Ludwika Malewska-Mostowicz

Cycle of essays:
Roots and horizons of conflict prevention

(Interpretation as a model of intermediate sphere: of documents, synthesis between sciences of communication, syncretic arts, history as a reality)





  1. Discovering need for myth...
  2. Among the Riddles of the nibelung epos...
  3. Between Scandinavia and the Rhine...
  4. When Gods interfere with humans...
  5. The motive of Zygfryd (Siegfried)...
  6. Synthetic experience of myth...





1. Discovering need for myth...


It is difficult to ultimately conclude today which texts of the Nibelungs saga had influenced most Wagner's musical and poetical works, The Ring of the Nibelungs. Modern comparative studies are deeply rooted in Wagner's epoch, reaching the sources where myth is depicted as a way of life able to bring back lost unity and harmony of the world. Among numerous studies of culture, it is easy to find concept that would be very close to Wagnerian idea of myth. Theory on cultures influencing each other bases on the similarities between myths from different parts of the world.

In this context, literary and musical Myth of the Nibelungs, as well as its theoretical grounds (for instance, Opera and Drama), are a proof that the author of The Ring... had a thorough knowledge of achievements in contemporary science and art. His work is naturally engrossed in the atmosphere of romantic fascinations with the phenomena and mysteries of art, epochs, and cultural trends. Back then, experts from various domains were interested in the role of the myth, natural synthesis of expression and communication means. Art was becoming one of the conscious articulations of myth, a distinguished from of being and learning.


Awareness that myth is a synthesis, whereas culture - creativity, was vital to the creation process of Wagnerian opera theatre. In this case, creativity shapes picture of the world communicating through art. Language of words, and language of music sounds create the world's picture in its most original form, as well as reflects the hidden world of feelings. The world of feelings decides about the dynamics of the external world. Wagner deems art as striving perfection synthesis of feelings, mind, and all means of expression.

In this context, myth is a multiplied rendition of normal functions of sign. Sign is a basic element of human environment, the Environment of Communication. Myth also synthesises human thoughts, feelings, actions, and everything that surrounds the man. As one can tell, the concept of myth derived from theoretical texts, and artistic works of Wagner id not very different from the one in current conceptions of culture. At this point, our modern theoretical knowledge on myth and sign is rooted in linguistic research on human culture at the turn of the 19th century. The author of The Ring... was well acquainted with the aforementioned studies.


Gradually, language began to play vital part in comprehending human issues, including understanding and communication through art (compare Wilhelm von Humboldt, Hegel, and Kant). Here, myth combines diverse functions of sign. Myth sees the world as a synthesis of communication ways, or expression means, as wrote Wagner.

Search for new forms of synthetic language, devoid of insipid patterns, imminently lead us and Wagner to studies on myth's nature, and its changeable articulation. Myth synthesises sign's functions, expression means, language types, art forms, and communication ways. Wagner finds drama and theatre the most ideal manifestation of myth. Theatre and drama of the future is a synthesis of arts, as well as a myth unifying idea, sound, and picture. Theatrical rendition of poetic and musical drama embodies the universal role of myth. Theatre symbolises, discovers, and fulfils the need for myth, a link between the present, past, and future of human culture.


History provides many interpretations to Wagner's works. Fortunately, there are sources allowing to approximately reconstruct the "myth's world"; sources that provided the base for The Ring of the Nibelungs. Nevertheless, interpretations have many unclear points. Interpretation defines a field consisting of intuition, Hermeneutics, and analytical techniques for artistic rendition. It is not possible to analyse separate elements of the work.

Wagner was inspired not only by one or several texts. He employed various works, materials, and impressions, looking for the essence of syntheticity at the sources of myth. For Wagner, art was a way of life. He often worked with several texts at the same time. For instance, Wagner was working consecutively on Tristan, The Ring cycle, Nuremberg Singers, a collection of songs to his own poetry, and that to Matylda Wesendock, and of Parsiphal. We can make a guess that he also read texts of medieval poetry, for his works are clearly influenced by lyric and epic knights poetry, such as works of Walter von der Vogelweide, Wolfram von Eschenbach, The Nibelungs Epos, and picturesque medieval legends. In addition, Wagner's lifetime coincided with general revival of traditions, legends, lyrics, and tales, looking into the past to understand contemporary problems.


