The Voice that Ends Opera: Moses’ Encounter and the Failure of Representation in Schönberg’s Moses and Aaron


This paper treats the failure as well as the paradox of representation staged in Schönberg’s Moses and Aaron in terms of an extended commentary on the Second Commandment. For example, it shows how God is represented in the opera by the very voice that God makes impossible. In addition, it historically situates a critique of the imaginary father of fascism against both Freud and Schönberg’s Moses, with their concern with the insufficiency of the imaginary and with the stuttering occasioned by the “Real,” i.e., by an encounter with that which cannot be represented.

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European Journal of Psychoanalysis