Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-6

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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Bruennhilde: Wotan's/Siegfried's unconscious Part B-6

Post by alberich00 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:44 am

[P. 212] {FEUER} “ … even the simplest action confounds and bewilders the Understanding, which would fain regard it through the anatomical microscope, by the immensity of its ramifications: would it comprehend that action, it can only do so by discarding the microscope and fetching forth the image in which alone its human eye can grasp; and this comprehension is ultimately enabled by the instinctive Feeling – as vindicated by the Understanding. This image of the phenomena, in which alone the Feeling can comprehend them, … this image, for the Aim of the poet, who must likewise take the phenomena of Life and compress them from their view-less many-memberedness into a compact, easily survey-able shape, -- this image is nothing else but the Wonder. [521W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 212]

[P. 213] {FEUER} “The Wonder in the Poet’s work is distinguished from the Wonder in religious Dogma by this: that it does not, like the latter, upheave the nature of things, but the rather makes it comprehensible to the Feeling.
{FEUER} The Judaeo-Christian Wonder tore the connexion of natural phenomena asunder, to allow the Divine Will to appear as standing over Nature. In it a broad connexus of things was by no means condensed in favour of their understanding by the instinctive Feeling, but this Wonder was employed entirely for its own sake alone; people demanded it, as the proof of a suprahuman power, from him who gave himself for divine, and in whom they refused to believe till before the bodily eyes of men he had shown himself the lord of Nature, i.e. the arbitrary subverter of the natural order of things. This Wonder was therefore claimed from him one did not hold for authentic in himself and his natural dealings, but whom one proposed to first believe when he should have achieved something unbelievable, something un-understandable. A fundamental denial of the Understanding was therefore the thing hypothecated in advance, both by the wonder-claimer and the wonder-worker: whereas an absolute Faith was the thing demanded by the wonder-doer, and granted by the wonder-getter.
{FEUER} Now, for the operation of its message, the poetising intellect has absolutely no concern with Faith, but only with an understanding through the Feeling. It wants to display a great connexus of natural phenomena in an image swiftly understandable, and this image must [P. 214] therefore be one answering to the phenomena in such a way that the instinctive Feeling may take it up without a struggle, not first be challenged to expound it: whereas the characteristic of the Dogmatic Wonder consists just in this, that, through the obvious impossibility of explaining it, it tyrannously subjugates the Understanding despite the latter’s instinctive search for explanation; and precisely in this subjugation, does it seek for its effect. The Dogmatic Wonder is therefore just as unfitted for Art, as the Poetic Wonder is the highest and most necessary product of the artist’s power of beholding and displaying.” [522W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 213-214]

[P. 216] {FEUER} “In virtue of this Wonder, the poet is able to display the most measureless conjunctures (Zusammenhange) in an all-intelligible Unity.” [523W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 216]

[P. 216] {FEUER} “So long as the phenomena of Nature were merely an ‘objective’ of man’s Phantasy, so long also must the [P. 217] human imagination (Einbildungskraft) be subjected to them: moreover, their semblance governed and determined its view of the human phenomenal-world in such a way, that men derived the inexplicable in that world – that is to say, the unexplained – from the capricious orderings of an extranatural and extrahuman Power, which finally in the Miracle upheaved both Man and Nature. When the reaction against belief in miracles set in, even the Poet had to bow before the prosaic rationalism of the claim, that poetry should also renounce its Wonder; and this happened in the times when natural phenomena, theretofore regarded only with the eye of Phantasy, began to be made the object of scientific operations of the Understanding. [524W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 216-217]

[P. 218] {FEUER} “Nature in her actual reality is only seen by the Understanding, which de-composes her into her separatest of parts; if it wants to display to itself these parts in their living organic connexion, then the quiet of the Understanding’s meditation is involuntarily displaced by a more and more highly agitated mood, which at last remains nothing but a mood of Feeling. In this mood, Man unconsciously refers Nature once more to himself … . In Feeling’s highest agitation, Man sees in Nature a sympathising being … .” [526W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 218]

[P. 233] {FEUER] “The poet can only hope to realise his Aim, from the instant when he hushes it and keeps it secret to himself: that is to say, when, in the language [P. 234] wherein alone it could be imparted as a naked intellectual-aim, he no longer speaks it out at all. (…)
{FEUER} A Tone-speech to be struck-into from the outset, is therefore the organ of expression proper for the poet who would make himself intelligible by turning from the Understanding to the Feeling … .” [529W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 233-234]

