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Musicality of a Literary Work

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Andrzej Hejmej

This book represents an attempt to capture different links between modern literature and music. The author examines strict intertextual correlations, the phenomena of musicality and musicality of literary works, the musical structure in literature, so-called musical literary texts. He focuses on the novel Le Cœur absolu by Philippe Sollers, the poem Todesfuge by Paul Celan, the Preludio e Fughe by Umberto Saba and the drama Judasz z Kariothu [Judas Iscariot] by Karol Hubert Rostworowski. The analysis also includes Stanisław Barańczak’s cycle of poems Podróż zimowa: Wiersze do muzyki Franza Schuberta [Winter Journey: Poems to the Music of Franz Schubert] and a fragment of Scène from Hérodiade by Stéphane Mallarmé in Paul Hindemith’s composition «Hérodiade» de Stéphane Mallarmé.

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4 Literary fugues (Umberto Saba’s[[I93]] Preludio e Fughe and Paul Celan’s[[I93]] Todesfuge)

4Literary fugues (Umberto Saba’s Preludio e Fughe and Paul Celan’s Todesfuge)

Negative research perspective

The arrangements regarding potential “fugues” in literature should paradoxically be started – not optimistically but skeptically: adequate translation of a musical work to a literary work does not exist, which in a wider perspective means, through simple analogy, the impossibility of mutually transposing art forms. Gérard Genette laconicly captured the fundamental difference between music and literature in the formula: “The one sings; the other speaks”291. The initial and most general reflection must seem very awkward here, because it either eliminates the problem and purposefulness of any further reaching research at the outset, or on the contrary, suggests its central disputable place, and thus a dialectical (aporic?) and “negative”292 starting point for further considerations. In this light, all theoretical solutions – formulated either in synthesising essays, or ad hoc – can be generally arranged within two strategies: hermetic or eclectic. The first variant, to refer to the closest and relatively representative examples, gained a clearly privileged place amongst others, in Tadeusz Szulc’s proposals, presented in the book Muzyka w dziele literackim [Music in a Literary Work] (Warsaw 1937), which are often recalled today in Polish studies. Szulc almost removed the problem from Polish post-war historical- and, as a consequence, theoretical-literary293 studies, excluding the sense of the analogy between literature and music (otherwise indeed having many reasons for this294). Within the second variant, however, the issue was considered differently by Tadeusz Makowiecki, who, in the “Introduction” (under the title “Poezja a muzyka” [“Poetry and Music”]) to Muzyka w twórczości Wyspiańskiego [Music in Wyspiański’s Work] (Toruń 1955) published nearly twenty years later signalled the possibility of some kind of exploitation of musical construction patterns in literature by, as he described them, “compositional factors”295. Undoubtedly there exists a huge area of indirect behaviour between the positive and extremely negative responses to the phenomenon of the affiliations of literature and music, sometimes forced a priori by the theoretical position, sometimes dictated by the specificity of literary texts. Situated between these positions and accepting the existence of the great temptations of contemporary literature on the formal level to the risky intrusion into the area of music, I very critically choose the second option.

Musical fugue is a point of reference and somehow a form of a construction test for two literary works deriving from different language circles – Prelude and Fugues by Umberto Saba and Paul Celan’s Death Fugue. The interdisciplinary perspective will be strengthened by the traditional comparative literature perspective, to more fully illustrate the thesis that the non-literary form as a potential schema in literature is taken over the course of the specific deconstruction of the source – a singular, unique interpretation296. Reflection will be subordinated to the study of structural entanglements on the plane of thematisation of music and sound instrumentation, which – not infrequently at the same time – remains functionalised in a unique way and becomes a signal of formal experiment. The question in the centre of interest is basically very simple, but extremely difficult to solve unambiguously: in what manner is literary fugue possible?297 And with the news of an earlier, restrictive objection in the plane of ontology, that there is no adequate transposability of a musical work for a literary work. An attempt to formulate a response in a limited problem field, through the analysis of literary texts in the context of a historically established musical form, is ultimately related to the category of musical literary text, which includes all manifestations of interpretation of musical construction in literature. It is necessary to repeat once again that formal intersemiotic and intermedial references can be explained in many aspects, which in literary studies leads, on the one hand, to more positive, on the other – to more negative conclusions. It is possible to formulate a certain orientational regularity: the closer considerations are to the ontologies of both arts, their specific morphology (that is they do not try to avoid the ontological problem), the greater the research skepticism and negativity of conclusions become. If the musical form is accepted as comparatum for even a very cursory musicological definition, the phenomenon of “fugue in literature” or – by another name – “literary fugue” seems to be something highly unlikely and impossible to realise in language material.

At the same time, the struggle with the restrictively established form of fugue, according to Calvin S. Brown298 the most intellectual of musical forms, due to the use of contrapuntal technique, can be seen in a few cases of contemporary literature that broaden the field of literary genre. The problem in the sphere of genology emerges as extremely interesting: the result of undertaking a construction described normatively, closed, becomes a single construction, and open is extremely non-normative. Literary fugue does not refer to a specific musical realisation, but for the sake of its own singularity it needs a clear, classical genre pattern. So here particular historical facts concerning the formation of the form in the second half of the seventeenth century in the circle of German organists or its development with Johann Sebastian Bach in the next century, when it was brought to the limits of its artistic sophistication, are of no meaning. The abstract model of fugue is sufficient for the literary version, because it must anyway limit the area of penetration exclusively to its component elements (potential and obligatory) of a static character, fulfilling a basic condition – structural repeatability. It is a completely different matter that linear fragmentation is not adequate with regards to the real nature of the musical form and to distinguish structural components, such as themes, motifs, bridge passages, episodes or coda, and only leads to a schematic architectural view. Only the contrapuntal relations decide about the consequences of static modeling which are presented by Rudolf Stephan’s diagram (concerning the 4-voice fugue exposition)299:

It is easy to predict the extent of difficulties associated with the interpretation of musical fugue in literature even before proceeding to poetic analysis in the light of potential solutions belonging to, or rather available to, the musical text and the literary text. The obstacle first and foremost is the vertical dimension of the construction of the musical text, in the case of language notation immediately showing the impossibility of creating even a substitute for polyphonic organisation (indeed this is encountered in the stage text, but that is an issue of another borderland300). The simultaneity of musical fugue is destroyed in a linear system, which causes the harmonic relations to “flatten out” to the horizontal dimension. In a literary work, there can be no question of preserving the structural musical rigour, which is why searching for direct equivalents in juxtaposed artistic creations of both fields of art has been recognised at the outset as unjustified. However, despite all the negative reservations so far – it is possible to indicate the literary variants of the interpretation of the fugue (Celan’s poem) in the hermeneutic perspective, and even reinterpretation (Saba’s cycle), which, to some extent, are rooted in the musical prototype and function in relation to it on the basis of intersemiotic substitution.

