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Images of Time and Timelessness: A Musical Reading of Death in Venice

Marlies De Munck

Title:
Images of Time and Timelessness: A Musical Reading of Death in Venice
Author(s):
De Munck, Marlies
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department(s):
Music
Volume:
97
Persistent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Current Musicology
Abstract:
This essay is based on an old, well–known question in aesthetics: how to represent time in its fleetingness without halting, appropriating, objectifying, or transcending it? The question inspires a reading of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice as the account of a transformation in which a wish to overcome time turns into the erotic desire of being delivered to time. As such, the story reflects the tension between two competing views of music: music as an Apollonian play of time–transcending, auditory forms, and music as the Dionysian art in time. A phenomenological reading of Luchino Visconti’s adaptation of the novella complicates this plainly dualistic opposition. The essay traces how the aesthetic suspension of time is contrasted with, but also depends on, the spectator’s real–time experience. Similarly, the two classical, competing views of music stand in a complex dialectical relation to each other and reflect our existential relation to time.
Subject(s):
Composition (Music)
Time
Music
Visconti, Luchino, 1906-1976
Item views
77
Metadata:
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Suggested Citation:
Marlies De Munck, , Images of Time and Timelessness: A Musical Reading of Death in Venice, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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