Music and the Crises of the Modern Subject

Music and the Crises of the Modern Subject

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Departing from the traditional German school of music theorists, Michael Klein injects a unique French critical theory perspective into the framework of music and meaning. Using primarily Lacanian notions of the symptom, that unnamable jouissance located in the unconscious, and the registers of subjectivity (the Imaginary, the Symbolic Order, and the Real), Klein explores how we understand music as both an artistic form created by "the subject" and an artistic expression of a culture that imposes its history on this modern subject. By creatively navigating from critical theory to music, film, fiction, and back to music, Klein distills the kinds of meaning that we have been missing when we perform, listen to, think about, and write about music without the insights of Lacan and others into formulations of modern subjectivity.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 162.56 x 241.3 x 20.32mm | 476.27g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 27 music exx.
  • 0253017203
  • 9780253017208
  • 1,762,108

Review quote

As a work of music theory, Music and the Crises of the Modern Subject represents a unique aesthetic, semiotic, and hermeneutic approach more commonly found in musicology. It takes advantage of every opportunity to challenge music theory's comfortable obsession with closed systems of analysis. . . . Klein is clearly one of today's leading scholars of musical narrative and subjectivity. * Notes * Klein (Temple Univ.) uses the theoretical frameworks of recent French critical theory, notably the thought of Jacques Lacan, to build a bridge between poststructural criticism and music. . . Highly recommended. * Choice * It is a consequence of the richness of Michael Klein's Music and the Crises of the Modern Subject that we are able to trope endlessly upon it, to spin out our own arabesques of musical thought. If the contexts that I have presented above help in any way to ensure that this precious book will be widely read and integrated into one's work as a researcher, teacher, and musician, then they will have served their purpose. * Music Theory Spectrum *
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About Michael L. Klein

Michael Klein is Professor of Music Studies at Temple University. He is author of Intertextuality in Western Art Music (IUP, 2004) and editor (with Nicholas Reyland), of Music and Narrative since 1900 (IUP, 2012).
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Table of contents

1. Music and the Symptom
2. The Acoustic Mirror as Formative of Auditory Pleasure and Fantasy: Chopin's Berceuse, Brahms's Romanze, and Saariaho's "Parfum de l'instant"
3. Debussy and the Three Machines of the Proustian Narrative
4. Chopin Dreams: the Mazurka in C# Minor as Sinthome
Intermezzo: On Agency
5. Postmodern Quotation, the Signifying Chain, and the Erasure of History
6. Lutosawski, Molar and Molecular
Works Cited
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