Wittgenstein on Mahler

In Danièle Moyal-Sharrock, Volker A. Munz & Annalisa Coliva (eds.), Mind, Language and Action: Contributions to the 36th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society (2013)
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In this paper I explain Wittgenstein’s ambivalent remarks on the music of Gustav Mahler in their proper musico-philosophical context. I argue that these remarks are connected to Wittgenstein’s hybrid conception of musical decline and to his tripartite scheme of modern music. I also argue that Mahler’s conundrum was indicative of Wittgenstein’s grappling with his own predicament as a philosopher, and that this gives concrete sense to Wittgenstein’s admission that music was so important to him that without it he was sure to be misunderstood.
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Archival date: 2013-08-18
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