Introduction: The Sense of a Beginning

in The Philosophy of Improvisation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226662787
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226662800 | DOI:
Introduction: The Sense of a Beginning

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This chapter is an initial sketch that is mainly occupied with identifying some of the central themes to be addressed throughout this book. Chief among these is the dialectic (Walter Benjamin) or co-presence (Martin Heidegger) of preservation and destruction regarding the past understood as tradition. The Angelus Novus of Benjamin's famous vision of Paul Klee's painting of that name is ever present in the tragic predicament of the improvisor as described throughout this book. It begins by discussing an extended account of free-improvisation. Free-improvisation is presented as a predicament within which the artist performer is saddled with the “tragic” task of preserving the beginning of art without destroying the freedom of this origin through the creation of an artwork conceived as an end. Moreover, the book also tries to save improvisation. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords: free-improvisation; improvisation; Walter Benjamin; Martin Heidegger; Paul Klee; artwork; end; Angelus Novus

Chapter.  2725 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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