On memory, nostalgia, and the temporal expression of Josquin’s Ave Maria… virgo serena

Continental Philosophy Review 52 (4):397-413 (2019)
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I draw upon Edmund Husserl’s classic text, On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time, in order to reframe some of his insight regarding the structures of inner time-consciousness and lay the groundwork for a few claims of my own. First, I show how musical expression is constituted in relation to the flowing movement of absolute subjectivity. Moreover, by carefully distinguishing between retention and recollection, I clarify, on the one hand, music’s ability to support access to memory proper and, on the other hand, its ability to keep the past “in play,” so to speak. In this way, we come to understand how music offers a unique memorial capacity—it makes possible the life of the past, as the vital movement of absolute subjectivity. Throughout the essay, I refer to Josquin’s motet Ave Maria…virgo serena in order to clarify the specific temporal structures that are at issue.



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