Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-11

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-11

Post by alberich00 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:33 am

[P. 79] {FEUER} When we described the relation of the merely imitative Mime to the truly poetic ‘interpretative’ artist as resembling that of the monkey to the man, nothing was farther from our mind than an actual belittlement of his qualities. (…) Were the poetising artist ashamed to recognise himself as an originally merely-imitative mime developed into an ‘interpreter’ of Nature, then Man himself must be no less ashamed at finding himself again in Nature as a reasoning ape: but it would be very foolish of him, and simply prove that he had not got very far with the thing which distinguishes him from an un-reasoning ape. – The analogy adduced, however, will prove most luminous if, granting our descent from monkeys, we ask why Nature did not take her last step from Animal to Man from the elephant [P. 80] or dog, with whom we meet decidedly more-developed intellectual faculties than with the monkey? For, very profitably to our subject, this question can be answered by another: why from a pedant no poet, from a physiologist no sculptor or painter … ? – In Nature’s election of the ape, for her last and weightiest step, there lies a secret which calls us to deep pondering: whoso should fully fathom it, perchance could tell us why the wisest-constituted States fall through, ay, the sublimest Religions outlive themselves and yield to superstition or unbelief, whilst Art eternally shoots up, renewed and young, from out the ruins of existence.
{FEUER} (…) … we believe that in this analogy, when taken as representing the relation of man’s merely imitative to his ‘interpretative’ faculties, we have won a very helpful light wherewith to lighten the relations of realism and idealism in Art … . “ [729W-{9-12/67} German Art and German Policy: PW Vol. IV, p. 79-80]

{FEUER} New world structure: out of dhyana and into the world again descend beings who, for former virtuous service, have received their reward in proper and full measure, in order now to re-enter the cycle of births for the achievement of still greater perfection. From the earth gushes sweet juice; with this, longing refreshes itself until it has imbibed fresh love of life: then the juice runs dry; rice sprouts forth unsown, satiety to abundance; then it comes to an end. Now one has to do one’s own planting, ploughing and sowing. Life’s torment begins: Paradise is lost. The music of the brahman world recalls it to the memory: it leads to truth. Who understands it? The milk that has flowed from no cow? –
Brahman becomes desire, as music; the music which is turned towards samsara, poetry; which is the other, the side which is turned away from samsara? Nirvana – untroubled, pure harmony?” [738W-{5/68}BB, p. 148]

[P. 388] {FEUER} “With the third strophe of the cobbler-song in the second act the first motive for the strings has been already heard; there it expressed the bitter cry of the man of resignation who shows the world a cheerful, energetic countenance; that smothered cry was understood by Eva, and so deeply did it pierce her heart that she fain would flee away, only to hear this cheerful-seeming song no longer.” [743W-{1/3/69}Explanatory Program: Prelude to Act III ‘Die Meistersinger.’: PW Vol. VIII, p. 388]

[P. 739] “Let me describe to you the passage which I was bold enough to find so pleasing and so exhilarating. Siegfried has slain Fafner: the forest murmurs that had earlier captivated him so charmingly now exert their magic spell; he understands the woodbird, and – as though guided by some sweet narcosis and obeying, as it were, some instruction without knowing what he is doing – goes into the dragon’s cave to remove the hoard … . Siegfried, sunk in thoughtful contemplation of the ring, then re-emerges from the cave on to the high ground in front of it: … . Siegfried, contemplating the ring and the tarnhelm: ‘What use you are to me, I do not know.’ As he emerges, one hears the motif of the ring winding its way eerily through the accompaniment (during the speeches of the two Nibelungs): it now passes, with supreme and ghostlike pliancy, into the theme of the Rhinedaughters from the end of the Rhinegold: ‘Rhinegold! Purest gold! Ah, would that you still lit the watery depths!’ (…) To the accompaniment of a gentle tremolo on the strings, this theme is now heard on six horns, as [P. 740] though from some distant dream-world.” [744W-{2/24/69}Letter to King Ludwig II of Bavaria: SLRW, p. 739-740]

[P. 740] “The sense of expectancy which seizes hold of us here is quite overwhelming! When the woodbird warns Siegfried afresh against Mime’s approach, and as the latter now creeps up from afar, wondering who could have told the lad of the ring, we hear gently, oh so gently his mother Sieglinde’s loving concern for her son sound forth with tuneful tenderness – the son to whom, dying, she had given birth. The bird continues to hold our attention with its gentle warning phrases, as Mime now turns fawningly to Siegfried.” [745W-{2/24/69}Letter to King Ludwig II of Bavaria: SLRW, p. 740]

[P. 740] “Finally, when Mime too has been slain, a feeling of utter loneliness breaks out in the youth who until now has felt only high spirits: bear, wolf and dragon have been his only associates: the woodbird whose language he now understands is, as it were, the only creature to which he feels akin. And now the terror of ecstasy, as it tells him of Bruennhilde! Yes, and what does all this mean? {FEUER} It is certainly no scene from family life: the fate of the world hangs upon the boy’s godlike simplicity and the uniqueness of a fearless individual!” [746W-{2/24/69}Letter to King Ludwig II of Bavaria: SLRW, p. 740]

[P. 740] {FEUER} “If I wanted to tell you more about Siegfried today, I should have to speak of a dark, sublime and awesome dread with which I enter the realm of my third act. We come here, like the Hellenes at the reeking crevice at Delphi, to the nub of the great world tragedy: the world is on the brink of destruction; the god seeks to ensure that the world is reborn, for he himself is the world’s will to become. Everything here is instinct with sublime terror, and can be spoken of only in riddles.” [747W-{2/24/69}Letter to King Ludwig II of Bavaria: SLRW, p. 740]

[P. 119] {FEUER} “… he is still delighted with the picture of Beethoven: ‘That is how he looked, this poor man who gave us back the language men spoke before they had ideas; it was to recover this language of the birds that Man created the divine art. But this is also the reason why a musician such as he is a being for whom there is absolutely no place in society.” [751W-{7/4/69}CD Vol. I, p. 119]

[P. 203] {FEUER} “Someone made so bold as to ask why Wotan could rejoice in Siegfried’s protest, yet punish his daughter so cruelly for her disobedience. Wagner glanced fiercely at the questioner. ‘Because’, he replied, ‘Bruennhilde herself is no more than Wotan’s desire (his “Wunschkind”). When his desires begin to contradict his own will, in other words, when he has lost the power of free will, the violence of his anger is directed not against Bruennhilde but against himself. Bruennhilde may be the outward manifestation but its essence lies in Wotan’s inner discord.’ ‘In that case, why must Siegfried be killed?’ the questioner went on.
{FEUER} ‘Because evil always prevails over good. Alberich’s powers are invincible: he is the spirit of evil who pursues his dark ends with a grim, unflinching determination. And he passes on this resolve to his son Hagen. One woman alone, Bruennhilde, is able to redeem the evil through her heroic action and to reconcile us at last to the crimes and intrigues of humanity. Those elements which lend dignity to our faults are concentrated in the arms of this loving woman.’ “[752W-{7/8/69} Valentina Serova’s reminiscence of a visit to Tribschen on 7/8/69: WR, p. 203]

[P. 130] {FEUER} “Then he says that he sometimes has the feeling that art is downright dangerous – it is as if in this great enjoyment of observing he is perhaps failing to recognize the presence of some hidden sorrow.” [753W-{7/27/69} CD Vol. I, p. 130]

[P. 137] {FEUER} “… R. plays me his third act [Siegfried], great emotion. ‘The kiss of love is the first intimation of death, the cessation of individuality, that is why a person is so terrified by it.” [754W-{8/15/69} CD Vol. I, p. 137]

