Avant Garde: An American Odyssey from Gertrude Stein to by Robin Maconie

By Robin Maconie

Gertrude Stein and thinker Alfred North Whitehead have been not likely acquaintances who spent such a lot in their mature lives in exile: Stein in France and Whitehead within the usa. Their friendship was once according to a mutual admiration for the philosophical pragmatism of William James and skepticism towards the ecu culture of highbrow abstraction extending way back to Plato and Aristotle. notwithstanding neither used to be musical, either have been major exponents of a brand new orientation towards time and data acquisition that may pass directly to effect succeeding generations of composers. via Virgil Thomson, Stein got here to steer John Cage and the hot York tuition of summary tune; via his instructing within the usa, Whitehead’s philosophy of time and cognition got here to be noticeable in the US and out of the country instead to Newtonian neoclassicism, another essentially said within the metric modulations of Elliott Carter and Conlon Nancarrow in addition to the post-1950 overall serialism of Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The doubtless not likely effect of Stein and Whitehead on Thomson, Cage, Carter, and the minimalists tells a outstanding tale of transmission inside of and one of the arts and philosophy, person who Robin Maconie unravels via his sequence of essays in Avant Garde: An American Odyssey from Gertrude Stein to Pierre Boulez. Maconie explores, from Hollywood to Harvard, the best way tune features as a kind of conversation around the barriers of language, serving the reasons of exchange and international relations via its illustration of nationwide identification, emotional personality, honorable purpose, and social self-discipline. The learn of song as a language necessarily turned the thing of data technological know-how after international warfare II, yet, as Maconie notes, 60 years on, music’s refusal to yield to clinical elucidation has generated a flow of anti-music propaganda through a strong collective of famous person technological know-how writers. In a series of associated essays, Stockhausen expert Robin Maconie reconsiders the position of song and track know-how via cautious exam of key smooth recommendations with recognize to time, life, identification, and courting as formulated by way of such thinkers as Einstein, Russell, Whitehead, and Stein, in addition to Freud, Schoenberg, Wittgenstein, and Marcel Duchamp.

This foray into paintings, track, technology, and philosophy is ideal for college kids and students of those disciplines, in addition to these looking to comprehend extra deeply the effect those contributors had on one another’s paintings and smooth tune.

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Indd 40 09-10-2008 17:05:58 Lipsius, and Aristotelianism to the ideas on perception laid down in Aristotle’s De anima. We shall be using the term ‘Platonism’ (and ‘Neoplatonism’) mainly in relation to the denunciation in Plato’s Republic of an art focusing purely on outward forms, and the converse – that an art capable of penetrating to what lies behind these outward forms would be of value. Where possible, the relevant texts will be indicated whenever these terms are used. 106 This interpretation fails to take into account the fact that the painter-poet shows himself to be perfectly aware that his work stands in a particular literary tradition.

80 Here Van Hoogstraten unhesitatingly equates poetry with painting, in referring to two equivalent Muses: efforts spent on one could equally well have been devoted to the other. 81 Van Hoogstraten’s explicit wish to vie with Virgil and Ovid by writing in Dutch can therefore be compared to his ambitions as a painter. e. they inspire in Dutch as well as in Latin]’;82 he similarly invokes one of the Muses at the beginning of each separate chapter of the Inleyding, and the treatise thus becomes a plea for the art of painting to be invested with the same social and intellectual status as that due to the writing of poetry.

This might indeed have been a treatise with guidelines for a virtuous life. 98 In the seventeenth century, ethics was dominated largely by Neostoicism, one of the most authoritative of the intellectual schools in the Republic that reinterpreted ideas from antiquity. 101 Most of the Inleyding’s philosophical borrowings are accompanied by references to the ancient Stoics, in particular to the works of Plutarch and Seneca. 102 One of the central views of this philosophy is that the rules of meaningful human behaviour are embedded in nature.

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