Umberto Saba’s Preludio e Fughe

Prelude and Fugues (Preludio e Fughe, 1928–1929)301 – is an extremely ingenious literary cycle, composed of an introductory Prelude and twelve Fugues, which Umberto Saba (properly Umberto Poli) created at the end of the nineteen twenties, whilst he was taking piano lessons302. In this tiny biographical fact we find the most likely source of the intersemiotic reference through the allusive title and to the naming characteristic of Bach, for whom prelude precedes fugue (the name conventionally reveals a musical genre: Prelude and Fugue… in a specific tonality), perhaps even to the compositional act, that is, gradually developing complexity in terms of construction of subsequent works. The second part of the observation remains a mere hypothesis in the sphere of theoretical speculations, although following its pathway, it would be possible to try to interpret the logic ←97 | 98→of the organisation of the entire cycle, where the most complex work in the compositional plane seems to be the last, Twelfth Fugue. The first comment however (concerning the paratextual shift between different arts) refers to the viewing of literary texts in a specific musical context and consideration of the fundamental issue, and whether, besides the obligation to interpret the nominal reference, aspects of further reaching interdisciplinary research come into play here. The problem roughly comes down to the following question: what kind of relation, signalled in the title, occurs between the literary text and the musical genre in general?303; in other words, in what manner do potential intersemiotic references manifest themselves in the language material?

The overlapping of piano lessons at the same time and, so to say, individual lessons in literary fugue is not only about Saba’s unusual artistic and aesthetic experience, but is reflected in the rules of complicating the notation of a literary text. In Prelude and Fugues one of the most characteristic and common features of almost all the works is undoubtedly the coexistence of simple and italic script in astonishing symbiosis (Prelude and Sixth Fugue are important exceptions here). Two typographic possibilities (one dominating in the generally accepted notation convention, the second – rather sporadic) are hierarchically balanced concerning the scope of use: they become neutral in the editorial sense, but are semantically marked. The functional shift is particularly related to italics, which appear independently and therefore have nothing to do with the traditional application. As a result of two existing modes of notation and their alternate use – the text field includes typographic segmentation, imposed upon the primary versification segmentation:

La vita, la mia vita, ha la tristezzadel nero magazzino di carbone,che vedo ancora in questa strada. Io vedo,per oltre alle sue porte aperte, il cieloazzurro e il mare con le antenne. Nerocome là dentro è nel mio cuore; il cuoredell’uomo è un antro di castigo. È belloil cielo a mezzo la mattina, è belloil mar che lo riflette, e bello è anch’essoil mio cuore […]304Life, my life, is as sadas the black coal shedI still see in this street. I see,beyond its open doors, the blue skyand the sea with its masts. Blackas the shed is it in my heart; the heartof man is a cavern of punishment. Beautifulis the sky at midmorning, and beautifulthe sea that reflects it, and beautiful, too,is my heart […]305
Prima Fuga (a 2 voci)First Fugue (in 2 voices)

The interference of both types of ordering increases the contextual tension between particular words, as shown by the opposition in line three (maintained in translation): “che vedo ancora in questa strada. Io vedo”. Twice “I see” – first notated in a straight font, then in italics – is not so much lexical tautology as a tautological replica in an opposing context and opens dialectically juxtaposed presentations of external and internal experience. However, the typographical network first and foremost secondarily distinguishes the semantically oppositional sequences in a linear text arrangement (very clear contrast of imaging in the mentioned fragment of First Fugue) and thus creates two supposedly independent “voices”. Their alternate introduction, signalled by the modes of notation, in essence forms a literary interpretation of the themes of the two-voice fugue, undertaken in an identical manner in ten works. Meaning is constructed using a dialectic mechanism that collides both “voices”, which visually illustrates the text blocks extracted by typographic cuts, and single words within “voices”, as for example in Fourth Fugue where the space of interstrophic enjambement is diligently used to enhance the semantic contrast:

Sotto l’azzurro soffitto è una stanza

meravigliosa a noi viventi il mondo.

A guardarla nei cuori la speranza

e la fede rinasce. Da un profondo

carcere ascolto. Tutto in lei risplende,

nuovo e antico: ogni vita al suo cammino

prosegue lieta, e ad altro più non tende

che ad esser quale ti appare. Il destino

fu cieco e sordo […]306

Quarta Fuga (a 2 voci)

Typographical modulations, which are directly related to the properties of the versification structure of the text, are primarily subordinate to the semantic construction. Their global dimension unquestionably testifies to the rank of the graphic character of notation and its function in the poetic concept of the cycle. Hence the particular significance of deviations in Sixth Fugue and Prelude in relation to the adopted convention, where the notation is limited to straight font. Both cases, however, find justifications leading to more general conclusions: Prelude only announces expressis verbis a specific dialogic construction (here Prelude creates a loose introduction just like in music) through apostrophic incitement “voices of discord” (“voci discordi”307), “almost forgotten voices” (“voci quasi obliate”308); 3-voices and the longest Sixth Fugue309 is deprived of italics for a different reason. The coexistence of three voices means that the next four-strophe parts are introduced through a technical note in the form of Arabic numerals and the closing sign in parenthesis. For this reason, perhaps in this fugue it is easiest to see the earnest efforts at constructing a “literary score” – the cliched notation contains more than could be heard when read out loud, in addition to the text itself there is also the instruction for its virtual performance. The use of italics in this case would be inadequate, for in the moment of maintaining two-type typographic distinction, one of the modes would be repeated inconsistently; this is somewhat unnecessary because each voice is developed in the area of four strophes (typographic segmentation coincides ←100 | 101→with the versification segmentation). A similar problem concerns the second 3-voice work, Twelfth Fugue, in which Saba does not relinquish the two-type typographic matrix. Three voices listed in the subtitle of the poem: “Man”, “Echo” and “Shadow” (“l’Uomo, l’Eco e l’Ombra”310) additionally segment the text in a stage manner. This detail, only visible in the last fugue, is not noticed by Jean-Louis Backès, supposing that Umberto Saba, as opposed for example to Paul Claudel’s Cantate à trois voix, does not name those who speak311. Meanwhile, two types of notation are of course not enough to introduce three different voices linearly through individualised typographic determinants. That is why a new concept appears, isolated in the cycle through the idea of invoking the stage convention and consisting of self-presentation of two voices written in italics: “Echo” (three times “Io sono l’Eco”312 – “I am an echo”), and also “Shadow” (once “Io sono un’ombra”313 – “I am a shadow”); the straight font at the same time defines a “Man” voice recognisable in the context of the others.

