Narrative, splintered temporalities and the unconscious in 20th century music
Imberty, M. (2008). Narrative, splintered temporalities and the unconscious in 20thcentury music. Musicae Scientiae, Special Issue: Narrative in Music and Interaction, 129-146.
Narrative structures the human experience of time, but does it also organise our musical experience? Behind this question lies another one, which concerns the narrative process itself: does it belong solely to the time of consciousness or does it manifest itself through other forms of temporal organisation in the unconscious mind? Psychologists have identified a structure of the experience of time that precedes narrative itself, which can be called "proto-narrative form" and which organises the coherence and unfolding of narrative, as it does perhaps the unfolding of musical form. It may be characterised by its linearity and a strong directionality, implying a clearly perceptible and temporally oriented line of dramatic tension. However, during the 20th century, directionality and linearity have progressively given way to a-directional or poly-directional fragmented forms, implying discontinuities of the temporal flux and the superimposition of multiple lines of dramatic tension that have neither the same progressions nor the same endings. What sense can we give to these new splintered forms of time? We attempt to answer this question from a psychoanalytic perspective. ...