Debussy and the Fragment (Chiasma 18) by Linda Cummins

By Linda Cummins

Instead of stable frames, a few below ideal aesthetic items have permeable membranes which permit them to diffuse without problems into the standard global. within the parallel universes of song and literature, Linda Cummins extols the poetry of such imperfection. She areas Debussy's paintings inside of a practice thriving on anti-Aristotelian rules: motley collections, crumbling ruins genuine or faux, sizeable hybrids, patchwork and palimpsest, hasty sketches, ellipses, truncated beginnings and endings, meandering arabesques, beside the point digressions, auto-quotations. delicate to the intermittences of reminiscence and adventure and with a willing ear for ironic intrusion, Cummins attracts the reader into the Western cultural earlier looking for the strangely ubiquitous aesthetic of the incomplete, negatively silhouetted opposed to expectancies of rational coherence. Theories popularized via Schlegel and embraced via the French Symbolists are just the 1st waypoint on an elaborately illustrated travel attaining again to Petrarch. Cummins meticulously applies the derived effects to Debussy's ratings and reveals convincing correlations during this chiasmatic crossover. CONTENTS creation bankruptcy 1: Ruins of conference; Conventions of destroy bankruptcy 2: Beginnings and Endings bankruptcy three: Arcadias and Arabesques bankruptcy four: The cartoon bankruptcy five: Auto-Quotation bankruptcy 6: Preludes: A Postlude Bibliography

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Like the medieval monsters that must inhabit only the margins of manuscripts or the edges of maps, Don Quixote exists on the fringes of acceptable society, and Cervantes’ story exists on the fringes of acceptable narrative. When ancient, monstrous creatures are brought into the light of modern thought, they seem silly and useless; when Cid Hamete’s ancient manuscripts are brought out of their dark hiding places, they crumble; when Don Quixote is brought back to his real life, brought back in from the edge, he dies.

92 Many discussions of Lucinde dwell on the work as representative of Schlegel’s theories, but Lucinde is also a work of literature, not just a work of theory. Schlegel chose the subject matter and the form because they served each other. , 1970), 64. My emphasis. 91 Firchow, introduction to Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments, 32. 92 Quotations from Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments, 45. 50 Debussy and the Fragment recreated in memory, not as real events occurred, not as laws of narrative dictate, but remade by imagination, embroidered with emotion, reordered and refocused, in the full overabundance and confusion of love.

Rarely, if ever, does one of Schlegel’s little hedgehogs, no matter how “isolated … and 96 This list is expanded from Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy, 40. Firchow, introduction to Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments, 16. 98 Friedrich Schlegel’s Lucinde and the Fragments, 170. ”100 Against the disorder of this bizarre mixture of incomplete, miniature genres on wide-ranging topics, Schlegel raises the expectation of plan, system—unity—through the tension he creates between the aphorism as a complete statement and the incompletion of the fragment, between the fragment’s right to stand on its own and its need to reach out both to other members of the collection (some containing content that will contradict, others that will confirm) and outside the work itself to the external knowledge and experiences of the reader.

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