In conclusion: on the basis of a few analytical observations it would be difficult to speak in a literal sense about the existence of constituent elements on the model of a musical fugue. Saba limits the interpretation of the non-literary structural schema to the separation of seemingly independent, dialogic themes, remaining with graphic designation of oppositional voices precisely quantified in the fugue sub-titles. In musical understanding, themes should be autonomous, but in a literary text, as linguistic replicas, they retain a different type of autonomy, they are component elements of dialogue, which mutually reinterpret each other. This dialogue of “voices”, a dialogue that creates the dominating structure of speech, is preceded by an artistic-metamethodological commentary contained in Prelude. A method of constructing structures in literary fugues is presented there with the aid of characteristic expressions: “discordant voices” and “vainly discordant voices”:

Oh, ritornate a me voci d’un tempo,care voci discordi![…]in pacevi componete negli estremi accordi,voci invano discordi.La luce e l’ombra, la gioia e il dolores’amano in voi314.Oh, come back to me voices of the pastdear discordant voices![…]in peaceyou may compose the richest harmoniesvainly discordant voices.Light and shadow, joy and sadnesslove one another in you.315

Most importantly, the field of thematisation of Prelude opens an area for structural research and directly explains the rules of structuring the text in subsequent fugues. Preliminary remarks about the poetic method conceal all arguments, positive as well as negative, regarding the limits of literary interpretation of musical phenomenon. There exists a certain possibility of conventionally using a musical schema of a fugue with two or three alternating voices (hence “discordant voices”) on the one hand, but on the other – realisational simplification and intersemiotic reduction dominate all of this. Musical polyphony in no way finds an appropriate expression in written language, which is condemned to linearity (hence one of the many meanings of the expression: “vainly discordant voices”). A poetic introduction that assesses the potentiality of a literary fugue in the plane of the technique of organising language material heralds not so much the entire cycle as each and every fugue, in a Bachian manner. In simple consequence to this the preceding realisation (or realisations) of the musical literary text of Prelude becomes its artistic pre-interpretation, which is seen in the situation of considering further fugues.

Paul Celan’s Todesfuge

A dozen or so years after Umberto Saba’s Prelude and Fugues, in the year 1945 (this date is important for several reasons), Paul Celan created what is possibly his best known and most difficult poem, Todesfuge316 (Death Fugue). Its title, very much like in the context of Saba’s cycle, raises suspicions related to musical connotations in the plane of genology and extra-musical connotations in the plane of etymology317. The etymological meaning acquires transparency from the very beginning since Celan starts the poem with a strong semantic dissonance and paradox in the form of a classic oxymoron (“Schwarze Milch”318). The expression “black milk”, translating the title periphrasis, gives the absurdity of possible rescue: the action is not an attempt to escape from death, but merely the Jewish prisoners’ attempt to escape the concentration camp in crematorium smoke (essential definition: “wir trinken”, “wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften”). Each appearance in the text of a basic oxymoron at the beginning of the subsequent four parts (9–9–8–10) is maximally exposed, the fragment “Schwarze Milch” strengthens, amongst others, the preceding distance between lines. The first reading thus reveals the contour of the thematic obsessiveness – tragic “escape” and death, which is paired with the elimination of all punctuation marks. Apparently, this is not just about one of the cases well known to modern literature, but about the highly functionalised semantic elimination of elements. If there is no place for punctuation marks, this is also (primarily?) because they usually indicate delays, so to say, additional breaths, which segments and slows down the flow of text. Here, on the contrary, the language notation correlates with the field of thematisation and also takes on the burden of presenting the situation, in its own way interprets the escape – avoids the symptoms of distraction and retardation.

In Celan’s poem, traditional aesthetics of notation are left to the side, though in no case does this result in free articulation – this is precisely imposed by the metrical organisation. Its peculiarity is exceptionally to be considered even in a two-course manner, namely according to the criteria of both German and Polish versology, because in this way the mutually complementary nuances are exposed. This is not always the case, and sometimes the bimodal setting of the poetic meter does not show any details in relation to the semantics of the text: for example, it does not matter if the starting line “Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken sie abends” is considered according to the German poetic theory as a realisation of the trochaic-dactylic meter , or whether it will be classified in the categories of Polish scholarship as trochaic-amphibrachic . An extremely interesting matter is revealed by the line “wir trinken und trinken”, according to Polish versology realising the amphibrachic course, and according to the German – which basically does not use an amphibrach – is a sequence of anacrusis319, dactyl and trochee . The first type of classification, demonstrating the homogeneity of the process, analytically supports the thesis of metric regularity, which causes an effect that is smooth “for the ear”; the second, in turn, localises the convergence of a completely different type, on account of the anacrusis, remaining by definition in the relation of independence and subordination in relation to the metric scheme. To obtain the context, it is worth treating an important fragment in a similar way: “der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland sein Auge ist blau”, where the whole can also be seen theoretically either as a regular amphibrachic line with a single catalexis, or as a pulsating dactyl line with anacrusis and a double catalexis . As far as here, according to the specifics of the second distinction, the pronoun “der” is in the position of the anacrusis, whose function and semantics may be referred to the musical phenomenon of the up-beat, so analogously, but in a certain opposition, one should consider the earlier situation of the word “wir” in the anacrusis space. Clearly, it becomes semantically independent (as if in opposition to the metric conditions) – it does not even ←104 | 105→lead into the space of the first theme, to anticipate the facts, as much the theme itself is its development and explanation. In consequence, the metric function of the anacrusis contrasts with the semantic function of appropriate word. This type of anacrusis, which breaks the status of subordination characterising the musical equivalent (unaccented up-beat), in strict connection with the construction of meaning, I would conventionally call “literary”.

