Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-10

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-10

Post by alberich00 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:34 am

[P. 337] {FEUER} “ … where the Symphonist still timidly groped back to the original dance-form – never daring, even for his expression, to quite transgress the bounds which held him in communication with that form – the Poet now will cry to him: ‘Launch without a fear into the full flood of Music’s sea; hand in hand with me, you can never lose touch of the thing most seizable of all by every human being; for through me you stand on the solid ground of the Dramatic Action, and that Action, at the moment of its scenic show, is the most directly understandable of all poems. Stretch boldly out your melody, that like a ceaseless river it may pour throughout the work: in it say you what I keep silent, since you alone can say it: and silent shall I utter all, since my hand it is that guides you.’
[P. 338] {FEUER} Of a verity the poet’s greatness is mostly to be measured by what he leaves unsaid, letting us breathe in silence to ourselves the thing unspeakable; the musician it is who brings this untold mystery to clarion tongue, and the impeccable form of his sounding silence is endless melody.” [689W-{9/60}Music of the Future, PW Vol. III, p. 337-338]

[P. 339] {FEUER} “I have recourse to metaphor once more, to give you finally a picture of the melody I mean, the melody encompassing the whole dramatic tone piece; and for this I will keep to the impression which it is to produce. Its endless wealth of detail is in nowise to reveal itself merely to the connoisseur, but also to the most naïve layman, if only he has come to the needful collectedness of spirit. First of all, then, it should exert on him somewhat the effect produced by a noble forest, of a summer evening, on the lonely visitant who has just left the city’s din behind; the peculiar stamp of this impression – which I leave the reader to elaborate in all its psychological effects – is that of a silence growing more and more alive. For the general object of the artwork it may be quite sufficient to have produced this root-impression, and by it to lead the hearer unawares and attune him to the further aim; he therewith takes the higher tendence unconsciously into himself. But when, overwhelmed by this first general impression, the forest’s visitor sits down to ponder; when, the last burden of the city’s hubbub cast aside, he girds the forces of his soul to a new power of observing; when, as if hearing with new senses, he listens more and more intently – he perceives with ever greater plainness the infinite diversity of voices waking in the wood. Ever and ever a new, a different voice peers forth, a voice he thinks he has never heard as yet: as they wax in number, they grow in strange distinctness; louder and louder rings the wood; and many though the voices be, the individual strains he hears, the glinting, overbrimming stream of sound seems again to him but just the one great forest-melody: that melody which from the very first had chained him to devotion, as once the deep-blue firmament of night had chained his eye when brighter and ever clearer he beheld its countless multitude of stars, the longer he had plunged his gaze into the spectacle.” [690W-{9/60}Music of the Future, PW Vol. III, p. 339]

[P. 626] {FEUER} “It is a marvellous passage where I now have to resume composition, having put the finishing touches to a number of earlier passages! It is the most sublime of all scenes for the most tragic of my heroes, Wotan, who is the all-powerful will-to-exist and who is resolved upon his own self-sacrifice; greater now in renunciation than he ever was when he coveted power, he now feels all-mighty, as he calls out to the earth’s primeval wisdom, to Erda, the mother of nature, who had once taught him to fear for his end, telling her that dismay can no longer hold him in thrall since he now wills his own end with that selfsame will with which he had once desired to live. His end? He knows what Erda’s primeval wisdom [P. 627] does not know: that he lives on in Siegfried. Wotan lives on in Siegfried as the artist lives on in his work of art: the freer and the more autonomous the latter’s spontaneous existence and the less trace it bears of the creative artist – so that through it (the work of art), the artist himself is forgotten, -- the more perfectly satisfied does the artist himself feel: and so, in a certain higher sense, his being forgotten, his disappearance, his death is – the life of the work of art.” [693W-{11/6/64}Letter to King Ludwig II of Bavaria: SLRW, p. 626-627]

