Heretical Quodlibets

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By Vladimir Godar

Translated by David McLean

ISBN: 9781628975123

Publication Date:  01/30/2024


Originally published in 1998, Heretical Quodlibets is an exercise in thinking that takes its reader on a wild journey through the cultural and philosophical history of mankind, spanning the classical writings of ancient Greece and Rome, through the Middle Eastern thought and the scholarship of the European Middle Ages, up to works of the 20th century.

The author makes no pretensions to being right in his often revolutionary conclusions which he bases on far-ranging connections between events, concepts, and hypotheses, irreverently playing with ideas, undermining the commonly received and rediscovering the forgotten.

“If the reader, after perusing some of the texts of this work, says that he’s never read a bigger bunch of nonsense in his life, then everything is O.K. And if, despite this, he were to pick up this book again, then this would mean that I in fact didn’t write it only for myself.”


"The music of Godár sounds, to me, like the music of a time in which religious ritual has died and what was prayer is now dramatic exclamation, what was faith is now the enthrallment of beauty. The old ritual forms are often invoked by Godár, for those forms still hold music well, but Godár’s music is a renunciation of piety and a restoration, a worship, of the anguish needed to awaken our souls. [...] The aesthetics of music survive with ease the present shift from the church into theater, the concert hall, films such as those for which Godár writes scores. It is the music, the tones, that are enduring, not the beliefs that they are regarded as serving at a particular place and time."Music & Literature

Biographical Information

Vladimír Godár (born,1956, in Bratislava, Slovakia) is an internationally acclained composer of vocal-instrumental (oratories Orbis sensualium pictus, Mater, Querela pacis), symphonic (a trilogy Dariachanghi’s Orchard, a myth; 2nd Symphony, a ritual; Via lucis, a meditation) and chamber pieces, and dozens of film scores. His musicological works deal with music poetics (Bow and Lyre) and semiotics (Alla Battaglia, The Birth of Opera from the Spirit of Rhetorics, De Musica), and history of art.