Determinants of the poetic meter, the repeatability of which is shown in the versological analysis carried out according to the criteria of Polish theory (amphibrachic regularity), as well as German (“dactylic pulsing”), undoubtedly, decide primarily about the coherence of the text. This coherence is strengthened, however, by a different, additional, type of order, revealed through a characteristic and multiple metatext message. At the beginning of just a few lines majuscules appear, treated as if inlaid, highly intriguing, because in some way the existence of this contradicts the formulated remark of avoiding “distractions” in the notation. It does not seem that the sense of the poem has been changed in the Polish translation by Stanisław Jerzy Lec320, where the beginning of each line is marked by a capital letter. Why, then, in the original, does this property only feature in 9 of 36 lines?321 This is exactly the place where the struggle to reveal the details of the musical context begins, which is introduced – an extremely important point – not through an external interpretation, but through the literary text itself. The majuscule opening the verses, starting from the first line: “Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken sie abends” – appearing three more times in a slightly modified version: “Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts” in lines 10, 19 and 27 – and “Ein Mann wohnt im Haus der spielt mit den Schlangen” in lines 5 and 13, indicate above all the model of a musical double fugue as the starting point for the themes, their leading motifs (see the bold fragments in the attached text). In the other three places it also signals the introduction of other motifs: twice from the second theme (beginning “Er ruft…” in lines 16 and 24) and a very important motif from the first theme (“Dein aschenes Haar Sulamith” in line 15), which closes the whole poetic composition. During the analysis, the majuscules facilitate mechanical selection of above all two themes and impose initial distinctions in the plane of genological references. In simple consequence, they lead to an interdisciplinary research strategy and to a strictly defined analytical-interpretive process and serve to establish segmentation modeled on musical form.

Todesfuge

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken sie abends

wir trinken sie mittags und morgens wir trinken sie nachts

wir trinken und trinken

wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften da liegt man nicht eng

Ein Mann wohnt im Haus der spielt mit den Schlangen der schreibt

der schreibt wenn es dunkelt nach Deutschland dein goldenes Haar Margarete

er schreibt es und tritt vor das Haus und es blitzen die Sterne er pfeift seine Rüden herbei

er pfeift seine Juden hervor läßt schaufeln ein Grab in der Erde

er befiehlt uns spielt auf nun zum Tanz

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

wir trinken dich morgens und mittags wir trinken dich abends

wir trinken und trinken

Ein Mann wohnt im Haus der spielt mit den Schlangen der schreibt

der schreibt wenn es dunkelt nach Deutschland dein goldenes Haar Margarete

Dein aschenes Haar Sulamith wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften da liegt man nicht eng

Er ruft stecht tiefer ins Erdreich ihr einen ihr andern singet und spielt

er greift nach dem Eisen im Gurt er schwingts seine Augen sind blau

stecht tiefer die Spaten ihr einen ihr andern spielt weiter zum Tanz auf

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

wir trinken dich mittags und morgens wir trinken dich abends

wir trinken und trinken

ein Mann wohnt im Haus dein goldenes Haar Margarete

dein aschenes Haar Sulamith er spielt mit den Schlangen

Er ruft spielt süßer den Tod der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

er ruft streicht dunkler die Geigen dann steigt ihr als Rauch in die Luft

dann habt ihr ein Grab in den Wolken da liegt man nicht eng

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

wir trinken dich mittags der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

wir trinken dich abends und morgens wir trinken und trinken

der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland sein Auge ist blau

er trifft dich mit bleierner Kugel er trifft dich genau

ein Mann wohnt im Haus dein goldenes Haar Margarete

er hetzt seine Rüden auf uns er schenkt uns ein Grab in der Luft

er spielt mit den Schlangen und träumet der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

dein goldenes Haar Margarete

dein aschenes Haar Sulamith322

Death Fugue

Black milk of daybreak we drink it at sundown

we drink it at noon in the morning we drink it at night

we drink and drink it

we dig a grave in the breezes there one lies unconfined

A man lives in the house he plays with the serpents he writes

he writes when dusk falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete

he writes it and steps out of doors and the stars are flashing he whistles his pack out

he whistles his Jews out in earth has them dig for a grave

he commands us strike up for the dance

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night

we drink you in the morning at noon we drink you at sundown

we drink and we drink you

A man lives in the house he plays with the serpents he writes

he writes when dusk falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete

your ashen hair Shulamit dig a grave we dig a grave in the breezes there one lies unconfined

He calls out jab deeper into the earth you lot you others sing now and play

he grabs at the iron in his belt he waves it his eyes are blue

jab deeper you lot with your spades you others play on for the dance

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night

we drink you in the morning at noon we drink you at sundown

we drink and we drink you

a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete

your ashen hair Shulamit he plays with the serpents

He calls out more sweetly play death death is a master from Germany

he calls out more darkly now stroke your strings then as smoke you will rise into the air

then a grave you will have in the clouds there one lies unconfined

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night

we drink you at noon death is a master from Germany

we drink you at sundown and in the morning we drink and we drink you

death is a master from Germany his eye is blue

he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim is true

a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete

he sets his pack on to us he grants us a grave in the air

he plays with the serpents and daydreams death is a master from Germany

your golden hair Margarete

your ashen hair Shulamith

The directed ordering of the elements of the structure takes place gradually, in subsequent stages or close-ups, according to complementary criteria, namely: sequence repeatability and their general clarity. The leading motifs of two literary themes that return many times occupy the privileged position in the hierarchy and possess, in addition to lexical convergence, structurally recognisable shape (due to the strictly defined place at the beginning of the line and the identical metric scheme). The initial motif of the first theme, appearing four times, remains extremely clear and does not introduce any difficulties in identification. The initial motif of the second theme is however conceived as a many-variant theme, and thus much more complicated in isolation: twice it appears in a compact form and with a majuscule, but then it is called up again twice without this, and broken into two parts, in lines 22–23 and 32–34 (on this occasion with the alternation of the relative pronoun with the personal one: “der”–“er”). In general, all the motifs of the first theme retain an almost unchanged structural-lexical form as opposed to numerous modifications within the motifs of the second theme. It can be seen clearly that all possibilities are used to draw attention to the overall transparency of first theme. Undoubtedly, it is oxymoronic from the stylistic aspect, for – apart from the opening “Schwarze Milch” – its second motif also starts with an oxymoron: “wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften”. Diametrical differences between themes, both structural, and ultimately semantic may be defined most briefly after Celan in the following way: the sense of one focuses around “wir” (hence its significance in the position of anacrusis), the other – around “ein Mann” or “er”323. Both constructions metatextually define absurd coexistence, present two dialectical faces of the world: human helplessness condemned to “black milk” and grave and inhuman omnipotence. Fundamental structural opposition thematically finds many interesting justifications, amongst others in the characteristic limitation of verbs, which indicates implicite different fields of human activity. Just two verbs expressing helplessness and slavery on one side: “wir trinken”, “wir schaufeln”, correspond to a whole list of phrases stressing the boundless power on the other side, respectively: “ein Mann wohnt”, “er schreibt”, “er pfeift” twice, “er befiehlt”, “er ruft”, “er greift”, “er schwingts”, “er spielt”, “er ruft” twice, “er trifft” twice, “er hetzt”, “er schenkt”, “er spielt”. It is difficult to imagine a more explicit disproportion in the scope of frequency of language elements, but it is easier to understand the symbolic title of the poetic whole and the significance of the two-voice convention taken from the musical form through literary interpretation.

