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Programming Mahler: Meaning, Redescription, and the Post-Adornian Counterlife

Barham, JM (2011) Programming Mahler: Meaning, Redescription, and the Post-Adornian Counterlife Nineteenth-Century Music Review, 8 (2). pp. 255-271.

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In this article Adorno’s approach to Mahler is subjected to linguistic-conceptual critique, in order to highlight its ambiguous philosophical and methodological syncretizing of discourses of epistemological commensurability and hermeneutic incommensurability. As a response to this and to Adorno’s privileging of authorial production as determinant of meaning, this study invokes Richard Rorty’s pragmatist philosophy and aspects of translation theory in order better to understand the world of post-Adornian Mahlerian meaning generated by use of the music in diverse screen works over the last half century. Examples of the ‘re-description’ of Mahler’s music resulting from such usage are discussed in relation to the tradition spawned by Visconti’s Death in Venice and in various contexts of appropriation, fragmentation and juxtaposition through which radical re-configurations of putative meaning take place.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Music and Media
Authors :
Barham, JM
Date : 8 December 2011
DOI : 10.1017/S1479409811000280
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, J
Uncontrolled Keywords : Adorno, Mahler, Screen, Rorty, Redescription, Translation
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published as Barham JM (2011). Programming Mahler: Meaning, Redescription, and the Post-Adornian Counterlife. Nineteenth-Century Music Review 8(2):255-271. Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 27 Jun 2012 11:11
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 10:14

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