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Music, madness, and the unworking of language

Author: John T Hamilton
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, ©2008.
Series: Columbia themes in philosophy, social criticism, and the arts.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"In this study, John T. Hamilton investigates how literary, philosophical, and psychological treatments of music and madness challenge the limits of representation and thereby create a crisis of language. He builds his theses around the decidedly autobiographical impulse of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Here, musical experience and mental disturbance disrupt the expression of referential  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Heinrich von Kleist; Ernst T A Hoffmann; Ernst T A Hoffmann; Heinrich von Kleist
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John T Hamilton
ISBN: 9780231142205 023114220X 9780231512541 0231512546
OCLC Number: 176648781
Description: xviii, 252 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Hearing voices --
Unequal song --
Resounding sense --
The most violent of the arts --
With arts unknown before : Kleist and the power of music --
Before and after language : Hoffmann.
Series Title: Columbia themes in philosophy, social criticism, and the arts.
Responsibility: John T. Hamilton.
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Abstract:

Considers the particular representations that link music and madness, investigating the underlying motives, preconceptions, and ideological premises that facilitate the association of these two  Read more...

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As a study of a literary obsession, Hamilton's book will remain a key text for those interested in the genesis of the idea of ineffable music. Eighteenth Century Music 2/1/2010 [A] superb book... a Read more...

 
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schema:reviewBody""In this study, John T. Hamilton investigates how literary, philosophical, and psychological treatments of music and madness challenge the limits of representation and thereby create a crisis of language. He builds his theses around the decidedly autobiographical impulse of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Here, musical experience and mental disturbance disrupt the expression of referential thought, illuminating irreducible aspects of the self before language can work them back into a discursive system." "Hamilton begins in the 1750s with Diderot's Neveu de Rameau, situating the text in relation to Rousseau's reflections on the voice and the burgeoning discipline of musical aesthetics. Tracing the link between music and madness in the work of Herder, Hegel, Wackenroder, and Kleist, Hamilton then turns his attention to E. T. A. Hoffmann, whose writings in the first decades of the nineteenth century accumulate and qualify the preceding tradition. Throughout, Hamilton considers the particular representations that connect music and madness, investigating the underlying motives, preconceptions, and ideological premises facilitating the association of these two domains." "The gap between sensation and its verbal representation proved especially problematic for romantic writers concerned with the ineffability of selfhood. Authors who engaged in self-representation necessarily faced problems of language, which compromised the uniqueness they wished to express. Music and madness unworked the generalizing functions of language and marked a critical limit in linguistic capabilities. However, as Hamilton demonstrates, although various conflicts between music, madness, and language questioned the visibility of signification, they also raised the possibility of producing meaning beyond signification."--BOOK JACKET."
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