[P. 194] {FEUER} “… R. explains to him [Heinrich Porges] how it is that the Holy Grail can be regarded as freedom. Renunciation, repudiation of the will, the oath of chastity separate the Knights of the Grail from the world of appearances. The knight is permitted to break his oath through the condition which he imposes on the woman – for, if a woman could so overcome a natural propensity as not to ask, she would be worthy of admission to the Grail. It is the possibility of this salvation which permits the Knight to marry.” [756W-{3/1/70}CD Vol. I, p. 194]

[P. 63] {FEUER} “I believe that the most positive fact we shall ever ascertain about Beethoven the man, in the very best event, will stand in the same relation to Beethoven the musician as General Bonaparte to the ‘Sinfonia Eroica.’ Viewed from this side of consciousness, the great musician must always remain a complete enigma to us. At all to solve this enigma, we undoubtedly must strike an altogether different path from that on which it is possible, up to a certain point at least, to follow the creative work of Goethe and Schiller: and that point itself becomes a vanishing one exactly at the spot where creation passes from a conscious to an [P. 64] unconscious act, i.e. where the poet no longer chooses the aesthetic Form, but it is imposed upon him by his inner vision (Anschauung) of the Idea itself. Precisely in this beholding of the Idea, however, resides the fundamental difference between poet and musician … .
{FEUER} The said diversity comes out quite plainly in the plastic artist, when compared with the musician; betwixt them stands the poet, inclining toward the plastic artist in his conscious fashioning (Gestalten), approaching the musician on the mystic ground of his unconsciousness.” [763W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 63-64]

[P. 65] {SCHOP} “ … Schopenhauer believes he must recognise in Music itself an idea of the world, since he who could entirely translate it into abstract concepts would have found withal a philosophy to explain the world itself.” [765W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 65]

[P. 66] {SCHOP} “In making use of this material supplied us by the philosopher I fancy I shall do best to begin with a remark in which Schopenhauer declines to accept the Idea derived from a knowledge of ‘relations’ as the essence of the Thing-in-itself, but regards it merely as expressing the objective character of things, and therefore as still concerned with their phenomenal appearance. ‘And we should not understand this character itself’ – so Schopenhauer goes on to say – ‘were not the inner essence of things confessed to us elsewise, dimly at least and in our Feeling. For that essence cannot be gathered from the Ideas, nor understood through any mere objective knowledge; wherefore it would ever remain a mystery, had we not access to it from quite another side. Only inasmuch as every observer [lit. knower or perceiver – Erkenner] is an Individual withal, and thereby part of Nature, stands there open to him in his own self-consciousness the adit to Nature’s innermost; and there forthwith, and most immediately, it makes itself known to him as Will.
{SCHOP} {FEUER} If we couple this with what Schopenhauer postulates as the condition for entry of an Idea into our consciousness, namely ‘a temporary preponderance of intellect over will, or to put it physiologically, a strong excitation of the [P. 67] sensory faculty of the brain (der anschauenden Gehirnthaetigkeit) without the smallest excitation of the passions or desires,’ we have only further to pay close heed to the elucidation which directly follows it, {pre-SCHOP} namely that our consciousness has two sides: in part it is a consciousness of one’s own self, which is the will; in part a consciousness of other things, and chiefly then a visual knowledge of the outer world, the apprehension of objects. ‘The more the one side of the aggregate consciousness comes to the front, the more does the other retreat.
{SCHOP} {FEUER} After well weighing these extracts from Schopenhauer’s principal work it must be obvious to us that musical conception, as it has nothing in common with the seizure of an Idea (for the latter is absolutely bound to physical perception of the world), can have its origin nowhere but upon that side of consciousness which Schopenhauer defines as facing inwards. (…) If this consciousness, however, is the consciousness of one’s own self, i.e. of the Will, we must take it that its repression is indispensable indeed for purity of the outward-facing consciousness, but that the nature of the Thing-in-itself – inconceivable by that physical [or ‘visual’] mode of knowledge – would only be revealed to this inward-facing consciousness when it had attained the faculty of seeing within as clearly as that other side of consciousness is able in its seizure of Ideas to see without.“ [766W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 66-67]