Scandinavian Edda, the earlier and the later version, was often published in Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries. At the same time, The Epos of the Nibelungs was discovered anew. Attempts were made to organise and publish the most significant manuscripts. One of the manuscripts was epos on the history of glory and defeat of the Burgundy nation, called the Nibelungs (from german word - Nebel - mist; i.e. a tribe from misty country). The 19th century societies were interested in mythology from all over the world, and Germany was not an exception. Rather, Germany continued tendencies that had been apparent already in the 18th century in art and science. One could mention here German philological, and comparative studies, as well as still valid inter-cultural translation. As a result, Wagner had opportunity to learn the sources of various mythologies. His work appeared as a continuation, a next step in the process of discovering the universal need for myth.

Goethe said once, "This work is not to be judged once and for ever, rather, it demands a judgement from every man", when commenting on the long debate about the meaning of the Nibelung myth. Indeed, literary characters appear in the jungle of easy and complicated relations of people, gods, and rulers, coming from the underground, ater, fields and woods, the sky, and human dwellings. All experts, interpreters, and authors agree that mythological characters make the myth unusually ambiguous. Another words, the Nibelungs myth is an ambiguous synthesis joining different worlds. For instance, it combines expression means, poetic and musical forms of lyrics, folklore, professional and anonymous art, formalised or unrestrained characters from myths, and legends.


2. Among the Riddles of the nibelung epos...


It is highly probable that writing The Ring, Wagner uses specific texts whose partial or entire editions were being published as early as in 1782. Abundant theoretical literature is comprised today in large volumes published in many languages. This tells a lot about vast cultural tradition enabling Wagner to write his masterpieces.

The first critical and monumental issue of Das Nibelungenlied was compiled by Karl Bartsch. It consists of three parts, such as the text, variants and their interpretation, and dictionary (Leipzig 1870, 1876, 1880). This was proceeded by extensive philological and historical-comparative studies, also published. Every issue was basing on the earlier compilations, mostly numerous scripts scattered all over Europe. As of today, over 30 manuscripts on the Nibelung myth have survived. Probably, they were written between the 13th and the 14th centuries. The tale was entitled Das Nibelungén nt. The most significant manuscripts are as follows, the A Manuscript from Hohenems-Müncher, the B Manuscript from Sankt-Gallen, and the C Manuscript from Hohenems-Lassbergisch, or from Donauschinger.


There are different classification methods to categorise The Songs of the Nibelungs scripts (manuscripts). Most significant of them emphasise the primary scripts. Karl Lachmann published the A script in 1826. Another method advises to cross out the so-called genealogical trees showing relations between primary and secondary scripts. One could mention here the works of Wilhelm Braun. For comparative reasons, works of Gustav Roetke are quite interesting; they focus on the relation between epos and myth, as well as on their account in other cultural circles. There are supporters and opponents as to attributing the epos to specific authors on the basis of historical data. One way or another, quite a few researchers are close to admitting that there is a good reason to accentuate the important role of master Kuonrat and Krünenberg. These two man did leave their stylistic traces in some versions, though on the whole, epos, as myth and tradition, is collective work. Perhaps, some epos creators were travelling bards, coming from country on the Dunaj river.

On the other hand, narratives around concrete characters are ascribed to specific authors; this applies to the character of Krimhilda (icelandic - Gudrun), or that of Zygfryd (Siegfried) (german - Sijfrid, icelandic - Sygurd).


Part of researchers of Old Germanic Mythology try to prove that different plots have one common source (for instance, J. de Vries), or look for the key to myth in historical events (for instance, E.A. Thompson). Others try to apply independent methods to distinguish and unify examined motives (for instance, F. Vogt, A. Heusler).

