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The Philosophy of Improvisation$
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Gary Peters

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226662787

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226662800.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Introduction: The Sense of a Beginning

Introduction: The Sense of a Beginning

(p.1) Introduction: The Sense of a Beginning
The Philosophy of Improvisation
University of Chicago Press

This chapter is an initial sketch that is mainly occupied with identifying some of the central themes to be addressed throughout this book. Chief among these is the dialectic (Walter Benjamin) or co-presence (Martin Heidegger) of preservation and destruction regarding the past understood as tradition. The Angelus Novus of Benjamin's famous vision of Paul Klee's painting of that name is ever present in the tragic predicament of the improvisor as described throughout this book. It begins by discussing an extended account of free-improvisation. Free-improvisation is presented as a predicament within which the artist performer is saddled with the “tragic” task of preserving the beginning of art without destroying the freedom of this origin through the creation of an artwork conceived as an end. Moreover, the book also tries to save improvisation. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords:   free-improvisation, improvisation, Walter Benjamin, Martin Heidegger, Paul Klee, artwork, end, Angelus Novus

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