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The Much-at-Once$
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Bruce W. Wilshire

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823268337

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823268337.001.0001

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Where Are We? Locations and Dis-locations

Where Are We? Locations and Dis-locations

Chapter:
(p.60) Segment Three Where Are We? Locations and Dis-locations
Source:
The Much-at-Once
Author(s):

Bruce W. Wilshire

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823268337.003.0003

Europe aimed to colonize and subjugate the world. Dynamic expansion was in the air: Hegel called Napoleon the World Spirit on horseback and declared that Europe was the goal of history. Meanwhile, the United States was a breathtaking and suspenseful adventure in nation-building: the Experimental Nation. Properly educated, could we govern ourselves according to principles of reason? Revolutionists pledged their sacred honor in creating this nation. This spirit is caught and augmented in the driving, dynamic music of the early and middle Beethoven. This dynamic drive of the Enlightenment is replaced in the later nineteenth century with something quite different in Bruckner. The time integral to Bruckner’s music was more cyclical than linear, with a premonition of a mysterious birth—the mysterious universe itself, that which is beyond our ability to comprehend why it exists at all. Meanwhile Mahler posed questions and difficulties without offering clear resolutions, as if he were trying to awaken us from the technological trance, and Schoenberg struggled to find himself at home by composing sounds of a world in which we do not feel at home, are dis-located—an atonal world.

Keywords:   Beethoven, Bruckner, Enlightenment, colonial Europe, Mahler, music, reason, Romanticism, Schoenberg, United States

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