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Deep RefrainsMusic, Philosophy, and the Ineffable$
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Michael Gallope

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226483559

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226483726.001.0001

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A Paradox of the Ineffable

A Paradox of the Ineffable

(p.33) Prelude A Paradox of the Ineffable
Deep Refrains

Michael Gallope

University of Chicago Press

In 1818, Arthur Schopenhauer first described a paradox: if music copied the blind force of the unconscious will of all life, it could only do so by becoming mediated. The opening prelude of the book argues that Schopenhauer, as well as Nietzsche, made a significant break with the Romantic tradition known for venerating music’s metaphysical depths—as transcendent tones, nature, the essence of life, an affective longing, or the thing-in-itself—by giving its ineffability a distinct form: that of the unmediated copy. The prelude contends that Schopenhauer ultimately turns to an array of Platonisms that circumvent the richness of the very paradoxes he had discovered. By contrast, Bloch, Adorno, Jankélévitch, and Deleuze show how the paradoxical tensions of Schopenhauer’s unmediated copy deserve sustained philosophical attention. By repositioning what Schopenhauer disavowed as the central axis of a philosophical inquiry, all four of these philosophers demonstrate that the paradox of music’s ineffability might be productively developed through an array of sophisticated and in many ways contrasting dialectical methods.

Keywords:   Schopenhauer, Arthur, Nietzsche, Friedrich, Dialectics

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