Recently, it became commonly acknowledged that the epos about the Burgundy people, who fight for survival in the world of people, dwarfs, gods, and monsters - is unique due to its substance made of insinuations, unclear spots, and ambiguous and multi-functional elements (for instance, H. Brackert).

Improved versions of the publications, the so-called "canonical", as well as partial publications of various versions testify that the long debate about the meaning of Old Germanic Epos of the Nibelungs and related texts is still continuing. It is important to note the most significant moments in the reception history of the Nibelungs myth. In the years 1755, 1769, and 1779, three primary scripts of The Songs... (ABC) were discovered. While in 1782, the whole was published for the first time by Ch. Muller. Edition of the "canonical" A script (A Manuscript...) took place in 1826, by K. Lachman.


In 1876-1880, K. Bartsch published the entire text. So, series of partial and entire editions appeared only in the 19th century. History of epos reception shows that the most significant facts coincide, as well as notes universal phenomena.

Romanticism has influenced the Nibelungs myth as well. Thanks to Wagner's work (Tetralogy of Nibelungs), the Nibelungs myth and its artistic articulations underwent a revival at the turn of the 20th century. At that time, a trend called Neo-Romanticism flourished, propagating its programs, ideas of symbolism, and art synthesis. Many of Neo-Romantic ideas come from the sources of human culture, that is from riddles of the myth, rites, and art. The later versions of editorial achievement of K. Bartsch and K. Lachman relate to the inter-disciplinary studies in the modern meaning of the word.


3. Between Scandinavia and the Rhine...


Due to the richness of motives, and links with myths from distinct cultural spheres, the Nibelungs myth has provided inspiration both for artists and researchers. It is worthwhile to note the most interesting links between history, myth, and folklore, as well as between various motives of historical tradition. For instance, there are differences and similarities between the Old South Germanic Epos (Das Nibelungén nt), and the Old North Germanic Epos, such as the Scalds Lyrics, and the earlier and later script of Edda. It is a mystery how the overlapping of two fairly distinct traditions happened, leaving its traces in the oral and written tradition of myth about the gods and heroes of Germanic tribes.

The basic difference between these two traditions lies in the climax (chiasmus) of the motives. It is story about a hero immersed in the life of his native tribe. For most Scandinavians, it is a tribe, for the Germans - a nation. So, the German version about almost the same characters (the names are less important here), tells us about the history of the Burgundy nation, that after long wanderings settled down in the middle course of the Rhine river. The principal characters of the epos are Zygfryd (Siegfried), Krymhilda, and icelandic princess Brunhilda (Brünhild).


The history of the Burgundy nation ended with the invasion of the Huns leaded by king Atylla. Historically speaking, the Burgundies died because they were defeated by the Romans. Mythological and historical circumstances of Atylla's death differ in the Scandinavian and German versions. Myths in North Germanic culture (Old North Germanic Epos), no matter how much they differed, share several common elements, such as the code of family's honour, the obligatory praise of its members, and saving their repute throughout the life, and after death. The law of revenge is passed from generation to generation, according to blood, and spirit ties. Mysterious and often unpredictable laws of reincarnation join, or separate members of a given family, their bodies or souls.

As a result, the German version (Old South Germanic Epos) of the same story differs from the Scandinavian one by the ability to understand and express cultural identity by highlighting important points in the narrative. This version makes the reader interested in the history of individuals, families, nations, or the abstract struggle between the right and wrong, honour and disgrace, power and subjugation, etc.

As Wagner wrote, the "canonical" versions of the two eposes of the Nibelungs (Old South Epos) and Edda, may provide the reader with many insights about the common stem of human culture. Similarities and differences come from the functional and genetic interrelations of motives in human culture.