[P. 235] {FEUER} “If we now pry a little closer into the Poet’s business, we shall see that the realisement of his Aim consists solely in the making possible an exhibition of the ‘strengthened actions’ of his characters (seiner gedichteten Gestalten) through an exposition of their motives to the Feeling … .
{FEUER} (…) The Understanding is therefore driven by necessity to wed itself with an element which shall be able to take-up into it the poet’s Aim as a fertilising seed, and so to nourish and shape this seed by its own, its necessary essence, that it may bring it forth as a realising and redeeming utterance of Feeling.
{FEUER} This element is that same mother-element, the womanly, from whose womb – the ur-melodic expressional-faculty, -- there issued Word and Word-speech, so soon as it was fecundated by the actual outward-lying objects of Nature; just as the Understanding throve from out the Feeling, and is thus the condensation of this womanly into a manly, into an element fitted to impart.” [530W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 235]

[P. 236] {FEUER} “… the influence of the ‘eternal womanly’ … draws the manly Understanding out of its egoism,-- and this again is only possible through the Womanly attracting that thing in it which is kindred to itself: but that in which the Understanding is akin to the Feeling is the purely-human, that which makes-out the essence of the human species as such. In this Purely-human are nurtured both the Manly and the Womanly, which only by their union through Love become first the Human Being.
{FEUER} The impetus necessary to the poetic intellect, in this its poesis, is therefore Love, -- and that the love of man to woman. Yet not that frivolous, carnal love, in which man only seeks to satisfy an appetite, but the deep yearning to know himself redeemed from his egoism through his sharing in the rapture of the loving woman; and this yearning is the creative moment (das dichtende Moment) of the Understanding. The necessary bestowal, the seed that only in the most ardent transports of Love can condense itself from his noblest forces – this procreative seed is the poetic Aim, which brings to the glorious loving woman, Music, the Stuff for bearing.” [531W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 236]

[P. 256] {FEUER} “… he [the Poet] has … freed his subject-matter, as much as he could, from a burdensome surrounding of historico-social and state-religious relations and conditionings. But the poet has never heretofore been able to bring this to such a point, that he could impart his subject unconditionally to the Feeling and nothing else, -- any more than he has brought his vehicle of expression to a like enhancement; for this enhancement to the highest pitch of emotional utterance could only have been reached precisely in an ascension of the verse into the melody … .
[P. 263] {FEUER} “ … the Poetic Aim can only be realised through its complete transmission from the Understanding to the Feeling … .” [532W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 256; p. 263]

[P. 265] {FEUER} “The Poet … is the knower of the unconscious, the aimful demonstrator of the instinctive; the Feeling, which he fain would manifest to fellow-feeling, teaches him the expression he must use; but his Understanding shows him the Necessity of that expression.” [533W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 265]
[P. 280] “But that horizontal extension, being the surface of Harmony, is its physiognomy as still discernible by the poet’s eye: it is the water-mirror which still reflects upon the poet his own image, while at the same time it presents this image to the view of him whom the poet wanted to address. This image, however, is in truth the poet’s realised Aim, -- a realisement which can only fall to the lot of the musician, in his turn, when he mounts from the depths, to the surface of the sea of Harmony; and on that surface will be celebrated the glorious marriage of Poetry’s begetting Thought with Music’s endless power of Birth. The wave-borne mirror-image is Melody. In it the [P. 281] poet’s Thought becomes an instinctively enthralling moment of Feeling; just as Music’s emotional-power therein acquires the faculty of definite and convincing utterance, of manifesting itself as a sharp-cut human shape, a plastic Individuality. Melody is the redemption of the poet’s endlessly conditioned thought into a deep-felt consciousness of emotion’s highest freedom (hoechster Gefuehlsfreiheit): it is the willed and achieved Unwilful, the conscious and proclaimed Unconscious, the vindicated Necessity of an endless-reaching Content, condensed from its farthest branchings into an utmost definite utterance of Feeling.” [534W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 280-281]

[P. 280] {FEUER} “ Starting with an infinitely confluent fund of Feeling, man’s sensations gradually concentrated themselves to a more and more definite Content; in such sort that their expression in that Ur-melody advanced at last, by Nature’s necessary steps, to the formation of Absolute Word-speech.” [535W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 281]