A fragment appears between the two polarly different voices in the third part that does not belong to either of the two themes and is presented up to four ←108 | 109→times – “der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland”324. In a literary fugue it fulfils the role of a bridge passage: for the first time it sneaks into the space of the motif from the second theme (line 24), for the second time in the space of the motif from the first theme (line 28), for the third time, augmentatively treated and already in the proper function of a bridge passage (known as an internal bridge passage), between fragments from the first and second themes (lines 30 and 31), and finally for the last time before the excellent culmination of the coda (line 34). The bridge passage in the musical fugue is revealed after the exposition of subsequent themes in all voices and introduces apparent chaos through its harmonic progression and initiates a loose play of individual motifs. Thus, it focuses attention on itself in a unique way, because it creates argumentation that gives the possibility of moving to the closing exposition. Similarly, in the formal sense, there is a poetic bridge passage in the final part of Celan’s poem – it becomes an extremely subtle tool for compiling motives. In short, the returning fragment identifies one of the central places of the text (its position is confirmed amongst others by the frequency of occurrence in the fourth part) and leads to a summary of the whole. Its third appearance is in a developed, sort of episodic form:

der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland sein Auge ist blau

er trifft dich mit bleierner Kugel er trifft dich genau

– it is not without reason that it is accompanied by the only rhyme in the entire poem325: “blau” – “genau”, strengthening integrity and emphasising the semantics of the isolated distich. The task of the verbal sequence of the bridge passage does not end there because it finally introduces a deep dissonance between two motifs from both themes: “dein goldenes Haar Margarete/dein aschenes Haar Sulamith”. Earlier, they met twice (lines 14 and 15, 22 and 23), but they were contextually subdued and did not create independent lines (“dein goldenes Haar Margarete” was to be found in the rhyming clause; “dein aschenes Haar Sulamith” in the onset clause), now a short, separate line is reserved for each. Their direct juxtaposition – preceded by a bridge passage argument – which ←109 | 110→Jean-Charles Margotton even compares to the effect of major-minor modulation in music326, intertextually collides two symbols in the final reflection: “golden” hair of Margarete from Faust and “ash” hair of the bride from Canticum Canticorum.

Attempts to achieve further results from a detailed interdisciplinary analysis lead some researchers to talk about three motifs of the first theme: 1) “Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken sie abends” (leading motive); 2) “wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften da liegt man nicht eng” in lines 4 and 15; 3) “Dein aschenes Haar Sulamith” in line 15 and without majuscules in lines 23 and 36; and a dozen or so of the second theme: 1) “Ein Mann wohnt im Haus der spielt mit den Schlangen” (initial segment); 2) “der schreibt wenn es dunkelt nach Deutschland”; 3) “dein goldenes Haar Margarete”; etc.327 The use of formal nuances of musical fugue in a purely literary work is illustrated by the attached schema (p. 113), which resembles a linear, musicological analysis of a musical work (the following abbreviations have been adopted: first theme – A; second theme – B; bridge passage – Z; motifs and their variants – 1, 1’, 1”, 2, 3 and so on).

This schema shows Death Fugue as a musical literary text, study of which boils down to direct confrontation with an abstract model of fugue and applies to its static structural elements328. The microscopic view, indeed, suggests interpretative arguments, nevertheless, apart from the reflection concerning the relations of particular returns of the themes, this merely leads to schematic divisions through the use of technical terminology (theme, motif, bridge passage) and potentially conventional graphic notations. Often such solutions can be quite dangerous: subsequently appearing structures do not always remain in semantic convergence, sometimes they are strongly modified and bring completely ←110 | 111→different connotations despite the structural-lexical relationship329. A good example of this is the fragment: “sein Auge ist blau” (line 30), which seems similar to the earlier, “seine Augen sind blau” (line 17), but the second describes “a human being”, the first – “death”. Therefore, to undertake interpretation of the intersemiotic reference of Celan’s poem, it is in reality necessary to interpret the dialogue taking place both in the textual and metatextual fields between the two themes, to reveal – apart from the linear meaning – the complicated semantic system of a vertical character.

The study of the intersemioticity of this poem explains a completely different matter which Jean Firges330, one of the first researchers into Celan’s creative work, unambiguously recognises: “In Death Fugue almost all the metaphors are borrowed and in a broad sense of the word are quotes”331. Many assumptions, including various suspicions of plagiarism332 arose around “thematic borrowings” or rather biographically conditioned polemical quotation (this is about Celan’s literary duels while still at school with Immanuel Weißglas, a friend from class333). There can be no doubt, that the author of Death Fugue consciously undertakes, develops and transforms many thematic threads, which occur in Weißglas’s poem from 1944, ER334. Notwithstanding stricte musical thinking about the structural form, through which an attempt is made to give the literary notation certain features of formal musical logic, differentiates Celan in a fundamental way and ←112 | 113→demonstrates the weakness of the plagiarism hypothesis335. Even if the originality of the poem does not constitute a thematisation plan, it is certainly determined by the experimental character of the poetic structure, which is very artistically successful and much more conceptually advanced in relation to Umberto Saba’s poems. This time, the interpretation of the model of musical fugue in the hermeneutic sense is the best method of presenting the unprecedented human tragedy, the twentieth-century version of “dance of death”336.

Todesfuge

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken sie abends

wir trinken sie mittags und morgens wir trinken sie nachts

wir trinken und trinken

wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften da liegt man nicht eng

5 Ein Mann wohnt im Haus der spielt mit den Schlangen der schreibt

der schreibt wenn es dunkelt nach Deutschland dein goldenes Haar Margarete

er schreibt es und tritt vor das Haus und es blitzen die Sterne er pfeift seine Rüden herbei

er pfeift seine Juden hervor läßt schaufeln ein Grab in der Erde

er befiehlt uns spielt auf nun zum Tanz

10 Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

wir trinken dich morgens und mittags wir trinken dich abends

wir trinken und trinken

Ein Mann wohnt im Haus der spielt mit den Schlangen der schreibt

der schreibt wenn es dunkelt nach Deutschland dein goldenes Haar Margarete

15 Dein aschenes Haar Sulamith wir schaufeln ein Grab in den Lüften da liegt man nicht eng

Er ruft stecht tiefer ins Erdreich ihr einen ihr andern singet und spielt

er greift nach dem Eisen im Gurt er schwingts seine Augen sind blau

stecht tiefer die Spaten ihr einen ihr andern spielt weiter zum Tanz auf

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

20 wir trinken dich mittags und morgens wir trinken dich abends

wir trinken und trinken

ein Mann wohnt im Haus dein goldenes Haar Margarete

dein aschenes Haar Sulamith er spielt mit den Schlangen

Er ruft spielt süßer den Tod der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