[P. 8] {FEUER} {SCHOP} “It is an attribute of the poet, to be riper in his inner intuition (Anschauung) of the essence of the world than in his conscious abstract knowledge: precisely at that time I had already sketched, finally completed, the poem of my ‘Ring des Nibelungen.’ With this conception I had unconsciously admitted to [P. 9] myself the truth about things human. Here everything is tragic through and through, and the Will, that fain would shape a world according to its wish, at last can reach no greater satisfaction than the breaking of itself in dignified annulment. It was the time when I returned entirely and exclusively to my artistic plans, and thus, acknowledging Life’s earnestness with all my heart, withdrew to where alone can ‘gladsomeness’ abide.” [694W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 8-9]

[P. 14] {FEUER} “The individual’s egoism is here assumed, and rightly, to be so invincible that arrangements beneficiary merely to the species, to coming generations, and hence the preservation of the species at cost of the transient individual, would never be consummated by that individual with labour and self-sacrifice, were it not guided by the fancy (Wahn) that it is thereby serving an end of its own; nay, this fancied end of its own must seem weightier to the individual, the satisfaction reapable from its attainment more potent and complete, than the purely-individual aim of everyday, of satisfying hunger and so forth, since, as we see, the latter is sacrificed with greatest keenness to the former. The author and incitor of this Wahn our philosopher [Schopenhauer] deems to be the spirit of the race itself, the almighty Will-of-life (Lebensville), supplanting the individual’s limited perceptive-faculty, seeing that without its intervention the [P. 15] the individual in narrow egoistic care for self, would gladly sacrifice the species on the altar of its personal continuance.
{FEUER} Should we succeed in bringing the nature of this Wahn to our inner consciousness by any means, we should therewith win the key to that else so enigmatic relation of the individual to the species.” [698W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 14-15]
[P. 21] “Matters strictly pertaining to the interest of the King, which in truth can only be that of purest patriotism, are cut and dried by his unworthy substitute, this Public Opinion, in the interest of the vulgar egoism of the mass; and the necessitation to yield to its requirements, notwithstanding, becomes the earliest source of that higher form of suffering which the King alone can personally experience as his own. If we add hereto the personal sacrifice of private freedom which the monarch has to bring to ‘reasons of State,’ and if we reflect how he alone is in a position to make purely-human considerations lying far above mere patriotism – as, for instance, in his intercourse with the heads of other States – his personal concern, and yet is forced to immolate them upon the altar of the State: then we shall understand why the legends and the poetry of every age have brought the tragedy of human life the plainest and the oftenest to show in just the destiny of Kings. In the fortunes and the fate of Kings the tragic import of the world can first be brought completely to our knowledge. (…) [P. 22] But the King desires the ideal, he wishes justice and humanity; nay, wished he them not, wished he naught but what the simple burgher or party-leader wants, -- the very claims made on him by his office, claims that allow him nothing but an ideal interest, by making him a traitor to the idea he represents, would plunge him into those sufferings which have inspired tragic poets from all time to paint their pictures of the vanity of human life and strife. [* Translator’s Footnote: “Cf. Amfortas; at this epoch our author was drafting his Parsifal.”] True justice and humanity are ideals irrealisable: to be bound to strive for them, nay, to recognise an unsilenceable summons to their carrying out, is to be condemned to misery.” [700W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 21-22]

{FEUER} {anti-FEUER} In true Religion, a complete reversal … occurs of all the aspirations to which the State had owed its founding and its organising: what is seen to be unattainable here, the human mind desists from striving-for upon this path, to ensure its reaching by a path completely opposite. To the religious eye (der religioesen Vorstellung) the truth grows plain that there must be another world than this, because the inextinguishable bent-to-happiness cannot be stilled within this world, and hence requires another world for its redemption. What, now, is that other world? So far as the conceptual faculties of human Understanding reach, and in their practical application as intellectual Reason, it is quite impossible to gain a notion that shall not clearly show itself as founded on this selfsame world of need and change: wherefore, since this world is the source of our unhappiness, that other world, of redemption from it, must be precisely as different from this present world as the mode of cognisance whereby we are to perceive that other world must be different from the mode which shows us nothing but this present world of suffering and illusion.” [701W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 23-24]

