Sunday, December 9, 2007


Several thoughts occurred to me this weekend, particularly as we follow the news of the departure of members of the Diocese of San Joaquin to join the Sons of I Will Arise, and the word from Canterbury continues to be "B'rer Rowan, he don' say nuffin'."

A few days ago we had a jolly chat over at MadPriest's place about opera, which MadPriest hates. I had commented that watching DVD productions of a couple of the dramas from the Ring of the Nibelung (instead of just listening while trying to follow in the libretto) had given me a greater appreciation of Wagner (though I'm still not quite a fan!). I also have been re-reading (after a lapse of many many years) Stewart Robb's English translation of Wagner's text.

I was reading through Act Two of The Valkyrie, in which Wotan and Fricka are having a great spat, because Wotan has seen to it that his son Siegmund has found the charmed sword Nothung, which he will use to kill Hunding, with whose wife Sieglinda Siegmund is running away. (Sieglinda is also Siegmund's twin sister. Don't ask. Or rather, ask Anna Russell. A lot of that kind of thing was going on in those days.) But Fricka, whose goddess portfolio includes marriage, is all ticked off about this, and she finally browbeats Wotan into agreeing to give up Siegmund and, as it were, to throw him under the bus. In the midst of all this Wotan laments the fact that he ever got messed up with Alberich and the ring Alberich had forged out of the Rheingold (after forswearing love, in order to become master of the universe; see the previous opera), and recognized that in fact he and the rest of the gods and Valhalla itself were all ultimately doomed (although that takes two more operas).

And I got to thinking: Gee. This reminds me a little of a certain Archbishop of Canterbury I could think of. Hmm.....

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