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Thresholds of ListeningSound, Technics, Space$
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Sander van Maas

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264377

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264377.001.0001

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Scenes of Inner Devastation

Scenes of Inner Devastation

Interpellation, Finite and Infinite

(p.51) Chapter 3 Scenes of Inner Devastation
Thresholds of Listening

Sander van Maas

Fordham University Press

This chapter comments on Lawrence Kramer's account of musical address by focusing on interpellation as an explanatory model for listener subjectivation. In particular, it discusses two scenes of inner devastation in reference to the debate on listening subjectivity. It considers Kramer's analysis of Jane Campion's film version of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady, the importance of both address and subjectivity in listening, and the role of infinity and negation over against what it sees as an insistence on the finite and positive in Kramer. It distinguishes between finite and infinite interpellation and looks at Orpheus's ascent from Hades as recounted by the neomodernist composer Beat Furrer. The chapter cites Orpheus's turning around (and around) as an illustration of the dark and devastating power of interpellation as an infinite process. It concludes that listening subjectivity always remains behind the one who is interpellated.

Keywords:   listening, Lawrence Kramer, musical address, interpellation, Jane Campion, The Portrait of a Lady, subjectivity, infinity, negation, Orpheus

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