Real feelings: music as path to philosophy in 2001: A Space Odyssey

Code, D.J. (2010) Real feelings: music as path to philosophy in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Twentieth-Century Music, 7(2), pp. 195-217. (doi:10.1017/S1478572211000168)

Code, D.J. (2010) Real feelings: music as path to philosophy in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Twentieth-Century Music, 7(2), pp. 195-217. (doi:10.1017/S1478572211000168)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1478572211000168

Abstract

A recurring trope in the literature on Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey holds that the HAL 9000 computer has more feelings than any of the human characters. But the film itself presents the question of HAL's ‘real feelings’ as something no one can truthfully answer. One way to begin negotiating this contradiction is by attending anew to the way the Jupiter Mission episode, in which HAL appears, is cut to the Adagio from Khachaturian's ballet Gayane, the excerpt that remains the least discussed in this renowned compilation score. Suggesting that the elusive affect of this music, as it is deployed through several interrelated scenes, brings focus to questions of emotion and embodiment that fundamentally inform the conflict between human and machine, I go on to offer a new hearing of HAL's unforgettable death song ‘Daisy Bell’ in this light, and to re-evaluate some of the director's own words about his film. Ultimately, I carry the same questions forward to inform a contribution to the ongoing debate about the Nietzschean philosophical inflections occasionally thought to enter the film with its much more famous cue from Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Code, Dr David
Authors: Code, D.J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Journal Name:Twentieth-Century Music
ISSN:1478-5722

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