25 er ruft streicht dunkler die Geigen dann steigt ihr als Rauch in die Luft

dann habt ihr ein Grab in den Wolken da liegt man nicht eng

Schwarze Milch der Frühe wir trinken dich nachts

wir trinken dich mittags der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

wir trinken dich abends und morgens wir trinken und trinken

30 der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland sein Auge ist blau

er trifft dich mit bleierner Kugel er trifft dich genau

ein Mann wohnt im Haus dein goldenes Haar Margarete

er hetzt seine Rüden auf uns er schenkt uns ein Grab in der Luft

er spielt mit den Schlangen und träumet der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland

dein goldenes Haar Margarete

dein aschenes Haar Sulamith

The effect of rhetorical strategies

Musical literary text – as a term not so much inaccurate as subjected to theoretical innovation at every opportunity – categorises the specific and rare structural property of a literary work. This type of text contains immanent signals, most frequently types of conventionalised allusions in the sphere of paratextuality (especially in the titles: Prelude and Fugues by Umberto Saba, Paul Celan’s Death Fugue, Aldous Huxley’s Point Counter Point, Moderato cantabile by Marguerite Duras, Four Quartets by Thomas Stearns Eliot, Alejo Carpentier’s Concert Baroque, Boléro by Janine Boissard, etc.). They offer proposals and interpretative variants from the first reading, although their legibility depends on the type of localisation and functionalisation in a given text. In other words, the intersemiotic character of a musical literary text manifests itself in its own field, in the act of perception (often very complex, as in the case of Stanisław Barańczak’s Podróż zimowa [Winter Journey]) it is only decoded and updated by correct, effective reference to musical conditions. Some literary realisations ostentatiously display the parent musical context (for example in the case of appropriation of a musical quotation), others make it more difficult to reveal it or merely imply it to a minimal extent (here are situated the poems of Saba and Celan), and still others falsely provoke an interdisciplinary view337. Hence, I admit that I would not be able to determine, and I would not even like to indicate clear boundaries separating musical literary text from text which cannot be recognised as such (an attempt at synthesis would probably be highly suspect). This, however, does not give any reason to claim the uselessness or questionable value of such an extremely imprecise theoretical solution.

Firstly, it would be unreasonable to define cases of musical literary text, because they are devoid of conventionalising status338, and in reference to each other they have a complementary relationship. Direct results of this are further reinterpretations modelling the previous form of the category: every work recognised as a musical literary text introduces new arguments through structural novum. The problem is exemplified by the close juxtaposition of Saba’s Prelude and Fugues and Celan’s Death Fugue as two different poetic interpretations of the same musical form. In a comparative juxtaposition, they adequately show the issue of the complexity of intersemiotic references, and also the negative variant of study. Negativity in this case does not result from the intended action of the interpreter or a priori adopted strategy, it is imposed by the text itself, which implies a non-literary, supplementary method of analysis. The repeatedly and exaggeratedly underlined literary impossibility is clearly outlined from the very beginning in the context of the musical schema of fugue: “The form is essentially contrapuntal […] real counterpoint is impossible in literature”339. This is why each literary fugue as an individual linguistic interpretation creates a variant of a genre uniqueness and becomes a heavily subjectivised, single sketch of a musical work in a separate material. The two considered literary cases indicate, admittedly, structural entanglements in relation to the musical form in a similar way, but are different, even mutually incompatible realisations of the musical literary text. The differences would be even more visible if to these observations we were to add some reflection about structure of Fuga [Fugue] by Stanisław Grochowiak340 or Mała fuga [Little Fugue] by Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński341. Secondly and above all: work that would be described in the light of the presented considerations as a musical literary text, is not always perceived as such – the ←115 | 116→best examples of this are both the serious interpretational difficulties associated with Four Quartets by Thomas Stearns Eliot342, and also translation challenges from Death Fugue, to recall the problem of the use of majuscules in the otherwise very successful translation by Stanisław Jerzy Lec.

Concluding in a broader perspective: musical literary text situates itself directly in the field of musicality of a literary work, and indirectly – “musicality” (although the other issue is that today it is probable that no literature researcher would be able to define its scope…343). Despite the fundamental problems in specifying I understand the overused category “musicality”, much more broadly and in a sense polar in relation to the category of musical literary text. As far as the first refers to normative-aesthetic extra-literary proposals and only a small part of it to literary, for example poetic manifests or theoretical-literary considerations, so the latter defines a specific literary work and ultimately concerns two inseparable dimensions: poetics (literary text) and contemporary hermeneutics (cultural text in the field of comparative and interdisciplinary studies). In other words, on one side this is about “musicality” as such344 (and so something extremely transitory and abstract), on the other hand however – about the interpretation of a given literary text. “For us here text is literary and musical […], but remains ‘text’” – as Francis Claudon said, emphasising the hermeneutic tendency of musical-literary research345, in the introductory article to the special number of Revue de Littérature Comparée, devoted in its entirety to literature and music.

To finish, a few general questions should be asked, namely: how to understand the quintessence of a musical form or its reminiscences in Prelude and Fugues and in Death Fugue, where unusual compositional inspirations are revealed in titles and are quite unambiguous for interpretation of text signals? How in this ←116 | 117→context should we understand the controversial form of the musical schema in Grochowiak’s Fuga [Fugue], Gide’s The Counterfeiters or Point Counter Point by Huxley, where the camouflaged symptoms of artistic realisation become just a pretext to (re)create an analytical-interpretive construct?346 Finally – only still in the margins – how to understand the appellation “Fugue des cinq sens” [“Fugue of the Five Senses”] as the name of one of the sub-chapters of the first volume of Mythologiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss347 (nota bene all chapters, sub-sections, etc. there are accompanied by musical terms), Robert Abernathy’s title “A Vowel Fugue in Blok” in reference to analysis of the poem by Alexander Blok348, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz’s formula in the foreword to Pejzaże sentymentalne [Sentimental Landscapes]: “Some of those – like for example Wiosna w Paryżu [Spring in Paris] – are attempts at improvisation: fugue and a flood of words replaces sophistication […]”349 or the term “centripetal fugue” in Cebula [The Onion] by Wisława Szymborska?350 These questions all reveal the semantic complexity of the word “fugue” in the space of literature and contemporary humanities, which as a hyperonym acquires many hyponymic details, amongst others in the form of the expression “literary fugue”. In a context which is at the same time literary and cultural, “fugue” once means musical literary text, another time an interpretive hypothesis, in one case appears in a sense very close to the musical dictionary definition, while other times metaphorically and without the slightest genre consequences, sometimes it characterises the theoretical language, and at other times the poetic language (or artistic). In this light, the sketch refers to a substantial case and reveals a complicated answer, which allowed the author to prepare from the fugue schema in the literary text and, consequently, to ←117 | 118→make the recipient comfortable. After all, talking about fugue/fugues in literature is possible provided that both agree, with a critical awareness of the state of affairs. One in general leads music into the field of rhetoric above all with a biographical-structural temptation, the other – analytical-interpretive. Their detailed actions show at completely different levels of interpretation (artistic and research), whether a given literary text deserves – and, moreover, in what context – to be called a musical literary text.