[P. 68] {SCHOP} {FEUER} “For as in that phenomenon [“Clairvoyance”] the inward-facing consciousness attains the actual power of sight where our waking daylight consciousness feels nothing but a vague impression of the midnight background of our Will’s emotions, so from out this night Tone bursts upon the world of waking, a direct utterance of the Will. As dreams must have brought to everyone’s experience, beside the world envisaged by the functions of the waking brain there dwells a second, distinct as is itself, no less a world displayed to vision; since this second world can in no case be an object lying outside us, it therefore must be brought to our cognisance by an inward function of the brain; and this form of the brain’s perception Schopenhauer here calls the Dream-organ. Now a no less positive experience is this: besides the world that presents itself to sight, in waking as in dreams, we are conscious of the existence of a second world, perceptible only through the ear, manifesting itself through sound; literally a sound-world beside the light-world, a world of which we may say that it bears the same relation to the visible world as dreaming to waking: for it is quite as plain to us as is the other, though we must recognise it as being entirely different. As the world of dreams can only come to vision through a special operation of the brain, so Music enters our consciousness through a kindred operation; only, the latter differs exactly as much from the operation consequent on sight, as that Dream-organ from the function of the waking brain under the stimulus of outer impressions.
{SCHOP} {FEUER} As the Dream-organ cannot be roused into action by outer impressions, against which the brain is now fast [P. 69] locked, this must take place through happenings in the inner organism that our waking consciousness merely feels as vague sensations. But it is this inner life through which we are directly allied with the whole of Nature, and thus are brought into a relation with the Essence of things that eludes the forms of outer knowledge, Time and Space; {SCHOP} whereby Schopenhauer so convincingly explains the genesis of prophetic or telepathic (das Fernste wahrnehmbar machenden), fatidical dreams, ay, in rare and extreme cases the occurrence of somnambulistic clairvoyance. From the most terrifying of such dreams we wake with a scream, the immediate expression of the anguished will, which thus makes definite entrance into the Sound-world first of all, to manifest itself without.” [767W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 68-69]
[P. 71] {FEUER} {SCHOP} “Now if we see an art arise from this immediate consciousness of the oneness of our inner essence with that of the outer world, our most obvious inference is that this art must be subject to aesthetic laws quite distinct from those of every other. All aesthetes hitherto have rebelled against the notion of deducing a veritable art from what appears to them a purely pathologic element, and have consequently refused to Music any recognition until its products show themselves in a light as cold as that peculiar to the fashionings of plastic art. Yet that its very rudiment ((ihr blosses Element) is felt, not seen, by our deepest consciousness as a world’s idea, we have learnt to recognise forthwith through Schopenhauer’s eventful aid, and we understand that Idea as a direct revelation of the oneness of the Will; starting with the oneness of all human being, our consciousness is thereby shown beyond dispute our unity with Nature, whom equally we recognise through Sound.” [770W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 71]