[P. 27] “We must assume that this conception, so indicibly beatifying in its effect, this idea which we can only rank under the category of Wahn, or better, this immediate vision seen by the Religious, to the ordinary human apprehension remains entirely foreign and unconveyable, in respect of both its substance and its form. What, on the other hand, is imparted thereof and thereon to the layman (den Profanen), to the people, can be nothing more than a kind of allegory; to wit, a rendering of the unspeakable, impalpable, and never understandable through [their] immediate intuition, into the speech of common life and of its only feasible form of knowledge, erroneous per se. In this sacred allegory an attempt is made to transmit to worldly minds (der weltlichen Vorstellung) the mystery of the divine revelation: but the only relation it can bear to what the Religious had immediately beheld, is the relation of the day-told dream to the actual dream of night. (…) {FEUER} If then, the record left upon our own mind by a deeply moving dream is strictly nothing but an allegorical paraphrase, whose intrinsic disagreement with the original remains a trouble to our waking consciousness; and therefore if the knowledge reaped by the hearer can at bottom be nothing but an essentially distorted image of that original: yet this [allegorical] message, in the case both of the dream and of the actually received divine revelation, remains the only possible way of proclaiming the thing received to the layman. Upon these lines is formed the Dogma; and this is the revelation’s only portion cognisable by the world, which it therefore has to take on authority, so as to become a partner, at least [P. 28] through Faith, in what its eye has never seen. Hence is Faith so strenuously commended to the Folk: the Religious, become a sharer in salvation through his own eye's beholding (durch eigen Anschauung), feels and knows that the layman, to whom the vision (die Anschauung) itself remains a stranger, has no path to knowledge of the Divine except the path of Faith; and this Faith, to be effectual, must be sincere, undoubting and unconditional, in measure as the Dogma embraces all the incomprehensible, and to common knowledge contradictory-seeming, conditioned by the incomparable difficulty of its wording.“ [704W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 27-28]

[P. 28] {anti-FEUER} “The intrinsic distortion of Religion’s fundamental essence, beheld through divine revelation, that is to say of the true root-essence incommunicable per se to ordinary knowledge, is hence undoubtedly engendered in the first instance by the aforesaid difficulty in the wording of its Dogma; but this distortion first becomes actual and perceptible from the moment when the Dogma’s nature is dragged before the tribune of common causal apprehension. The resulting vitiation of Religion itself, whose holy of holies is just the indubitable Dogma that blesses through an inward Faith, is brought about by the ineluctable requirement to defend that Dogma against the assaults of common human apprehension, to explain and make it seizable to the latter. This requirement grows more pressing in degree as Religion, which had its primal fount within the deepest chasms of the world-fleeing heart, comes once again into a relation with the State. (…) [P. 29] {anti-FEUER} On the other hand the hopelessly materialistic, industrially commonplace, entirely un-Goded aspect of the modern world is debitable to the counter eagerness of the common practical understanding to construe religious Dogma by laws of cause-and-effect deduced from the phenomena of natural and social life, and to fling aside whatever rebelled against that mode of explanation as a reasonless chimera. (…)
{FEUER} But does this mean that Religion itself has ceased? –
{FEUER} No, no! It lives, but only at its primal source and sole true dwelling-place, within the deepest, holiest inner chamber of the Individual; there whither never yet has surged a conflict of the rationalist and supranaturalist, the Clergy and the State. For this is the essence of true [P. 30] Religion: that, away from the cheating show of the daytide world, it 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.
{FEUER} ‘Tis thus indeed! 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 come to us.” [705W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW
Vol. IV, p. 28-30]