Specific narratives of the South German Epos, highlighted by Wagner, become less important in the "canonical" editions of the 18th and 19th centuries. For example, the motive of gold of the Rhine river. Wagnerian character of Walkiria Brunhilda (Walküre Brünhild) is dual and ambiguous in both versions, German and Scandinavian. The Old German Epos, in one of its versions, concentrates mostly on the character of Krimhilda; whose Scandinavian equivalent is presented by two characters: Gudrun, the wife of Zygfryd (Siegfried), and Gudrun's mother.

Linguistic material of the Old Germanic Epos, particularly that of the principal versions, provides one with information on motive analysis, and synthesis of art.

Wagner's knowledge about the formal structure of the Old Germanic Epos and old verses resulted in his conception of musical language as external form of rhythm and melody joining people. Texts on Opera and Drama point to the fact that Wagner meticulously analysed structures of German medieval language of poetics. He studied different forms of rhyme, rhythm and intonation, while looking for new forms of rhyme and synthetic rhythm. K. Bartsch emphasises that alliteration in the Nibelungs structure has gone so far, that it is even present in the names of the characters; Siegemund, Siegelind, Siegfried, Gunther, Gernot, and Gishler. Wagner analysed the requirements of Old Germanic Poetics in his search for musical possibilities, and internal musical rhyme.


4. When Gods interfere with humans...


Old icelandic language and tradition is a mine of information about Old Germanic Mythology. Texts, scripts of oral tradition, and tradition of non-linguistic means of expression focus around the mystery of world's unity. Additionally, old icelandic language is a source to the enthymology of names, notions, and structures defining the world. This language provides us with knowledge on knights customs and beliefs. Writings of oral tradition, and folklore complement the general vision of the world. Analogies in the names structures and ways of perceiving the world enable one to state common traits, still present today in folk tales passed from generation to generation, and in the recordings of religious and knights customs (compare to L. Petzold).

According to the publishers of "canonical" versions of the Nibelungs Epos, Old Icelandic tradition is most homogenous and consequent. It informs the reader about a world populated with gods, people, and unusual creatures. This tradition consists of many fragmentary traditions that complement each other. It is still lasting because of its capacity to clearly render a text. Since the early times, Scandinavian countries ran the so-called Scald Academies, where masters-to-be of oral rendition were being taught. Unusual memory and poetic abilities of the bards were aided by written scripts. Runes, parchments, and narratives collected in the form of codes and textbooks for scalds date back to the 10th century. To make things easier, they are classified in the following way: the Earlier Poetic Edda; Lyrics of Scalds; separate verses scattered throughout sagas; rhymes, or folk songs; prose tales, the Later Prosaic Edda; sagas, i.e. house tales (the 10th through the 13th century); Sagas of the Royalties, of Bishops, and so-called Sagas of Lies, i.e. later narratives, combinations of fairy tales and legends from different cultures.


The Nibelungs Epos introduces us into a mysterious world of unusual phenomena which may be understood through the scripts of Old Germanic Tradition. Edda and related texts remain the best key. Text of The Songs of the Nibelungs will always remain fragmentary and unclear. So, it is worth to remind that to see a flow of meaning in the Old Germanic Epos of the Nibelungs, one has to take into account the complementing motives in Scandinavian sagas, or in the South German narratives of the Volksage kind. Perhaps, noticing the similarities between traditions of Germanic tribes from the North and the South, one can have better understanding of the Wagnerian work. The author of Tetralogy was aware of the fact that myth creates flowing and multi-dimensional theme. For this reason, Wagner stayed with the central motives. The secondary motives "do not complement each other", but rather emphasise and help to carry out the primary motive (Opera and Drama...). Let us not look for direct meaning, nor logical sequence of events in the discourse of The Ring... . All characters are in fact one character with many faces and bodies, while their story is a complicated blend of fate, fight, and communication. In addition, the narrative is complicated by the fact that different physical and metaphysical dimensions overlap. Travel and battle motives are the most common devices used to represent the history of nations, families, and individuals. In a way, it is a condensed viewpoint of history in its medieval phase of rise and fall of the empires, migration of the nations, and traditions. Human history is supplemented with the history of gods. Vision of the worlds beginning is the answer to the question of life's meaning. Every old mythology underlines the similarity between the world of humans, and that of gods. Both gods and other beings fight each other. That's how the right and wrong are born.


