The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism: Revolution, Reaction, and William Walton

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A PDF of chapter 1 of this book is available on this website. This material has been published in The Quilting Points of Musical Modernism: Revolution, Reaction, and William Walton by J. P. E. Harper-Scott, and has been reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press.
Abstract:Modernism is both a contested aesthetic category and a powerful political statement. Modernist music was condemned as degenerate by the Nazis and forcibly replaced by socialist realism under the Soviets. Sympathetic philosophers and critics have interpreted it as a vital intellectual defence against totalitarianism, yet some American critics consider it elitist, undemocratic, and even unnatural. Drawing extensively on the philosophy of Heidegger and Badiou, Quilting Points proposes a new dialectical model for faithful, reactive, and obscure subjective responses to modernism, which embraces all the music of Western modernity. Basing its analyses more or less arbitrarily on the music of William Walton, it establishes connexions between the revolutionary politics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the logic of the various subjective responses to the Event of modernism, to show how all modernist music helps to advance our most pressing contemporary concern — an escape from the horrors of the neoliberal present through the transformations of a coming society.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge; New York
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)978-0-521-76521-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

Publication series

NameMusic in Context

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