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Modal SubjectivitiesSelf-Fashioning in the Italian Madrigal$
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Susan McClary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234932

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234932.001.0001

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The Desiring Subject, or Subject to Desire: Arcadelt

The Desiring Subject, or Subject to Desire: Arcadelt

Chapter:
(p.57) Three The Desiring Subject, or Subject to Desire: Arcadelt
Source:
Modal Subjectivities
Author(s):

Susan McClary

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520234932.003.0003

What is desire? Does it emanate from that part of the individual recognized as “the Self,” or does it spring up unbidden as an independent force and drive the Self in directions contrary to “the will?” And, given that these and still other possible understandings may occur at various times within the boundaries of a single human organism, what do they imply with respect to the definition of subjectivity? The twentieth century put such questions in the foreground of psychoanalytic theory, which trickled down quite rapidly into the arts and cultural criticism. Because the madrigal from the very outset seeks to simulate through music the interiority of desiring subjects—or selves subject to desire—it offers an extraordinary site for investigating the history of Selfhood. This chapter looks at a particular historical moment and the ways in which its musicians understood subjectivity: how sixteenth-century composers rendered in music notions of selfhood, interiority, and passions, focusing on one of the earliest architects of musical desire, Jacques Arcadelt.

Keywords:   Self, musical desire, Jacques Arcadelt, subjectivity, madrigal, composers, interiority, passions

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