Liminality, Moebius time, and music in David Lynch's Twin Peaks

van Elferen, Isabella (2015) Liminality, Moebius time, and music in David Lynch's Twin Peaks. In: Vom Suchen, Verstehen und Teilen... Wissen in der Fantastik; 24 - 27 Sep 2015, Tubingen, Germany. (Unpublished)


David Lynch’s TV series Twin Peaks (1990-1991) is a Gothic rewriting of the trope of the American home. The nostalgic American smalltown of Twin Peaks reveals itself as a borderland where the real and the imaginary, good and evil, and past and present dwell side by side. Without warning, moral judgment or mercy, the series takes the viewer into a liminal zone of radicalized ambivalence. One of the ways in which Lynch establishes such liminality is through temporal destabilisation. Time appears in the series as alternatively chronological, condensed, and reversed, so that the viewer becomes immersed in a story that destabilizes not only the morality of good and evil, but also that of linear time. Time and reality in Twin Peaks unfold like a Moebius Strip: characters, plot, and the audience move through time in a circular way—but end up at the reverse side of the beginning. Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtrack strongly underlines Twin Peaks’s temporal liminality. creates two new musical ways of interfering with the narrative’s chronology: 1) Non-diegetic, nonlinear soundscape compositions undermine the flow of time; 2) Diegetic dance music engenders another type of chronological disorder, functioning as the liturgy to physical transgressions of time and space. Deleuze and Guattari argue that music is “on the side of the nomadic” because the moment it is activated it challenges existing spatial and temporal constellations (1987): music creates lines of flight opening liminal spaces of temporality and locality. In the case of Twin Peaks, it opens up the way to the flip side of morality, reality, and chronology. Music, in other words, is the Moebius strip that underlies Twin Peaks liminality.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page