[P. 72] {SCHOP} {FEUER} “We can but take it that the individual will, silenced in the plastic artist through pure beholding, awakes in the musician as the universal Will, and – above and beyond all power of vision – now recognises itself as such in full self-consciousness. Hence the great difference in the mental state of the concipient musician and the designing artist; hence the radically diverse effects of music and of painting: here profoundest stilling, there utmost excitation of the will. In other words we here have the will imprisoned by the fancy (Wahn) of its difference from the essence of things outside, and unable to lift itself above its barriers save in the purely disinterested beholding of objects; whilst there, in the musician’s case, the will feels one forthwith, above all bounds of individuality: for Hearing has opened it the gate through which the world thrusts home to it, it to the world. This prodigious breaking-down the floodgates of Appearance must necessarily call forth in the inspired musician a state of ecstasy wherewith no other can compare: in it the will perceives itself the almighty Will of all things: it has not mutely to yield place to contemplation, but proclaims itself aloud as conscious World-Idea. {SCHOP} {FEUER} One state surpasses his, and one alone, -- the Saint’s, and chiefly through its permanence and imperturbability; whereas the clairvoyant ecstasy of the musician has to alternate with a perpetually recurrent state of individual consciousness, which we must account the more distressful the higher has his inspiration carried him above all bounds of individuality. And this suffering again, allotted him as penalty for the state of inspiration in which he so unutterably entrances us, might [P. 73] make us hold the musician in higher reverence than other artists, ay, wellnigh give him claim to rank as holy. For his art, in truth, compares with the communion of all other arts as Religion with the Church.” [771W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 72-73]

[P. 73] {FEUER} {SCHOP} “We have seen that in the other arts the Will is longing to become pure Knowledge (gaenzlich Erkenntniss zu werden verlangt), but that this is possible only in so far as it stays stock still in its deepest inner chamber: ‘tis as if it were awaiting tidings of redemption from there outside; content they it not, it sets itself in that state of clairvoyance; and here, beyond the bounds of time and space, it knows itself the world’s One and All. What it here has seen, no tongue can impart [* Translator’s Footnote: “Cf. Tristan und Isolde, act iii. : ‘Die Sonne sah ich night, nicht sah ich Land noch Leute: doch was ich sah, das kann ich dir nicht sagen.’ “]; as the dream of deepest sleep can only be conveyed to the waking consciousness through translation into the language of a second, an allegoric dream which immediately precedes our wakening, so for the direct vision of its self the Will creates a second organ of transmission, -- an organ whose one side faces toward that inner vision, whilst the other thrusts into the reappearing outer world with the sole direct and sympathetic message, that of Tone.” [772W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 73]

[P. 74] {FEUER} “So wakes the child from the night of the mother-womb, and answer it the mother’s crooning kisses; so understands the yearning youth the woodbird’s mate-call, so speaks to the musing man the moan of beasts, the whistling wind, the howling hurricane, till over him there comes the dreamlike state in which the ear reveals to him the inmost essence of all his eye had held suspended in the cheat of scattered show, and tells him that his inmost being is one therewith, that only in this wise can the Essence of things without be learnt in truth.
{FEUER} The dreamlike nature of the state into which we thus are plunged through sympathetic hearing – and wherein there dawns on us that other world, that world from whence the musician speaks to us – we recognise at once from an experience at the door of every man: namely, that our eyesight is paralysed to such a degree by the effect of music upon us, that with eyes wide open we no longer intensively see.” [773W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 74]

[P. 75] {SCHOP} {FEUER} “To gain a glimpse of his [the composer’s] procedure, we again can do no better than return to its analogy with that inner process whereby – according to Schopenhauer’s so luminous assumption – the dream of deepest sleep, entirely remote from the waking cerebral consciousness, as it were translates itself into the lighter, allegoric dream which immediately precedes our wakening. We have seen that the musician’s kindred glossary extends from the scream of horror to the suave play of soothing murmurs. In the employment of the ample range that lies between, the musician is controlled, as it were, by an urgent impulse to impart the vision of his inmost dream; like the second, allegoric dream, he therefore approaches the notions (Vorstellungen) of the waking brain – those notions whereby it is at last enabled to preserve a record, chiefly for itself, of the inner vision. (…) [P. 76] Thus, though Music draws her nearest affinities in the phenomenal world into her dream-realm, as we have called it, this is only in order to turn our visual faculties inwards through a wondrous transformation, so to speak, enabling them to grasp the Essence-of-things in its most immediate manifestment, as it were to read the vision which the musician had himself beheld in deepest sleep.” [774W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 75-76]

