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Att åternormalisera genombrottet

Categories: Kulturellt
Wednesday, Oct 8, 2014

Slavoj Zizek hade en webchat med Guardians läsare idag, och fick bl.a. frågan “Stravinsky or Schoenberg?” Det ligger en hel del i hans svar, syns det mig…

Of course, this question probably refers to Adorno’s book of philosophy on new music. And I agree with it totally. I am against Stravinsky, for Schoenberg. I think that when we get a breakthrough in art, like with Schoenberg, we always get then accompanying it, a figure like Stravinsky. Renormalising the breakthrough. Cutting off the subversive edge of the breakthrough. And I think again the same goes for other arts, for example, in modern painting, it would have been Picasso vs Braque. I think Picasso is Stravinsky in painting, with his eclecticism, while Georges Braque is the thorough modernist ascetism. Even in literature, although the homology is not perfect, I’m tempted to say Joyce vs Beckett. Joyce is I think too bright for his own good. It’s too pretentious in this encyclopaedic approach, like using all languages in Finnegan’s Wake; the true genius is for me Samuel Beckett. If I were to choose one novel of the 20th century, it’s his Unnameable. I think that the three absolute masters of 20th century literature are Beckett, Kafka and the Russian Andrei Platonov. If you put the three of them together, I’m ready to burn, sacrifice all other books just to keep these three. I think even much of high modernist writing is overrated. For example, if I were to choose between Virginia Woolf and Daphne du Maurier, I would immediately choose du Maurier. We shouldn’t be afraid to admit this.

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