The article reads Sigmund Freud and Claudio Monteverdi’s understanding of musicality, its affinity with rhetoric, and the way this relation informs their individual oeuvres. Both Monteverdi and Freud, each in his own way, were condemned to live with an aversion to musicality that strengthened their hermeneutics of psychic and discursive disturbance. Through the specific rhetorical figure of the musical lament found in psychoanalytical discourse, the article demonstrates the way dissonances implicate opera, the madrigal, and the talking-cure, making aporetic claims, especially in the face of Freud’s self-attestation—his resolute conviction that he was “ganz unmusikalisch”—which astonishingly matches Monteverdi’s own resistance to music.

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