Elective Affinities: Musical Essays on the History of Aesthetic Theory

Hardcover | October 27, 2008

byLydia Goehr

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As illustrated in Goethe's famous novel of the same name, elective affinities are powerful relationships that crystallize under changing conditions. In this new book, Lydia Goehr focuses on the history of elective affinities between philosophy and music from German classicism, romanticism, and idealism to the modernist aesthetic theory of Theodor W. Adorno and Arthur C. Danto. Aesthetic theory, she argues, depends on a dynamic philosophy of history centered on tendencies, yearnings, needs, and potentialities. With this in mind, she recasts the theses of Adorno and Danto regarding the death or end of philosophy, art, music, and human experience as arguments for continuation and survival. Elective Affinities tracks the migration of aesthetic and critical theory from Germany to the United States following the catastrophic period of the twentieth century marked by the Second World War.

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As illustrated in Goethe's famous novel of the same name, elective affinities are powerful relationships that crystallize under changing conditions. In this new book, Lydia Goehr focuses on the history of elective affinities between philosophy and music from German classicism, romanticism, and idealism to the modernist aesthetic theor...

Lydia Goehr is professor of philosophy at Columbia University and the author of The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music and The Quest for Voice: Music, Politics, and the Limits of Philosophy. With Daniel Herwitz, she is the editor of The Don Giovanni Moment: Essays on the Legacy of an Opera.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:408 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 27, 2008Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231144806

ISBN - 13:9780231144803

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[Goehr's] analysis is erudite, lucid, and always suggestive.... [Elective Affinities is] genuinely magnificent and lastingly influential.