On Thursday, First Things will be hosting a musical performance and art talk, “Microtonality and the Fragmented Face.” Fragmentation, the breakdown of the unities and coherences that make the world intelligible, is one of the great themes of contemporary life. Our understanding of the world is fragmented: Secular culture lacks a unitive reference point (God) to which to refer the natures and causes of things. Our political life is fragmented—into factions and sub-factions that huddle in virtual enclaves. Our identities are fragmented: We have lost track of the coherence between body and soul, thought and character, habits and personality.
The art and music we will enjoy on Thursday explores the dissolution of some of these unities and harmonies, leaving behind uncertain dissonances and shrouds of personhood. Join us!
Elliot Milco is an editorial assistant at First Things.