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After Debussy – Music, Language, and the Margins of Philosophy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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After Debussy: Music, Language, and the Margins of Philosophy

Julian Johnson


This book explores an idea of music, exemplified by the work of Debussy, in dialogue with a parallel movement in French literary and philosophical thought. Its central thesis is that modern music and philosophy converge on the same set of problems but from opposite directions. Through close readings of selected musical works it argues that Debussy’s rethinking of the relation between sound and grammar anticipates and complements the defining problem of modern philosophy – the gap between language and a sensory relation to the world, between abstract systems of signification and embodied experi ... More

Keywords: philosophy, language, aesthetics, grammar, sense, spectralism, musical modernism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190066826
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190066826.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Julian Johnson, author
Regius Professor of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London