This is so peculiar, I didn’t think the exo/eso could manifest in this form

His Fifth Symphony, the work that he wrote to save his career — perhaps his life — after being subject to severe criticism for the “formalism” of his earlier music, is a searing, dramatic work that builds to a powerful conclusion, a conclusion that, according to the socialist realist canons he was being pressed to follow

Who knows what could be hidden in any of these forms

This idea of esotericism in music is so new to me I just don’t know where to begin.

Dance? I want to just rule that out, then I think, who knows at this rate? The only genre of the arts I really know is parody, I swear.

Look at this, another Russian’s treatment of “my problematic fave”

In the paragraph that follows this they talk about “painting between the lines” too. There are obviously going to be posts about this in the future I’m going to have to make. I’m in a kind of stunned state where I wonder “How is it even possible?” I already knew Shostakovich was a genius, I just didn’t think he could’ve taken it even further than I knew… “Well yeah he’s a genius, what did you expect?”

It could be novelists too

how diabolically wily centuries of official culture have made Russian artists and writers

I’m used to just studying philosophers through this lens. I was floored when I found that Dante study the other day. The idea that esotericism could be in music, today’s the first day I ever thought of that in my life. And I’ve been studying satire and how a double-meaning is used to mess with people’s minds for years!

It is not, of course, only in Eastern Europe and Russia that we have had ample opportunity to observe the consequences of censorship for literature.

I keep thinking of this image of Badiou and Zizek and how it represents the stereotype between western and eastern europe

It’s all just formality. Both sides are totalitarian, one side just knows how to wear nicer clothes and look proper doing it.

Ugh I’d like to find a book on this

The vast majority of expressions of philosophic esotericism, I would suggest, resemble Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony more than his Tenth. 

There’s a documentary on the Fifth Symphony here. Written at the peak of Stalinism.

Where are we now in our own culture? The Stalinists will tell you it’s all fine and dandy. I don’t care what they think about it. The very notion of the exo/eso applies to them too. They want to make sure people are quiet. Obviously they’d lie about the fact that they’re doing it. Where are we?

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