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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Author
Goetz Egloff, Practice for Psychoanalysis, Mannheim, Germany
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Abstract
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.
Keywords
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
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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