[P. 32] {FEUER} {SCHOP} “Now the great, the truly noble spirit is distinguished from the common organisation of everyday by this; to it every, often the seemingly most trivial, incident of life and world-intercourse is capable of swiftly displaying its widest correlation with the essential root-phenomena of all existence, thus of showing Life and the World themselves in their true, their terribly earnest meaning. The naïve, ordinary man – accustomed merely to seize the outmost side of such events, the side of practical service for the moment’s need – when once this awful earnestness suddenly reveals itself to him through an unaccustomed juncture, falls into such consternation that self-murder is very frequently the consequence. The great, exceptional man finds himself each day, in a certain measure, in the situation where the ordinary man forthwith despairs of life.” [707W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 32]

[P. 33] {FEUER} “Yet an irrecusable yearning to turn his [“the great, the truly noble man”] back completely on this world must necessarily surge up within his breast were there not for him – as for the common man who lives away a life of constant care – a certain distraction, a periodical turning-aside from that world’s-earnestness which else is ever present to his thoughts. What for the common man is entertainment and amusement, must be forthcoming for him as well, but in the noble form befitting him; and that which renders possible this turning aside, this noble illusion, must again be a work of that man-redeeming Wahn which spreads its wonders wherever the individual’s normal mode of view can help itself no farther. But in this instance the Wahn must be entirely candid; it must confess itself in advance for an illusion, if it is to be willingly embraced by the man who really longs for distraction and illusion in the high and earnest sense I mean. The fancy-picture brought before him must never afford a loophole for re-summoning the earnestness of Life through any possible dispute about its actuality and provable foundation upon fact, as religious Dogma does: no, it must exercise its specific virtue through its very setting of the conscious Wahn in place of the reality. This office is fulfilled by Art; and in conclusion I therefore point my highly-loved young friend to Art, as the kindly Life-saviour who does not really and wholly lead us out beyond this life, but, within it, lifts us up above it and shows it as itself a game of play; a game that, take it ne’er so terrible and earnest an appearance, yet here again is shown us as a mere Wahn-picture, as which it comforts us and wafts us from the common truth of our distress (Noth). The work of noblest Art will be given a glad admittance by my friend, the work that, treading on the footprints of Life’s earnestness, shall soothingly dissolve reality into [P. 34] that Wahn wherein itself in turn, this serious reality, at last seems nothing else to us but Wahn: and in his most rapt beholding of this wondrous Wahn-play (Wahnspiel) there will return to him the indicible dream-picture of the holiest revelation, of meaning ure-akin (urverwandt sinnvoll), with clearness unmistakable, -- that same divine dream-picture which the disputes of sects and churches had made ever more incognisable to him, and which, as wellnigh unintelligible Dogma, could only end in his dismay. The nothingness of the world, here it is harmless, frank, avowed as though in smiling; for our willing purpose to deceive ourselves has led us on to recognise the world’s real state without a shadow of illusion. –
{FEUER} Thus has it been possible for me, even from this earnest sally into the weightiest regions of Life’s earnestness, and without losing myself or feigning, to come back to my beloved Art. Will my friend in sympathy understand me, when I confess that first upon this path have I regained full consciousness of Art’s serenity.” [708W-{64-2/65} On State and Religion: PW Vol. IV, p. 33-34]

[P. 39] {FEUER} “How shall I feel when I again sit, whole and solitary, at this miraculous loom. It is the only thing that befits me. The world I cannot shape, I must merely forget: this is the only relationship I can stand in towards it. Wholly artificially, like a tropical plant in the winter garden, I must shut myself off against the atmosphere of reality, there is no other way.” [710W-{8/19/65} BB, p. 39]

[P. 47] “From its [the Holy Grail’s] votaries it banishes death: he who sets eyes on that Divine vessel cannot die. But only he who preserves himself from the allurements of sensual pleasure retains the power of the Grail’s blessing: only to the chaste is the blessed might of the relic revealed.” [711W-{8/28/65}BB, p. 47]

