Classical Music and Literature

Moss, Gemma (2020) Classical Music and Literature. In: Sound and Literature. Cambridge University Press, pp. 92-113. ISBN 9781108855532

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Laura Marcus argues in The Tenth Muse that literary modernism took on filmic devices. This chapter argues that it did the same with music. Newly conscious of forms, languages, systems, and somatic effects, modernist writers turned to music, particularly Wagner, as a paradigm of artistic expression. Wagner reappears in writing – especially by Joyce, Woolf, Eliot and Ford – that eschewed traditional narrative arcs and literary realism, attempting to re-interpret and re-represent human experience with attention to form and style. Reading Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway informed by Wagner’s conception of the leitmotif as an affective, temporal device, and taking into account what Tim Armstrong calls the modernist ‘preoccupation with the non-linear nature of human time’ , shows how Woolf’s characters are constructed by a complex of affects, contexts, and memories.

Item Type: Book Section
Identification Number:
9 March 2018Submitted
31 May 2020Published
Subjects: CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-01 - English studies > CAH19-01-01 - English studies (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of English
Depositing User: Gemma Moss
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 13:09
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 09:28

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