a fate so tragical that precisely where the work of intellectual giants appears intelligible to their era, it proves of no account for the higher mental life; and only a later generation, arrived at knowledge through the very lead that remained unintelligible to the contemporaneous world, can seize the import of their [P. 87] revelations. Thus the seasonable, in the works of a great spirit, would also be the questionable.” [936W-{9/78} The Public In Time And Space: PW Vol. VI, p. 86-87]
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