[P. 79] {FEUER} “If, retaining our oft-adduced analogy of the allegoric dream, we mean to think of Music as incited by an inner vision (Schau) and endeavouring to convey that vision to the world without, we must subsume a special organ for the purpose, analogous to the Dream-organ in the other case, a cerebral attribute in power whereof the musician first perceives the inner In-itself close-sealed to earthly knowledge (das aller Erkenntniss verschlossene innere Ansich): a kind of eye, when it faces inwards, that becomes an ear when directed outwards. For the most speaking likeness of that inmost (dream-) image of the world perceived thereby, we have only to listen to one of those famous church-pieces of Palestrina’s. (…) … we here are given an image almost as timeless as it is spaceless, an altogether spiritual revelation; and the reason why it moves us so indicibly is that, more plainly than all other things, it brings to our consciousness the inmost essence of Religion free from all dogmatic fictions.” [775W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 79]

(…) And all his seeing and his fashioning is steeped in that marvellous serenity (Heiterkeit) which Music first acquired through him. Even the cry, so immanent in every sound of Nature, is lulled to smiling: the world regains its childhood’s innocence. ‘To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise’ – who has not heard these words of the Redeemer, when listening to the ‘Pastoral Symphony’?
{FEUER} Now thrives apace that power of shaping the unfathomable, the never-
seen, the ne’er experienced, which yet becomes a most immediate experience, of
most transparent comprehensibility. The joy of wielding this new power turns next
to humour: all grief of Being breaks before this vast enjoyment of the play
therewith; the world-creator Brahma [P. 93] is laughing at himself [* Translator’s
Footnote: “Cf. Wotan in Siegfried; ‘my jovial god who craves his own
undoing.’ (Letter to A. Roeckel, Jan. 1854).], as he sees how hugely he had duped
himself; guiltlessness re-won disports it with the sting of guilt atoned; freed
conscience banters with its torment overpassed.
{FEUER} (…) The effect upon the hearer is precisely the deliverance from all
earthly guilt, as the after-effect is the feeling of a forfeited paradise wherewith we
return to the world of semblances.” [777W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 92-93]

[P. 93] {FEUER} “Here the only aesthetic term to use, is the Sublime: for here the operation of the Radiant at once transcends all pleasure in the Beautiful, and leaves it far behind. Each challenge of self-vaunting Reason is hushed forthwith by the Magic mastering our whole nature; knowledge pleads confession of its error, and the transport of that avowal bids our deepest soul to shout for joy … .” [778W-{9-12/70} Beethoven: PW Vol. V, p. 93]

[P. 104] {SCHOP} {anti-FEUER} “ … the experience that a piece of music loses nothing of its
character even when the most diverse texts are laid beneath it, shows the relation of
Music to Poetry to be a sheer illusion: for it transpires that in vocal music it is not
the poetic thought one seizes – which in choral singing, in particular, one does not
even get intelligibly articulated – but at most the mood that thought aroused in the
musician when it moved him to music. The union of Music and Poetry must
therefore always end in such a subordination of the latter that we can only wonder
above all at our great German poets returning again and again to the problem, to
say nothing of the attempt. (…) [P. 105] What continually held them back from
serious attempts in this direction may have been a vague, but legitimate doubt
whether Poetry would be noticed at all, as such, in its co-operation with Music.
Upon careful consideration it cannot have escaped them that in Opera, beyond the
music, only the scenic goings-on, but not the explanatory poetic thought, engrossed
attention; that Opera, in fact, merely arrested hearing and sight in turn. That a
perfect aesthetic satisfaction was not to be gained for either the one receptive
faculty or the other, is fully accounted for by the circumstance noted above, namely
that opera-music did not attune us to that devotional state (Andacht) – the only one
in keeping with Music – in which vision is so far reduced in power that the eye no
longer sees objects with the wonted intensity … .” [781W-{9-12/70} Beethoven:
PW Vol. V, p. 104-105]
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