291G. Genette, “Songs without Words,” in: idem, Essays in Aesthetics, trans. D. Cohn, Lincoln–London: University of Nebraska Press, 2005, p. 101 (see G. Genette, “Romances sans paroles,” in: Revue des Sciences Humaines, 205 (1987): p. 120).

292See amongst others J.-L. Cupers, Euterpe et Harpocrate ou le défi littéraire de la musique: Aspects méthodologiques de l’approche musico-littéraire, Bruxelles: Publications des Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, 1988, p. 33 ff.

293Formulations of this nature, relating in particular to in the last few decades, are very general and need to be corrected immediately: no more synthetic studies have been made – perhaps with the exception of Tadeusz Makowiecki’s unfinished work (Muzyka w twórczości Wyspiańskiego, Toruń: Towarzystwo Naukowe w Toruniu, 1955) or Józef Opalski’s essay (Chopin i Szymanowski w literaturze dwudziestolecia międzywojennego, Kraków: PWM, 1980) – in the perspective of history and literary theory (Jerzy Skarbowski’s book proposals have a slightly different profile: Literatura – muzyka: Zbliżenia i dialogi, Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1981; Literacki koncert polski, Rzeszów: FOSZE, 1997). This does not, however, in any way mean the absence of the most diverse polemical voices, raised on various occasions – to name a few of the most important: K. Górski, “Muzyka w opisie literackim,” in: Życie i Myśl, 1–6 (1952): pp. 91–109; W. Wirpsza, “Poezja a muzyka,” in: Ruchome granice: Szkice i studia, ed. M. Grześczak, Gdynia: Wydawnictwo Morskie, 1968, pp. 175–186; M. Woźniakiewicz-Dziadosz, “Kategorie muzyczne w strukturze tekstu narracyjnego (na przykładzie ‘Kotłów Beethovenowskich’ Choromańskiego i ‘Martwej Pasieki’ Iwaszkiewicza),” in: Pamiętnik Literacki, 4 (1979): pp. 191–212; Pogranicza i korespondencje sztuk, “Z dziejów form artystycznych w literaturze polskiej”, vol. 56, ed. T. Cieślikowska, J. Sławiński, Wrocław: Ossolineum, 1980 (here amongst others: M. Głowiński, “Literackość muzyki – muzyczność literatury,” pp. 65–81; E. Wiegandt, “Problem tzw. muzyczności prozy powieściowej XX wieku,” pp. 103–114; J. Opalski, “O sposobach istnienia utworu muzycznego w dziele literackim,” pp. 49–64); M. Podraza-Kwiatkowska, “O muzycznej i niemuzycznej koncepcji poezji,” in: Teksty, 2 (1980): pp. 81–97; J. Błoński, “Ut musica poësis?,” in: Twórczość, 9 (1980): pp. 110–122; S. Dąbrowski, “‘Muzyka w literaturze’: (Próba przeglądu zagadnień),” in: Poezja, 3 (1980): pp. 19–32; M. Głowiński, “Muzyka w powieści,” in: Teksty, 2 (1980): pp. 98–114; L. Kolago, “Forma jako ekspresja: O ‘Fudze śmierci’ Paula Celana,” in: Miesięcznik Literacki, 10/11 (1986): pp. 109–116.

294See chapter 1: Around Tadeusz Szulc’s “Muzyka w dziele literackim” [“Music in a Literary Work”], pp. 27–44.

295T. Makowiecki, op. cit., p. 29.

296See J. Paszek, “Iwaszkiewicz i Joyce: (O dwóch próbach literackiej fugi),” in: Twórczość, 2 (1983): p. 89.

297Here the question mark is not burdened with additional meanings, but for example in Isabelle Piette it very suggestively clarifies the formula “literary fugue”. See I. Piette, Littérature et musique: Contribution à une orientation théorique (1970–1985), Namur: Presses Universitaires de Namur, 1987, p. 76.

298C. S. Brown, Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Arts [1948], Athens–Georgia: The University of Georgia Press, 1963, p. 149.

299Quotation after: H. Petri, Literatur und Musik: Form- und Strukturparallelen, Göttingen: Sachse & Pohl Verlag, 1964, p. 36. See also L. Kolago, Musikalische Formen und Strukturen in der deutschsprachigen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts [habilitation thesis], Warsaw: Uniwersytet Warszawski, 1994, p. 225.

300An example of this polyphony quarrel according to indications in the score in Karol Hubert Rostworowski’s Judasz z Kariothu [Judas Iscariot]. See chapter 6: Score – “Judasz z Kariothu” [“Judas Iscariot”] by Karol Hubert Rostworowski, pp. 159–180.

301U. Saba, Preludio e Fughe. (1928–1929), Verona: A. Mondadori, 1961.

302See U. Saba, Il Canzoniere, Lausanne: L’Âge d’homme, 1988, p. 14.

303Analogous in the character of a paratextual reference to the musical genre in general (but not a specific composition) appears in Four Quartets by Thomas Stearns Eliot. The strictly musical connotation of Saba’s title Marcello Pagnini places, on the occasion of the analysis exactly of Four Quartets, in one row both with the name of the literary cycle of Eliot’s quartets, and from Huxley’s Point Counter Point, and from Joyce’s Chamber Music. See M. Pagnini, “La musicalità dei ‘Four Quartets’ di T. S. Eliot,” in: Belfagor, 4 (1958): p. 421.

304U. Saba, Prima Fuga (a 2 voci), in: idem, Preludio e Fughe, p. 12.

305U. Saba, First Fugue (in 2 voices), in: idem, Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba, trans. G. Hochfield, L. Nathan, New Haven–London: Yale University Press, 2008, p. 345.

306U. Saba, Quarta Fuga (a 2 voci), in: idem, Preludio e Fughe, p. 18. Philological translation: “Under the blue ceiling is this wonderful house, / a world for chosen living beings. / When I see him, I am fed with hope / and faith is reborn. From my abyss // I listen to imprisonment. Everything shines there, / new and antique: its path leads unchanged / all serene life and its shape there comes / into existence, which is appearing for you. Destiny // was blind and deaf […]” (Fourth Fuge (in 2 voices), trans. Lindsay Davidson).

