Absolute Music, Absolute Spirit: Re-examining Adorno on Late Beethoven, James Donelan

Event Date: 

Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • HSSB 6056

The Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music and the UCSB Department of Music presents a lecture in the ongoing MUSIC, TEXT, AND THE SPOKEN WORD series: 

"Absolute Music, Absolute Spirit: re-examining Adorno on Late Beethoven"

A Work-in-Progress Talk by James Donelan 

The recent publication of a new edition of Adorno's writings on Beethoven, as well as the development of new philosophical approaches to musicology, presents an excellent opportunity to overturn twentieth-century assumptions about Beethoven's music and to ask new questions about interdisciplinary approaches to cultural studies. Adorno, as both a prominent member of the Frankfurt School and an extraoridnarily influential music critic, has long had the last word on Beethoven, especially the late works, calling them the death of the bourgeois subject. Donelan argues that recent developments in philosophy and musicology lead to the opposite conclusion. However, Adorno's contribution to our comprehension of the connections between philosophy and the arts, even if contradicted will remain extraordinarily significant. 

James Donelan is a lecturer in the UCSB Writing Program. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University and is currently working on a project dealing with Romantic literature, philosophy, and music. 

This event is cosponsored by CISM, the UCSB Department of Music, and the IHC.