Literature and Music

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Michael J. Meyer
Rodopi, 2002 - Social Science - 238 pages
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This collection of essays centers on musical elements that authors have employed in their work, thus joining heard sounds to a visual perception of their stories. The spectrum of authors represented is a wide one, from Pound to Durrell, from Steinbeck to Cather, from Beckett to Gaines, but even more unusual is the variety of musical type represented. Classical music (the quartet, the fugue, the symphony), Jazz (the jazz riff and jazz improv) and the spiritual all appear along with folk song and so-called random “noise.”Such diversity suggests that there are few limits when readers consider how great writers utilize musical styles and techniques. Indeed, each author seems to realize that it is not the type of music that s/he chooses to employ that is important. Rather, it is the realization that such musical elements as harmony, dissonance, tonal repetition and beat are just as important in prose composition as they are in poetry and song. The essayists have selected some works that may be considered obscure and some that are modern classics. Each one, however, has captured one of the varied ways in which words and music complement and enhance each other.
 

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Contents

Introduction
5
Music in Willa Cathers Fiction
23
The Enslaving Power of Folksong in Jean Toomers Cane
47
Samuel Becketts Ping and Serialist Music Technique
71
Reine Dugas Bouton
77
Music and Gender in Howards End Sinister
89
The Literary Spiritual
117
Lawrence DurrelYs Alexandria Quartet
135
Music as a Locus of Social Conflict and Social Connection
145
Musical Scores
157
Steinbecks Implementation and Adaptation
183
Gayl Jones Corregidora
203
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Page 5 - There is sweet music here that softer falls Than petals from blown roses on the grass, Or night-dews on still waters between walls Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass; Music that gentlier on the spirit lies, Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes; Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies. Here are cool mosses deep, And thro...
Page 7 - Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows Like harmony in music; there is a dark Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles Discordant elements, makes them cling together In one society. How strange that all The terrors, pains, and early miseries, Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused Within my mind, should e'er have borne a part, And that a needful part, in making up The calm existence that is mine when I Am worthy of myself!

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