Representations of Trauma

Arnold Schoenberg, Survivor from Warsaw Op. 46

I’m happy to share with you that my monograph When Music Meets History: Representations of Trauma, from Auschwitz to the Financial Crisis  (in Greek) is forthcoming by Asini Publications, Athens. The book deals with issues of representing historical and political trauma in music, focusing on opera and musical theatre. Taking Auschwitz as a limit to traditional forms of representation, the book examines postwar debates primarily set by Theodor W. Adorno’s hermetical modernism and Bertolt Brecht’s dialectical theatre, exploring their proposed strategies in resisting the aestheticization of trauma. Under examination is the use of musical form, style, and aesthetics but also issues of reception, musical institutions and historical context. The book proposes an active kind of cultural mourning that forges spaces for critical thinking and debate about collective traumas of the past. It explores works by Arnold Schoenberg, Hanns Eisler, John Adams, Vasos Argyrides and Kharalampos Gogios. Its theoretical preoccupations and analysis have informed the sound installations I created together with Nektarios Pappas on music, sound and torture.

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