Re: Quick guide to postmodernism & time

Subject: Re: Quick guide to postmodernism & time
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Wed Oct 05 2005 - 11:15:58 EDT

I begin to think that the underlying basis is not being fully
addressed here, and that is, time. (What is time?)

For the "romantic" artist, time moved 'forwards', Richard Wentk's
proposal of temporal narrative is possible. The world was
'mechanistic' (even parts of the worlds of some other cultures).

There were new concepts afoot in the early 20th century. The
"linearity" of time was being challenged. "Nude Descending a
Staircase", and Chapter 11 of Ulysses challenge the spatial and
linearly temporal artists' ability to express simultaneity. This had
not been an issue for musicians as simultaneity is in our stock and

Quantum mechanics proposed a "chunking" of time and space; possibly,
modernism proposes that time is still 'analog', but is now chunked /
quantized / sampled, and is 'linear' (serial) in presentation.

Possibly, post-modernism does not build upon the 'analog' nature of
time and matter (= energy), but upon the quantization of both, with a
fundamental shift occuring from the "arrow" of time, to a 'mosaic' of
time. (Consider "Pulp Fiction" as a 'populist expression of the
re-ordering of chunks of time.)

Sculptors (and architects) are a breed similar to musicians, which is
why it is possible to dance to architecture. There is no "single"
point of view where the whole object can be seen. (The architect is
perhaps even more similar to the musician and dancer in that there
are internal forms and processes to which the viewer has no access
except through the creation of a mental image of the whole.)

The "internal representation" of 'objects', and one may consider more
important, "processes and relationships", may be part of the
distinction between the M and Post-M. MAX and algorithmic composition
grew out of the AI (modernist) desire to discover how linear time is
/ or may be organized, and as an artifact of this process, tumbled
down the rabbit-hole of Post-M.

Is it that 'Modernists' (still) created objects, while Post-M's also
have the possibility of creating processes (and relation-based
'objects). This (over-simplified) division is seen in language where
there are 'objects' (Peter Austin), and relationships, "my brother".
"Brother" is a relationship that a very large percentage of the
world's population experiences (while few experience 'Peter Austin').

And the forms of "relationship" are often cultural in designation and
division. As I understand it, in english, the brother of one of my
parents is "my uncle", but so is the husband of a parent's sister.

(Aunt is a woman related to a parent as sister or sister-in-law.)

In some languages, the word "uncle" is too coarse. There will be
single (or semi-combinative) terms for "my father's younger brother",
"my father's older brother". "my father's older sister's husband",
"my mother's younger brother's wife" ...

The temporal narrative is (now?) also open to re-interpretation ...
feminism, psychoanalytic models etc etc. Even 'tradition bound'
interpretations can be re-assessed. We can now see Hamlet as a
psychotic teenager who goes around killing people based upon "seeing
a ghost". his meds weren't working that day either.

>On 4 Oct, 2005, at 18:42, Richard Wentk wrote:
>>Most verbal narratives, in the sense of novels, dramas, films,
>>mythologies, and so on, aren't just stories with characters and
>>some kind of a plot. The defining element is that they're really
>>*fables* with a definite moral premise.
>>The narrative exists to communicate and illustrate this premise,
>>and not as a structural entity for its own sake. (If you study
>>fiction writing this one of the first things you learn.)
>>Now, the author may be dead [time out], and this doesn't mean that
>>verbal narratives are accurate or reliable or can't be questioned.
>>That's a different topic.

See above.

>>But it does mean the foundation of verbal narrative and musical
>>narrative can't be so very closely related.

Hmmm, Perhaps one could listen to Peter Schickele's narrative of the
first movement of the Beethoven Fifth. In a number of music
appreciation books I've seen, it's has been proposed that the 'verbal
narrative' and the musical narrative may be very close. Example?
     William Tell Overture
     Leonore No 3
     Schubert Eighth Symphony First Movement
     Transfigured Night
     Gesang der junglinge
     Mass in b minor
     Harris Third Symphony
     Chaikovsky Fifth (or Sixth)
     Mozart Piano Sonata in F
     Chopin "Raindrop" Etude
     Das Lied von der Erde
     Handel Concerto Grosso Op 6 #11 (A major)

and in non-linear narrative
     Einstein on the Beach
     Marteau sans maitre
     mobile Al

One of the better jokes of the day <<<<8-()>>>>>

>>... never mind song, which is a hybrid form



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