The vision of the world beginning, as portrayed by the Poetic Edda, shows a warfare between various beings, such as dwarfs, giants, monsters, and people. The world is but a fighting arena. Gods prepare for siege in Asgara, exercise their troops, mostly made up from dead heroes, to be ready for the final battle with all existing forces. It has to be the day of "gods decline", a day of Ragnarök. Walkirie (Walküre) lead the dead heroes into the country of gods, Valhalla. Day of the "gods decline" presents a vision of the final cataclysm of the world. The end of fights, and battles. After that day, everyone dies; there is neither a winner, nor a loser. The vision of the world's catastrophe, however, is accompanied by the prophesy of a revived new world with no evil, instead, full of joy, beauty, bright colours, and light.

In Old Germanic Myths, gods are called As. Apart from them, there are also beings called Wan. The word "wan" has probably been derived from the word "van", which means to love, to like, to beam with happiness. Tales of the Prosaic Edda, as well as the "canonical" versions of The Songs of Nibelungs are important to understand the relations between the world of the humans and that of gods. The tale tells about the wanderings of the As gods - Odin, Loki, and Hnir - through the world, and their interference with human matters.


Furthermore, the alter version of Edda provides the source for understanding names and gods functions. Odin has a nickname "the tallest", Hava (old icelandic name Harr, German Hoch). He id a god of poetry, wisdom, and magic. His spouse is a clever goddess called Frigg, able to foresee the future, and summon the past. The son of Odin and Frigg is called Baldr, the most magnificent of all gods because of his beauty, goodness, and talents. He has been killed by his brother Hodi, who in turn was inspired by Loki, infamous for his evil intrigues. Loki is a character from the borderland between the world of gods, and world of humans. He is a giant accepted into the family of gods as an adopted son. He appears to be an unpredictable character. He loves intrigues; sometimes he helps the As gods, sometimes - harms them. He is able to change into any shape, as well as move unexpectedly from one place to another. At the end, gods put an end to Loki's intrigues; they chain him to the rock, condemning him to eternal suffering. Such is the history of Loki; on one hand, Loki personifies evil, on the other, he resembles Prometheus in his struggle for right.

The persona of the good god Baldr appears in many plots. His most important function in Scandinavian Mythology is to foretell his resurrection at the moment when the devastated world will be revived. This character appears in later versions of Edda and other related texts as well. It is an element that joins the Old - Greek, Christian, and Old Germanic Traditions. According to some interpretations, it tells about universal schemes ruling the world. If Loki presents the unpredictable nature of evil, the eternal struggle of right and wrong, truth and lies; Baldr, his opponent, is a symbol of pure goodness, and related values. Old Germanic Myths approach rise or decline of goodness in a complicated manner. For instance, four seasons symbolise the cycle of birth, seeming death, and rebirth of right.

Wanderings of the As gods through the world intertwine with history and legend. History in the context of myth is a fight for survival, power, wealth, and revival. Often, the aim is to obtain a new magical force, or to find people who could challenge even gods. The world of gods is mortal; it demands ability and strength in order to survive.


5. The motive of Zygfryd (Siegfried)...


Wandering of gods and their interference with human affairs testifies that beings are destined to constantly fight among themselves, and above all, with mysterious fate. Tales about gods, dwarfs, monsters, and heroes can be interpreted as search for remedy to helplessness. It seems like all beings in Old Germanic Mythology have to obtain some extraordinary item i order to survive.

Story about world's beginning in the Poetic Edda is a key to understanding why gods interfered with human affairs. Similarly, the narratives from the Prosaic Edda and related texts allow us to follow the history of an unusual hero who came to redeem people and gods. This character, Zygfryd (Siegfried), has his counterparts also in other mythologies, outside the Old Germanic Tradition. In the Germanic world itself, there are different versions of his deeds. Zygryd's common feature, however, is his desire to reconcile hostile people end elements. In this sense, Zygfryd (Siegfried) possesses divine qualities; nevertheless, he dies as a mortal man. The Scandinavian version underlines the fact that Sygurd dies as someone who did not keep his promise. Being lame and corrupted person, Sygurd could not outgrow other mortal beings.

