pa pa pa pa pa pa pa

by Andrea Elizabeth

Kierkegaard (in Either/Or, to page 84, the second stage, seeking, after dreaming) says Tamino in Mozart’s Magic Flute is a pointless, boring character. I suppose this is A’s estimation of the ethicist. Papageno is the alive character who is an active seeker rather than a passive rule-keeper. Tamino keeps the silence while Papageno continually fails that trial. Then A says something very interesting about insanity and music in the context of Tamino, after saying his fluteplaying is a waste of time meant to drive away thoughts while he keeps his vow of silence.

“Music has been used to cure insanity and in  a certain sense this goal has been attained, and yet this is an illusion. When insanity has a mental basis, it is always due to a hardening oat some point in the consciousness. This hardening must be overcome, but for it to be truly overcome the road to be taken must be the very opposite of the one that leads to music. When music is used, one is on the wrong road altogether and makes the patient even more insane, even if he seems not to be so anymore.”

Indeed it pacified but did not cure Saul. It satisfies the desire of the insane. hmmm.

The Magic Flute is the fourth most performed opera in the world. I can see how women would like it better. Pamina and Papagena are pure, beautiful, and wholesomely desirable characters who must be won by the men overcoming trials. The men are sold on them and are not playing around with lots of other women. Men may feel this is unfair, as well as a romantic illusion, but they want their wives, mothers, and sisters happy, so they will take them to see the delightful Magic Flute instead of Don Giovanni.

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