Following from the previous post, to quote critics and philosophers, which I occasionally do on this blog, has some use, namely to confirm the best part of oneself. In this it’s similar to the young artist’s imitation of work that inspires them. Adorno can be a bit relentless, and part of the reason is a style that circles around the matter endlessly, repeating the same arguments. But occasionally he relaxes a bit, as in “Toward an Understanding of Schoenberg,” from which I draw the following: “His music is not satisfied with the language it finds at hand, but instead creates its own, out of itself.” How nice to know that Schoenberg and I share the same ambition. In my case the important thing is “out of itself,” not dissatisfaction with what is given in art, though that does exist, variably.
Schoenberg revered Mahler and served as a pallbearer at the funeral. This work made me think about other graves: Guercino’s Petronilla Altarpiece and certain pictures by Tiepolo which take a view from out of the grave looking up, a perspective very natural for a ceiling painting—but couldn’t find usable images.