[P. 284] {FEUER} “But that Melody to whose birth we now are listening, forms a complete contrast to the primal Mother-melody; and after the above more detailed observations, we may briefly denote its course as an advance from Understanding to Feeling, from Word-speech to Melody: as against the advance from Feeling to Understanding, from the Mother-melody to Word-speech.” [536W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 284]

[P. 285] “This melody was the love-greeting of the woman to the man, and the open-armed ‘Eternal Womanly’ here showed itself more loveable than the egoistic Manly; for it is Love itself, and only as the highest love-entreaty (Liebesverlangen) is the Womanly to be taken, -- be it revealed in woman or in man. For all the wonders of the meeting, the man yet left the loving woman: what to this woman was the highest sacrificial incense of a life-time, to the man was a mere passing fume of love. Only the poet whose Aim we have here expounded, will feel driven so irresistibly to a heart-alliance with the ‘eternal womanly’ of Tone-art, that in these nuptials he shall celebrate alike his own redemption.
{FEUER} Through the redeeming love-kiss of that Melody the poet is now inducted into the deep, unending mysteries of Woman’s nature: he sees with other eyes, and feels with other senses. To him the bottomless sea of Harmony, from which that beatific vision rose to meet him, is no longer an [P. 286] object of dread, of fear, of terror, such as earlier it seemed in his imaginings of the strange and unknown element; [* Translator’s Footnote: “Siegfried, last scene: ‘Wie end’ ich die Furcht? Wie fass’ ich Muth?’ “] now, not only can he float upon the surface of this ocean, but – gifted with new senses – he dives into its lowest depth. (…) For the very winds of heaven, does the poet now command, -- since those winds are nothing but the breath of never-ending Love, of the Love in whose delight the poet is redeemed, and through its might becomes the lord of Nature.” [537W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 285-286]

[P. 316] {FEUER} “… now, we have plainly to denote this Speaking-faculty of the Orchestra as the faculty of uttering the unspeakable.
[P. 317] {FEUER} (…) That this Unspeakable is not a thing unutterable per se, but merely unutterable through the organ of our Understanding; thus, not a mere fancy, but a reality, -- this is shown plainly enough by the Instruments of the orchestra themselves, whereof each for itself, and infinitely more richly in its changeful union with other instruments, speaks out quite clearly and intelligibly. [* {FEUER} Wagner’s Footnote: This easy explanation of the ‘Unspeakable,’ one might extend, perhaps not altogether wrongly, to the whole matter of Religious Philosophy; for although that matter is given out as absolutely unutterable, from the standpoint of the speaker, yet mayhap it is utterable enough if only the fitting organ be employed.]” [539W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 316-317]

[P. 324] “ This faculty [“of uttering the unspeakable”] the ear acquires through the language of the Orchestra, which is able to attach itself just as intimately to the verse-melody as earlier to the gesture, and thus to develop into a messenger of the very Thought itself, transmitting it to Feeling … .” [540W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 324]

[P. 329] {FEUER} “Music cannot think: but she can materialise thoughts, i.e. she can give forth their emotional contents as no longer merely recollected, but made present. (…) [P. 330] … and inasmuch as we thus make our Feeling a living witness to the organic growth of one definite emotion from out another, we give to it the faculty of thinking: nay, we here give it a faculty of higher rank than thinking, to wit, the instinctive knowledge of a thought made real in Emotion.” [542W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 329-330]

[P. 330] “A foreboding is the herald of an emotion as yet unspoken-out, because as yet Unspeakable … . Unspeakable, is any emotion which is not as yet defined; and it is undefined, so long as [P. 331] it has not been yet determined through a living object. The first thrill of this emotion, the Foreboding, is thus its instinctive longing for definement through an object … . (…)
Such a presentiment as this, has the poet to wake within us, in order, through its longing, to make us necessary sharers in the creation of his artwork.” [543W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 330-331]

[P. 337] {FEUER} “By leading forth his Artwork in continuous organic growth, and making our selves organic helpers in that growth, the poet frees his creation from all traces of his handiwork; whereas, should he leave those traces unexpunged, he would set us in that chill of feelingless amazement which takes us when we look upon a masterpiece of mechanism.” [544W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 337]