[P. 47] {FEUER} “Beyond the mountain height, … accessible only to the votary, there lies another castle, as secret as it is sinister. It too can be reached only by magic paths. The Godly take care not to approach it. But whoever does approach cannot withstand the anxious longing that lures him towards the gleaming battlements towering from the never-before-seen splendour of a most wonderful forest of flowering trees, out of which magically sweet birdsong and intoxicating perfumes pour upon all around. – This is Klingsor’s magic castle. (…) The castle is his work, raised miraculously in what was previously a desolate place with only a hermit’s hut upon it. Where now, in a most luxuriant and heady fashion, all blooms and stirs as on an eternal early-summer evening … . (…) [P. 48] {FEUER} It is supposed that Klingsor is the same man who once so piously inhabited the place now so changed: - he is said to have mutilated himself in order to destroy that sensual longing which he never completely succeeded in overcoming through prayer and penance. Titurel refused to allow him to join the Knights of the Grail, and for the reason that renunciation and chastity, flowing from the innermost soul, do not require to be forced by mutilation.” [712W-{8/28/65}BB, p. 47 – 48]

[P. 50] {FEUER} “The most indefatigable in quartering the world in quest of succour for Anfortas’ wound is the High Messenger of the Grail, Kundry. Who this woman is and where she comes from, no one knows; she must be extremely old for she appeared here in the mountains in Titurel’s day … . (…) [P. 51] … on waking, she believes she has dropped off to sleep for a while, curses herself for letting sleep overcome her … . If there is something difficult to be accomplished, something to be done far, far away, a message or order from the Grail for a Knight of the Grail contending in foreign zones, then suddenly one is aware of Kundry eagerly seizing the task which none can perform so speedily and reliably as she; one then sees her racing off in the storm on a tiny horse with a long mane and tail flowing down to the ground, and before one knows it, she is back.” (…) {FEUER} … all her missions turn out well. Against which, she is greatly missed on the occasions of her mysterious disappearances: then some adversity, some mysterious danger usually befalls the knights, and there is alarm, and, often, the wish for Kundry to come. Because of that, many too are in doubt whether she should be considered good or evil: what is certain is that she must still be a heathen. Never is she seen at any religious act … .” [714W-{8/29/65}BB; P. 50-51]

[P. 54] {FEUER} [Klingsor] “… is the daemon of hidden sin, the raging of impotence against sin. (…) Kundry is living a never-ending life of constantly alternating re-births as the result of an ancient curse which, in a manner reminiscent of the Wandering Jew, condemns her, in new shapes, to bring to men the suffering of seduction; redemption, death, complete extinction is vouchsafed her only if her most powerful blandishments are withstood by the most chaste and virile of men.” (…) {FEUER} [P. 55] From one state to the next, she carries no real consciousness of what has passed: to her it is like a dream experienced in very deep sleep which, on waking, one has no recollection of, only a vague, impotent feeling prevailing deep down inside.” [715W-{8/30/65}BB, p. 54-55]

[P. 56] {FEUER} “Parzival has entered Klingsor’s wonderful magic garden: his astonishment at the unutterable charm is mingled with an uneasy feeling of alarm, hesitation and horror. (…) Parzival abandons himself to what he takes to be a childish game without any thought of there being a serious side to the situation. (…) Then he hears the loud, loving sound of a woman’s voice calling him by name. He stops, shaken, believing it to be his mother, and stands, greatly affected, rooted to the spot. (…) [P. 57] Not all that could make him happy was contained in his mother’s love: the last breath of motherly longing is the benediction of the first kiss of love. Bending her head above his, she now presses her lips to his in a long kiss. (…) … the mysterious happening witnessed at the Castle of the Grail claims him entirely; transferred wholly into the soul of Anfortas, he feels Anfortas’ enormous suffering, his dreadful self-reproach … . … he hears Divine lamentation over the fall of the Chosen One; he hears the Saviour’s cry for the relic to be freed from the custody of besmirched hands …: to his innermost being there has been a loud appeal for deliverance, and he has remained dumb, has fled, wandered, child-like, dissipating his soul in wild, foolish adventures! Where is there a man sinful and wretched as he? How can he ever hope to find forgiveness for his monstrous neglect of duty? (…) {FEUER} [P. 58] [Kundry says] ‘For you I have waited throughout eternities of misery: to love you, to be yours for one hour, can alone repay me for torments such as no other being has ever suffered!’ (…) Parzival ‘Madwoman, do you not realize that your thirst is only increased by drinking: that your desire is extinguished only through lacking appeasement?’ All the torments of the human heart lie open to him: he feels them all and knows the only way of ending them.” [716W-{8/30/65}BB, p. 56-58]