Entangled and complex motive of Zygfryd (Siegfried) constructs mythological structure rooted in the eternal need to find remedy to evil and helplessness, death and devastation. Poetic and musical version, proposed by Wagner, reflects this age-long meaning of myth. Even the picture of gods' decline is not the ultimate ending in tetralogy. Rather, it is an open ending, understood only by those who are acquainted with the reincarnation idea in Scandinavian Myths, and accept the concept of open work. Myth of Zygfryd (Siegfried) is a version of immortal goodness that goes through various stages of transformations in order to give later hope and victory to all beings.

The motive of Zygfryd (Siegfried) is quite readable if we compare its versions with those in the Poetic Edda and Prosaic Edda.


Here is one of the gods' wanderings that introduces the motive of Zygfryd (Siegfried). Odin, Loki, and Honir plot to obtain magical gold hidden at the bottom of the river. Loki's endeavors and help of dwarf Andvari make this possible. There are also people involved: Hreidmari, and his two sons - Fafner, and Regin. They fight for gold, and finally kill each other. Regin summons Zygfryd (Siegfried), son of the Franconian prince, to help him. Zygfryd (Siegfried) finds the treasure but has to kill Regin who planned earlier his death.

In his further wanderings, Zygfryd (Siegfried) breaks the spell on Walkiria Brunhilda (Walküre Brünhild) (Icelandic "brynja" means armour, "Brunhilda (Brünhild)" - fighting in armour). She has been punished for disobedience towards Odin, and has been condemned to sleep among flames until a brave knight comes along. Zygfryd (Siegfried) leaves her, promising to come back, and marry her. He breaks his promise when he meets Gudrun (icelandic "Gudrun" means to know runes and magic, and to win thanks to them). Gudrun's mother prepares a magic potion. Bewitched Zygfryd (Siegfried) leaves Brunhilda (Brünhild) for ever. Having married Gudrun, he promises to get Brunhilda (Brünhild) for Gudrun's brother Gunnar. He uses tricks in doing so (versions vary here). One version tells that the girl receives the ring of Andvari dwarf that brings her ill fortune. According to other version, Zygfryd (Siegfried) takes away the treasure formerly given by him to Brunhilda (Brünhild), and she does become Gunnar's wife.


Next, we learn about the quarrel between two queens, Brunhilda (Brünhild), and Gudrun. Gudrun discloses the trickery of how she became Zygfryd's (Siegfried) wife, and how Brunhilda (Brünhild) married Gunnar. Brunhild swears to revenge on. She talks Gudrun's brother, Guthorm, into killing Zygfryd (Siegfried) (another version speaks of Hagen). The murderer has a difficult task; no one can kill Zygfryd (Siegfried) while looking into his disarmingly bright eyes. Zygfryd (Siegfried) is killed from the back. Brunhilda (Brünhild) kills herself with a sword, and perishes with Zygfryd's (Siegfried) body at the stake.

Brothers of Gudrun take away the ring of Andvari dwarf. Gudrun marries Atli. Then Atli wants to have the ring, and to get it, he kills Gudrun's brothers. She, in turn, kills her husband and sons to revenge her brothers. Then Gudrun escapes beyond the sea, and marries Jonakur.

Yes, one could read Scandinavian Epos as series of bloody battles for power and defence of the family's honour. German Epos, on the other hand, emphasises the motive of Zygfryd (Siegfried) and Krymhilda as a happy couple (modified version of Scandinavian Epos concerning characters Sigurd and Gudrun).

In this context, Zygfryd (Siegfried) acquires the features of god Baldr with his indestructible nature of goodness.

