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The Ring of the Nibelung
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in abnormally organized beings (as a monstrosity). In this state, at highest potency in genius, cognition becomes aware of precisely what the normal state of affairs is, and thus recognizes that the brain, freed now in the genius, is elsewhere solely in the will’s service, and asks what this all-forming, all dominating will has so far shown itself to be, up to the point where it falls silent.

{SCHOP} With shame we see it wills only to continue living, to feed (by destroying others) and reproduce itself. As really active, we can’t become aware of anything beyond. In the abnormal state in which we become aware of this, we must ask if it’s not a highly questionable matter to serve a will so constituted. (…) To what height are we impelled by this will? To where we now stand, the possibility (in abnormal cases) of setting free one of its organs, cognition, and recognizing the will’s nature.

{SCHOP} We feel only the horror of that will by virtue of this knowledge, and thus compassion (though com-pleasure is not felt), so knowledge here acquires its moral significance, till now unrecognized. In the highest, happiest stage we have sympathy for all the living, found in unknowing service to the will; here’s the source of sublime virtue, salvation, the perfect union with all that is separated by the illusion of individuality.” [638W-{Late 55 (?)} Letter to Roeckel (in WAGNER AN ROECKEL, p. 54-64) as quoted by L.J. Rather in The Dream of Self-Destruction, p. 87-89]


[639W-{10/3/55} Letter to Franz Liszt: SLRW, p. 351-352]

[P. 351] {FEUER} “In disconsolate and dispassionate hours [P. 352] what I was most afraid of was Wodan’s great scene, and especially the revelation of his fate to Bruennhilde … . (…) This is the most important scene for the development of the whole of the great four-part drama and, as such, will presumably soon receive the necessary interest and attention.” [639W-{10/3/55} Letter to Franz Liszt: SLRW, p. 351-352]

 

[640W-{5/16/56?} ML, p. 528-529]

[P. 528] {FEUER} “Burnouff’s Introduction a l’histoire du Bouddhisme was the book that stimulated me most; I even distilled from it the material for a dramatic poem, which has remained with me ever since, if only in a very rough outline, and might one day even be brought to fruition. I gave it the title Die Sieger [‘The Victors’]; it was based on a simple legend of a Jandala maiden, who is received into the elevated order of mendicants known as the Cakyamounis as a result of her painfully intense and purified love for Ananda, the chief disciple of the Buddha. Apart from the beauty and the profound significance of the simple tale, I was influenced to choose it as much by its peculiar aptness for the musical procedures that I have since developed. To the mind of the Buddha, the previous lives in former incarnations of every being appearing before him stand revealed as clearly as the present. The simple story owed its significance to the way that the past life of the suffering principal characters was entwined in the new phase of their lives [P. 529] as being still present time. I perceived at once how the musical remembrance of this dual life, keeping the past constantly present in the hearing, might be represented perfectly to the emotional receptivities, and this decided me to keep the prospect of working out this task before me as a labor of especial love.” [640W-{5/16/56?} ML, p. 528-529]

 

 

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