[P. 344] {FEUER} “If … we wish to accurately denote that Means of Expression which, in virtue of its own unity, shall make possible a Unity of Content, let us define it as one which can the most fittingly convey to Feeling a widest-reaching Aim of the poetic Understanding. Such an Expression [P. 345] must contain the poet’s Aim in each of its separate ‘moments,’ albeit in each of them concealing that aim from the Feeling, -- to wit, by realising it.” [546W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 344-345]

[P. 346] {FEUER} “ These Melodic Moments, in themselves adapted to maintain our Feeling at an even height, will be made by the orchestra into a kind of guides-to-Feeling (Gefuehlsweigweisern) through the whole labyrinthine (vielgewundenen) building of the drama. At their hand we become the constant fellow-knowers of the profoundest secret of the poet’s Aim, the immediate partners in its realisement.” [547W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 346]
[P. 348] {FEUER} “Let us once more sum up this whole matter in one [P. 349] exhaustive definition, and denote the most perfect Unity of artistic Form as that in which a widest conjuncture of the phenomena of Human Life – as Content – can impart itself to the Feeling in so completely intelligible an Expression, that in all its ‘moments’ this Content shall completely stir, and alike completely satisfy, the Feeling. The Content, then, has to be one that is ever present in the Expression, and therefore the Expression one that ever presents the Content in its fullest compass; for only Thought can grasp the absent [fernen?], but only the present can be grasped by Feeling.
In this unity of the Expression, ever making present, and ever embracing the full compass of the Content, there is at like time solved, and solved in the only decisive way, the … problem of the unity of Time and Space.“ [549W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 348-349]

[P. 376] {FEUER} “So neither can the artist prescribe from his own Will, nor summon into being, that Life of the Future which once shall redeem him: for it is the Other, the antithesis of himself, for which he yearns, toward which he is thrust … . Yet again, this living ocean of the Future cannot beget the mirror-image by its unaided self: it is a mother-element, which can bear alone what it has first received. This fecundating seed, which in it alone can thrive, is brought it by the Poet, i.e. the Artist of the Present; and this seed is the quintessence of all rarest life-sap, which the Past has gathered up therein, to bring it to the Future as its necessary, its fertilising germ: for this Future is not thinkable, except as stipulated by the Past.
(…) And just as this verse, will the prophetic Artwork of the yearning Artist of the Present once wed itself with the ocean of the Life of the Future.” [555W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 376]

[P. 225] “At present we have only inadequately formed verse, not the real thing.
My musical expression, moreover, continues to be related only supersensually to
language: a substantial, sensual relationship between the two has escaped me until
now. But this is not something I have worked out theoretically – in spite of the fact
that you will set eyes on my theory before you encounter the practical
demonstration from which it derives: the theory came to me through my poem,
‘Siegfried’s Death’, in which I chanced quite spontaneously upon the language
necessary for the music.” [557W-{5/31/51}Letter to Adolf Stahr: SLRW, p. 225]

[P. 288] {FEUER} “I attribute the force which we commonly call Genius solely to
the faculty which I have just described at length. That which operates so mightily
upon this force that it must finally come forth to full productiveness, we have in
truth to regard as the real fashioner and former, as the only furthering condition for
that force’s efficacy, and this is the Art already evolved outside that separate force,
the Art which from the artworks of the ancient and the modern world has shaped
itself into a universal Substance, and hand in hand with actual Life, reacts upon the
individual with the character of the force that I have elsewhere named the
communistic. Amid these all-filling and all-fashioning influences of Art and Life,
there thus remains to the Individual but one chief thing as his own: namely Force,
vital force, force to assimilate the kindred and the needful; and this is precisely that
receptive-force which I have denoted above, and which – so soon as it opens its
arms in love without reserve – must necessarily, with the attainment of its perfect
strength, become at last productive force.
{FEUER} In epochs when this force, like the force of Individuality in general, has been entirely crushed out by state-discipline, or by the complete fossilisation of the outward forms of Life and Arts – as in China, or in Europe towards the end of the Roman world-dominion – neither have those phenomena [P. 289] which we christen by The name ‘Genius’ ever come to light: a plain proof that they are not cast upon life by the caprice of God or Nature. On the other hand, these phenomena were just as little known in those ages when both creative forces, the individualistic and the communistic, reacted on each other with all the freedom of unfettered Nature, forever fresh-begetting and ever giving birth anew. These are the so-called prehistoric times, the times when Speech, and Myth, and Art were really born. Then, too, the thing we call Genius was unknown: no one man was a Genius, since all men were it. Only in times like ours, does one know or name these ‘Geniuses’; the sole name that we can find for those artistic forces which withdraw themselves from the drillground of the State and ruling Dogma, or from the sluggard bolstering-up of tottering forms of Art, to open out new pathways and fill them with their innate life. Yet if we look a little closer, we shall find that these new openings are in no wise arbitrary and private paths, but continuations of a long-since-hewn main causeway; down which, before and with these solitary units, a joint and many-membered force of diverse individualities has poured itself, whose conscious or unconscious instinct has urged it to the abrogation of those forms by fashioning newer moulds of Life and Art. Here, then, we see again a common force, which includes within its coefficients that individual force we have erstwhile foolishly dismissed with the appellation ‘Genius,’ and, according to our modern notions thereof, utterly annuls it. By all means, that associate, communistic force is only brought into play through the medium of the individual force; for it is, in truth, naught other than the force of sheer human individuality in general.“ [559W-{6-8/51} A Communication To My Friends: PW Vol. I, p. 288-289]

