Existing in Time: John Updike´s “The Music School” (1966)
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 5, Issue 5, September 2017, Pages: 46-51
Received: Jun. 28, 2017; Accepted: Jul. 17, 2017; Published: Aug. 11, 2017
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Goetz Egloff, Practice for Psychoanalysis, Mannheim, Germany
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The essay addresses issues of existence and time in John Updike´s short story, “The Music School”, which was published in 1966 in a short story collection by the same name. While waiting for his daughter in a music school, the writer Alfred Schweigen reflects on the complexities of life, describing his thoughts and impressions. In his everyday dealings with reality, by way of contrasting materiality to immateriality he attempts to make sense of existence as it comes into view. Especially, time not so much as an objective category but as a matter of subjective experiencing is an important aspect. Time as a musical category of rhythm, and as rhythm of life and of transience, is a topos the narrator makes a draft on, approaching an existential view of real-world issues through life philosophy. Some others of Updike´s stories of the sixties make for a thematic kinship, so that it becomes obvious that existence in reference to time provides a point of departure to gain insight into being.
John Updike, “The Music School”, Short Story, Time, Existence, Literary Modernism
To cite this article
Goetz Egloff, Existing in Time: John Updike´s “The Music School” (1966), International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 5, No. 5, 2017, pp. 46-51. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20170505.11
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
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