The motive of Zygfryd (Siegfried) has many meanings. One of the keys might be Opera and Drama, explaining the leading motives. Correspondence and journals, particularly the beautiful fragment an "shared joy and shared suffering", speak about two essential faces of man's life. Let's regard the motive of Zygfryd (Siegfried) as a way to state a question: which one of those two faces is more frequent in man's life; and which one is the work of the creator?


6. Synthetic experience of myth...


Wagner's work is permeated with the idea of synthetic experience. It is a clear leitmotif, sources of which are present in philosophy, art, culture of Romantic epoch, and its continuation. According to Wagner, culture is a set of symbols and expressions of feelings. History, on the other hand, is a history of experience, reading and rendering symbolic sense culture. Along these lines, one could consider the process of creation as urge to find the traces of syntheses, i.e. natural ways of human world's existence. Creation may be expressed as creative, symbolic, emotional, and conception synthesis.

While working on The Ring..., Wagner was writing several other works at the same time, all about old myths, and their medieval articulation. It seemed that he was looking for a priori synthetic experience in culture dominated by music. His search resulted in The Ring. The 19th century German art strove to revive the philosophy of Kant in order to transform the universalism of a priori mind structures into the Universalism of culture. This encouraged revival of symbolism from old mythological motives. Synthetic experience of art as a myth became the foundation for revival of Kant philosophy in the works of Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer.


Myth, as a priori structure of all experience, is a legacy that has survived till today, and moreover, acquired new articulations. Thanks to Wagnerian art, these experiences are in the consciousness of modern art and audience of art work. Partaking in the event of opera performance dedicated to the Nibelungs Ring, we transcend into a particular dimension of existence, as Roman Ingarden used to say. Universal mythology is a comeback to the sources of human culture where myth is a priori structure of thought. Myth is an event that makes a person aware of facing, sooner or later, the ultimate decisions. Every detail of the choice might result in an avalanche that neither gods, nor mortals will be able to stop. The artist portrays this truth by synthesising old motives of the Ring, Walkirie (Walküre), Zygfryd (Siegfried), Ragnarök (Gods Decline) and world's destiny to perish and be revived. Wagnerian work creates further history of the Nibelungs myth, new articulations of age-long need to find solution to devastation. As a matter of fact, artist is often just a "craftsman". He passes his work, always imperfect, to people who read it, and understand in their own way. Recording work is a certain phase in the development of mythological motives, as well as their manifestations in art.

Every motive, and every great non-defined work are subject to remaking. Every new realisation of the work or its fragments is a different work. New authors of these realisations are responsible for the ultimate result. A great work has many lives. It has many biographies - entangled, never-ending, unclear, open to the world, and human matters. A great work is a kind of myth.



Roots and horizons of conflict prevention seen as principal motive and model in the practical sciences of communication. Essential sphere in the field - is philosophy (methodology) of management.

Philosophy (methodology) of management - there are the questions concerning of conflict prevention today. Comparatively oriented study - it exists in the field of: mythos - arts - technology - right - moral - synthetic sciences of communication etc. Mythos might be considered in the sphere. As a result of the above - it is the study of modelling. Informal model of conflict conception and conflict prevention it is a constitution of context-typology. In the result - we have a text on Nibelungs mythos interpretation with the structure very concrete: (1) concerning polydimesionality and polyfunctionality of Mythos in question, (2) concerning results of study in the field seen as the generalisation and modelling in direction of conflict-conception and conflict prevention aspect. Specificity of model and method of intercultural translation it is a polydimensional hypothesis concerning discovering in the intermediate sphere of mythos, arts, sciences, reality.



Cleasby, R., Vigfússon, G. (1957), An Icelandic-English Dictionary, II ed., Oxford.

Das Nibelungenlied (1886), ed. Karl Bartsch, Lepizig: F.A. Brockhaus.

Deutsche Volkssagen (1978), ed. Leander Petzoldt, München: Verlag C.H. Beck.

