Title

Beethoven and the Test of Faith

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2020

Publication Title

Angelaki

Volume

25

Issue

6

First page number:

72

Last page number:

88

Abstract

Hélène Cixous’s engagement with faith is a significant but overlooked facet of her work. Focusing on Beethoven à jamais ou l’existence de Dieu [Beethoven Forever or the Existence of God] (1993), this article contends that Cixous envisions faith as the ground and horizon of both artistic creation and love. To illustrate this point, the author focuses on Cixous’s idiosyncratic portrayal of Ludwig von Beethoven. Her representation of Beethoven as an impassioned lover and artist runs against the grain of the canonical depiction of the composer as a “great man” or a “heroic individual,” as found in the writings of Romain Rolland and Sigmund Freud. For Cixous, love and writing both stem from an unpredictable, joyful event that infinitely exceeds our understanding. Both are predicated on a state of “active passivity” that clears the ground for the event of passion and creation to occur without predetermining what it will be.

Keywords

Cixous; Beethoven; Kierkegaard; Rolland; Freud; Faith

Disciplines

French and Francophone Literature

Language

English

UNLV article access

Search your library

Share

COinS