The abstraction of drama : towards an interpretation of the role of mathematics in the work of Iannis Xenakis
Paper i proceeding, 2005

In this essay, I intend to propose an interpretation of the general role of mathematics in the musical and theoretical work of Iannis Xenakis. The Poetics of Aristotle serves as the point of departure: taking my cue from French philosopher Paul Ricœur, I proceed by what might be called a method of generalisation – an approach which, furthermore, is very much in tune with Xenakis’ own way of thinking. By turns, the definitions of imitation (mimēsis), action (praxis), intrigue (mythos) and purgation (katharsis) are all extended so as to encompass a broader spectrum of meaning. In addition, I touch briefly on the important question of dialectics, manifested on many levels in the work of Xenakis, and further develop the implications of my own interpretation. In conclusion, I relate this account to the broader scope of my dissertation project, which revolves around the concept of exile.

Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)

aesthetical and philosophical perspectives


Andrej Slavik

Göteborgs universitet

Proceedings of the International Symposium Iannis Xenakis, Aten, 18-20 maj 2005



Idé- och lärdomshistoria