Die Lieder der älteren Edda (Saemundar Edda), (1904), ed. von Karl Hildebrand, Paderborn.

Die Lieder der Edda, (1888-1931), ed. von Barent Sijmons und Hugo Gering, Halle a.d. Saale.

Dumézil, G. (1959), Les dieux des Germains. Essai sur la formation de la religion scandinave, ed. II, Paris.

Edda czyli Ksiêga Religii dawnych Skandynawii Mieszkañców (1807), trans. Joachim Lelewel, Wilno.

Edda poetycka (1986), trans. Apolonia Za³uska-Strömberg, Wroc³aw-Warszawa-Kraków-Gdansk-£ód¼: Ossolineum.

Edda to jest Ksiêga Religii dawnych Skandynawii Mieszkañców. Star± Saemudinsk± w wielkiej czê¶ci t³umaczy³, Now± Snorrona skróci³ Joachim Lelewel (1828), Wilno.

Edda. Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern (1914-1968), ed. von Gustav Neckel, T. I, Text, T. II, Kurzes Wörtebuch von Hans Kuhn, Heidelberg.

Gieysztor, A. (1976), The Slavic Pantheon and Comparative Mythology, Quaestiones Medii Aevi, I, p. 7-35,

Gregor-Dellin, M. (1980), R. Wagner. Sein Leben. Sein Werk. Sein Jahrhundert, München-Zürich.

Grimm, J. (1878), Deutsche Mythologie, ed. 4, Ed. E.H. Meyer, Berlin.

Hannesson, J. (1955), Bibliography of the Eddas. A supplement to Bibliography of the Eddas by Halldór Hermannsson, Ithaca N.Y.


Manuscripts of Edda

Codex Reginus (Konungsbók Eddukvaeda) GKS 2365, 4o (Gammel Kongelig Samling), Archives in Reykjavik.

Codex AM 748 I, 4o, Archives in Copenhagen.

Hauksbók AM 544, 4o, Archives in Copenhagen.

Codex Wormianus (Ormsbók) AM 242 fol. Archives in Copenhagen.

Flatevjarbók GKS 1005 fol. Archives in Reykjavik.

Codex Regius (Konugsbók Snorra Eddu) GKS 2367, 4o, Archives in Copenhagen.

NKS (Nye Kongelige Samling) 1108, 1109, fol.; 1866, 1867, 1869 4o, Royal Library Archives in Copenhagen.

Codex Upsaliensis (Uppsala-Edda) nr 11, 4o, Archives in Uppsala.

Codex Trajectinus, University Library Archives in Utrecht.


Nerman, B. (1931), The Poetic Edda in the Light of Archaeology, London.

Podró¿ Skirnira i Thryma oda (1828), transl. Kazimierz Brodziñski, Wilno.

The Poetic Edda (1969), Vol. 1., Heroic Poems, ed. with Transl. Introd. and Commentary by Ursula Dronke, Oxford.

Thompson, E.A. (1967), Atilla and the Huns, Oxford.

Vries, J. De (1941-1942), Altnordische Literaturgeschichte, Berlin u. Lepizig.

Wagner, C. (1976-1977), Die Tagebücher, ed. von Martin Gregor-Dellin and Dietrich Mack, Bd. 1-2, München-Zürich.

Wagner, R. (1907-1911), Gesammelte Schriften und Dichtungen, 12 Bde, Leipzig.

Wagner, R. (1967-1979), Sämtliche Briefe, ed. von Gertrud Strobel and Werner Wolf, Bd. 1-4, Leipzig.

Wagner, R. (1984), Oper und Drama, Stuttgart: Reclam. (Ed. 1. Lepizig 1852).

Wagner, R., Theatre realisation in Warsaw, Archives of Great Theatre, Warsaw.

Copyright by Ludwika Malewska-Mostowicz - Laboratory of Intercultural Translation
[Ostatnia modyfikacja: 18 czerwca 1999 r.]

Adres e-mail: 

[Strona g³ówna | Informacja o Laboratorium | Teksty]