Freud And The Problem With Music: A History Of Listening At The Moment Of Psychoanalysis
An analysis of voice in performance and literary theory reveals a paradox: while voice is generally thought of as the vehicle through which one expresses individual subjectivity, in theoretical discourse it operates as a placeholder for superimposed content, a storage container for acquired material that can render the subjective voice silent and ineffectual. In grammatical terms, voice expresses the desire or anxiety of the third rather than first person, and as such can be constitutive of both identity and alterity. In historical discourse, music operates similarly, absorbing and expressing cultural excess. One historical instance of this paradox can be seen in the case of Sigmund Freud, whose infamous trouble with music has less to do with aesthetic properties of the musical art form than with cultural anxieties surrounding him, in which music becomes a trope for differences feared to potentially "haunt" the public sphere. As a cultural trope, music gets mixed up in a highly charged dialectic between theatricality and anti-theatricality that emerges at the Viennese finde-Siècle, a dialectic that continues to shape both German historiography and the construction of modernity in contemporary scholarship.
Opera; Richard Wagner; Max Graf
McBride, Patrizia C.
Steinberg, Michael Philip
Siegel, Elke; Schwarz, Anette
Ph. D., Germanic Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis