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Listening Awry: Music and Alterity in German Culture

David Schwarz
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Listening Awry
    Book Description:

    In Listening Awry, David Schwarz illustrates how German music spanning two centuries refracts changes in society and culture, as well as the impacts of concepts introduced by psychoanalysis. Structured around four themes—trauma, the other/Other, the look/gaze binary, and Judaism—Listening Awry explores post-Enlightenment music and shows how post-Lacanian psychoanalysis can be applied to ideological interpellation that connects psychoanalysis to culture.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9657-4
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xx)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  5. CHAPTER ONE The Rise of the Conductor and the Missing One
    (pp. 1-26)

    In the eighteenth century, orchestras in Germany, England, France, and Italy performed symphonies with at least two “conductors.”¹ The composer (or his surrogate)² sat at a keyboard or harpsichord filling in harmony, and the concertmaster sat or stood at the head of the first violin section beating time.³ This is the well-known “double direction” of eighteenth-century, European orchestral performance.⁴ Throughout the late eighteenth century, the roles of these conductors underwent a series of gradual transformations, leading to the emergence in the early nineteenth century of the single conductor of the modern era.⁵ I would like to understand this conversion of...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Franz Schubert’s “Die Stadt” and Sublime (Dis)pleasure
    (pp. 27-57)

    The previous chapter tracked the rise of the conductor through a wide range of developments in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, including the increasing complexity of orchestral music, technological developments in instrument design, the emergence of a canonical body of masterpieces, the idea of perfection in music execution, and the notion of a work that transcends the immediate conditions of its initial performance. In short, music was making and taking its place in the public life of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century middle-class life in Europe. At the same time, a new form of introspective, private music, the...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Music and the Birth of Psychoanalysis: Anton Webern’s Opus 6, no.4
    (pp. 58-82)

    The last chapter described a certain “stuckness” in selected songs of Franz Schubert relating reiteration of pitches and chords, nonfunctional sonorities, and static progressions to the delicate sublime. These instances of music sticking might be seen, in the context of the present chapter, to prefigure the ideé fixe (hereafter referred to as the fixed idea) with which much of the discourse of hysteria (particularly in France) was concerned throughout the nineteenth century.¹

    This chapter will explore an early masterpiece of Anton Webern from perspectives that bring together a history of psychoanalysis and analysis of the musical work itself. The task...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Left! Right! Left! Right! Music, Bodies, Fascism
    (pp. 83-117)

    This chapter will focus, after Klaus Theweleit, on the structure of national socialist subjectivity in the texts and music of German war songs.¹ I will focus on songs of World War II and listen back to their antecedents in World War I. This chapter assumes a national socialist subject whose bodily fantasy space has always already been breached by the other and whose entire project within national socialist space is to heal such a wound. The impossibility and necessity of this task locks the national socialist subject in a lethal dimension of drive.²

    InListening Subjects: Music, Psychoanalysis, Culture,I...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Closing the Wound: Parsifal by Richard Wagner and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
    (pp. 118-160)

    This chapter explores representations of alterity in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany in Richard Wagner’s operaParsifal(1882) and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg’s filmParsifal(1982). Having discussed the origins of the libretto, I will examine a wide variety of nineteenth-century writings (including Wagner’s) on the Jewish question. I will then explore the role of Wagner’s music in general andParsifalin particular as ideological support for the project of national socialism. In moving along the trajectory anti-Semitism to Wagner to national socialism, I would like to avoid the trap of black-and-white claims of deterministic cause and effect. I will suggest that the...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 161-212)
  11. Index
    (pp. 213-216)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 217-217)