how to sustain an intellectual conversation (in your head)

one thread of the scott/amundsen post refers (without saying so) all the way back to something kogan wrote in why music sucks in 1989 or so: which i have been puzzling away at ever since — explanation in the FT footnotes when i get round to em (i hope and plan)

blue notes on the modern bürgerliches trauerspiel

As much as anything as an act of expiation, grief and guilt from safe exile — as if to say ‘Wish you were here’ — Adorno begins his Philosophy of Modern Music (1948) with a long crabbed mouthful of a quote from his dead friend Walter Benjamin, on the history of philosophy “viewed as the science of origins”, as being “that process which, from opposing extremes, and from the apparent excesses of development, permits the emergence of the configuration of an idea as a totality… ” The book that follows unfortunately merely juxtaposes Schoenberg and Stravinsky, only the extremes of development of “modern music” if your view is really quite intellectually parochial — certainly it’s hard to envisage Adorno writing well about (say) Jelly Roll Morton or Bessie Smith, but there you go. Still, the idea of attempting to juxtapose extremes — at least as a technique or habit — is pretty good critical practice, I think.  Continue reading “blue notes on the modern bürgerliches trauerspiel”