[P. 67] {FEUER} “And so – I must turn all of life into a dream for myself! It can be done, and I shall write all my works provided I am never dragged out of my dream concerning the world. I must not truly see its reality: I cannot any more. But – in the dream it looks bearable, and the dream state itself is fine precisely because it is a dream. (…) And in this dream, let us create what shall rock the world into a dream.” [717W-{9/4/65}BB, p. 67]

[P. 664] {FEUER} “ ‘What is the significance of Kundry’s kiss?’ – That, my beloved, is a terrible secret! You know, of course, the serpent of Paradise and its tempting promise: ‘eritis sicut Deus, scientes bonum et malum.’ [* Editors’ Footnote: Genesis 3:5, ‘Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil’.] Adam and Eve became ‘knowing’. They became ‘conscious of sin’. The human race had to atone for that consciousness by suffering shame and misery until redeemed by Christ who took upon himself the sin of mankind. My dearest friend, how can I speak of such profound matters except in a simile, by means of a comparison. But only the clairvoyant can say what its inner meaning may be. Adam – Eve: Christ. – How would it be if we were now to add to them: -- ‘Anfortas – Kundry: Parzival?’ But with considerable caution!” [718W-{9/7/65}Letter to King Ludwig II of Bavaria: SLRW, p. 664]

[P. 124] {anti-FEUER} “Progress through railway ,etc. – Materialism, -
Godlessness - acceptance of decline of man to point of reversion to animal – even
total destruction of globe can leave belief in moral significance of world unshaken:
‘God’ is outside time and space.” [726W-{?/67} BB - from a previously unpublished note stuck to p. 134; p. 124]

[P. 70] {FEUER} “… here in the Theatre the whole man, with his lowest and his highest passions, is placed in terrifying nakedness before himself, and by himself is driven to quivering joy, to surging sorrow, to hell and heaven. What lies beyond all possibility of the ordinary man’s experiencing in his own life, he lives it here; and lives it in himself, in his sympathy deep-harrowed by the wondrous duping. (…) … from out its depths, stupendous Shakespeare [P. 71] conjured up the demon’s self, to set it plainly, fettered by his giant force, before the astonished world as its own essence, alike to be subdued; upon its wisely measured, calmly trodden verge, did Goethe build the temple of his Iphigenia, did Schiller plant the passion-flower [“God’s wonder-tree”] of his Jungfrau von Orleans. To this abyss have fared the wizards of the art of Tone, and shed the balm of heaven’s melody into the gaping wounds of man … .
[P. 75] That it urged onward to this Theatre of our great poets, was the sole true progress in the evolutionary march of reborn art; what held back, nay, altogether stemmed that progress with the Italians, the invention of Modern Music, has – thanks again to great German masters equally unique – become the last enabling element for the birth of a dramatic art of whose expression and effect the Greek could not have dreamed. Every possibility of attaining to the highest has now been won: there stands a platform in front whereof, throughout all Europe, the Folk each evening throngs as driven by an unconscious longing to learn, where it is merely lured to idle pastime, the answer to the riddle of existence … .” [727W-{9-12/67} German Art and German Policy: PW Vol. IV, p. 70-71; p. 75]
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