When the Music of Psychoanalysis Becomes the Psychoanalysis of Music

David Schwarz. Listening Subjects: Music, Psychoanalysis, Culture.

Scherzinger, Martin

Since the invention of aesthetics in the eighteenth century, philosophers have long taken music as a paradigm case for asserting a realm that is beyond the reach of linguistic signification and implicated instead in an ineffable higher truth about the workings of the world. Whether this interest
took the form of Wackenroder's idealism (in which music occupied a pure angelic domain independent of the actual world), or Schopenhauer's endlessly striving Will (to which music bore the closest of all possible analogies), or Nietzsche's Dionysian strain (which represented the rapturous musical frenzy that destroyed the veils of maya and freed us from norms, images, rules and restraint), or Kierkegaard's analysis of the absolutely musical (which best exemplified the highly erotic striving of the pure un-mediated life force), music has frequently served as a discursive site for speculation on the limits of philosophy, knowledge, and meaning.



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December 19, 2014