[P. 307] {FEUER} “The figure of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ is a mythical creation of the Folk: a primal trait of human nature speaks out from it with heart-enthralling force. This trait, in its most universal meaning, is the longing after rest from amid the storms of life. (…) The Christian, without a home on earth, embodied this trait in the figure of the ‘Wandering Jew’: for that wanderer, forever doomed to a long-since outlived life, without an aim, without a joy, there bloomed no earthly ransom; death was the sole remaining goal of all his strivings; his only hope, the laying-down of being. At the close of the Middle Ages a new, more active impulse led the nations to fresh life: in the world-historical direction its most important result was the bent to voyages of discovery. (…) [P. 308] Like Ahasuerus, he [the “Hollandic Mariner”] yearns for his sufferings to be ended by Death; the Dutchman, however, may gain this redemption, denied to the undying Jew, at the hands of – a Woman who, of very love, shall sacrifice herself for him. This yearning for death thus spurs him on to seek this woman; but she is no longer the home tending Penelope of Ulysses, as courted in days of old, but the quintessence of womankind; and yet the still unmanifest, the longed-for, the dreamt-of, the infinitely womanly Woman, -- …: the Woman of the Future.
… this was the first Folk’s-poem that forced its way into my heart, and called on me as man and artist to point its meaning, and mould it in a work of art.
{FEUER} From here begins my career as a poet, and my farewell to the mere concoctor of opera-texts.“ [562W-{6-8/51} A Communication To My Friends: PW Vol. I, p. 307-308]

[P. 333] {FEUER} “The medieval poem presented Lohengrin in a mystic twilight
that filled me with suspicion … . Only when the immediate impression of this
reading had faded, did the shape of Lohengrin rise repeatedly, and with growing
power of attraction, before my soul; and this power gathered fresh force to itself
from outside, chiefly by reason that I learnt to know the myth of Lohengrin in its
simple traits, and alike its deeper meaning, as the genuine poem of the Folk, such
as it has been laid bare to us by the discoveries of the newer searchers into Saga
lore. After I had thus seen it as a noble poem of man’s yearning and his longing –
by no means merely seeded from the Christian’s bent toward supernaturalism, but
from the truest depths of universal human nature. (…)
{FEUER] Not one of the most affecting, not one of the most distinctive
P. 334] Christian myths belongs by right of generation to the Christian spirit, such
as we commonly understand it: it has inherited them all from the purely human
intuitions (Anschauungen) of earlier time, and merely moulded them to fit its own
peculiar tenets. To purge them of this heterogeneous influence, and thus enable us
to look straight into the pure humanity of the eternal poem: such was the task of
the more recent inquirer [* Translator’s Footnote: “In view of the author’s preface
to the two volumes in which this Communication was included (see page 25 of the
present volume), it would appear that the allusion is to Ludwig Feuerbach’s
Essence of Christianity.”], a task which it must necessarily remain for the poet to
complete.” [564W-{6-8/51} A Communication To My Friends: PW Vol. I, p.
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