Thursday, October 09, 2014
Simon Critchley's Bowie book arrived last week.
If I were even more of a Heideggerian bore than I am, we could talk about the link between voice (die Stimme) and mood (die stimmung) as that basic activity through which a world is disclosed to us, and disclosed, moreover, emotionally rather than rationally. Bowie's genius, then, is one of interpretation in the sense of Auslegung, or laying (legen) something out (aus), making it accord with us or resound for us sonorously in a way that can hit us hard or soft.
But we need to add an important caveat to this line of thought. Music like Bowei's is not a way of somehow recalling human beings affectively to a kind of pre-established harmony with the world. That would be banal and mundane, literally. Rather, Bowie permits a kind of deworlding of the world, an experience of mood, emotion, or Stimmung that shows that all in the world stimmt nicht--i.e., is not in agreement or accord with the self. In this sense, music is a discord with the world that can allow a certain demundanization, a withdrawal that might permit us to see things in a utopian light.
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