Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 24 June 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the “being in the moment” sought after and celebrated by improvisers. Through an initial reference to Hegel’s phenomenology of the “unhappy consciousness,” the discussion proper begins with Soren Kierkegaard’s commentary and existential radicalization of this in Either/Or. Understood as precisely an out-of-the-moment experience, such unhappiness is here understood as being at the heart of much post-romantic art, exemplified in Theodor Adorno’s perspective on the yearning of modernism understood as the promesse de Bonheur. If unhappiness, conceived as temporal dislocation, is considered essential to art, then the question is posed as to how improvisation’s desire for temporal resolution fits (if at all) into such an aesthetic schema. A conclusion is drawn by combining Kierkegaard’s proto-existentialism with both Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology of internal time-consciousness (retention/intention/protention) and Maurice Blanchot’s writings on solitude, fascination, and “time’s absence.” The result is a far more complex and temporally differentiated conception of the “being in the moment” moment, one that attempts to do justice to the interlaced continuity and discontinuity of the improvised event.

Keywords: moment, unhappiness, improvisation, temporality, time-consciousness, protention, retention, solitude, fascination

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.