307U. Saba, Preludio, in: idem, Preludio e Fughe, p. 11.

308Ibidem.

309See ibidem, pp. 22–37.

310U. Saba, Dodicesima Fuga (a 3 voci: l’Uomo, l’Eco e l’Ombra), in: idem, Preludio e Fughe, p. 50.

311J.-L. Backès, Musique et littérature: Essai de poétique comparée, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1994, p. 243.

312U. Saba, Dodicesima Fuga, pp. 50–51.

313Ibidem, p. 51.

314Ibidem, p. 11.

315U. Saba, Prelude, in: idem, Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba, pp. 342, 343.

316First published in the volume Mohn und Gedächtnis (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1952, pp. 37–39).

317Revealing the musical context through the sphere of paratextuality is not an isolated case for Celan – for example the title in the poem Engführung (Stretto) from 1958 functions very similarly. It finds a strong accent in the analysis and interpretation of Peter Szondi, who repeatedly draws attention to the musical, non-discursive way of organising text coherence. See P. Szondi, “Lecture de ‘Strette’: Essai sur la poésie de Paul Celan,” in: Poésie et poétiques de la modernité, ed. M. Bollack, Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille, 1981, pp. 165–199.

318According to Jean Firges, Celan took the basic metaphor of Death Fugue from Rose Ausländer from the poem Ins Leben (1925), published in Chernivtsi in the collection Der Regenbogen. Gedichte (1939). However, its importance in both cases is fundamentally different: through the oxymoronic term “Schwarze Milch” Ausländer expresses the essence of “melancholy”, Celan – holocaust. See J. Firges, “Paul Celan – citation et date,” in: Réécritures: Heine, Kafka, Celan, Müller. Essais sur l’intertextualité dans la littérature allemande du XXème siècle, ed. Ch. Klein, Grenoble: Presses Universitaires de Grenoble, 1989, pp. 67, 73.

319Anacrusis in the linguistic sense is usually one, less frequently two unstressed syllables at the beginning of a verse, which remain outside the metric scheme. The term itself (Greek anakrusis – intoned) comes from music theory, from where it was adopted into literary research at the beginning of the nineteenth century. See M. Głowiński, T. Kostkiewiczowa, A. Okopień-Sławińska, J. Sławiński, Słownik terminów literackich, Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1989, p. 29. See also T. Kuryś, “Anakruza,” in: Sylabotonizm, ed. Z. Kopczyńska, M. R. Mayenowa, Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1957, pp. 166–171.

320P. Celan, Fuga śmierci, trans. S. J. Lec, in: Twórczość, 8 (1965): pp. 89–90.

321The layout of the original has been preserved in Feliks Przybylak’s translation. See P. Celan, Fuga śmierci, in: idem, Wiersze, selected, translated and postword by F. Przybylak, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1988, pp. 9–13.

322Text quoted after the bilingual edition: Poems of Paul Celan: A Bilingual German/English Edition, trans. M. Hamburger, New York: Persea Books, 2002, pp. 30–33.

323See H. Petri, op. cit., p. 53.

324It is from here that this fragment became the title of one of the poems in Tadeusz Różewicz’s volume Płaskorzeźba, “Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland” (1990), dedicated to the “memory of Paul Celan”. T. Różewicz, Płaskorzeźba, Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Dolnośląskie, 1991, pp. 37–41 (see T. Różewicz, Der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland, in: idem, Sobbing Superpower: Selected Poems of Tadeusz Różewicz, trans. J. Trzeciak, New York–London, W. W. Norton & Company, 2011, pp. 169–170).

325Feliks Przybylak resigned from this strong semantic fetter in the translation. See P. Celan, Fuga śmierci, in: idem, Wiersze, p. 11.

326See J.-Ch. Margotton, Formes musicales en littérature, in: Littérature et arts dans la culture de langue allemande: sur les rapports entre la littérature et les arts (musique et peinture). Théorie et choix de textes avec commentaires, Lyon: Presses Universitaires de Lyon, 1995, p. 220.

327See H. Petri, op. cit., pp. 53–54; see also L. Kolago: “Forma jako ekspresja,” pp. 112–113; “Paul Celan: ‘Todesfuge’,” in: idem, Musikalische Formen und Strukturen in der deutschsprachigen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts, p. 220 ff.

328Horst Petri recognises “immanent static principle”, in opposition to “dynamic”, as the most important for fugue as a musical form; hence his criticism of Peter Seidensticker’s views (“Paul Celan: ‘Todesfuge’,” in: Der Deutschunterricht, 12 (1960): pp. 35–42) and Wolfgang Butzlaff (“Paul Celan: ‘Todesfuge’,” in: Der Deutschunterricht, 12 (1960): pp. 42–51). See H. Petri, op. cit., p. 54.

329Moreover, not all sequences appear many times; some of them, particularly the second theme, amongst others: “[er] tritt vor das Haus und es blitzen die Sterne” (line 7), or the expansion of the bridge passage: “er trifft dich mit bleierner Kugel er trifft dich genau” (line 31) appear only once. Jean-Charles Margotton gives an outline of the typology of motifs: from elements appearing once, through repeatedly invoked motifs modified and changing place in different verses, to the figure which returns unchanged. See J.-Ch. Margotton, op. cit., p. 220.

330Author of the first dissertation about Celan in the German language – Die Gestaltungsschichten in der Lyrik Paul Celans ausgehend vom Wortmaterial (Köln 1959).

331J. Firges, “Paul Celan – citation et date,” p. 67.

332See H. Fricke, “Sentimentalität, Plagiat und übergroße Schönheit? Über das Mißverständnis ‘Todesfuge’,” in: Arcadia, 1 (1997): pp. 195–209.

333See ibidem, p. 60 ff; see also A. Kittner, “Erinnerungen an den jungen Paul Celan,” in: Texte zum frühen Celan, Bukarester Celan-Kolloquium 1981, Zeitschrift für Kulturaustausch, 32 (1982): pp. 217–219.

334The poem was published only in 1970. I. Weißglas, ER, in: Neue Literatur, 2 (1970): p. 34.

335Weißglas himself treated acceptance of metaphors in poetry as a natural thing, and in a letter to Gerhart Baumann drew attention to the modern character of Death Fugue. I. Weißglas, “Brief an Gerhart Baumann,” in: Texte zum frühen Celan, p. 233.

336U. Weisstein, “Verbal Paintings, Fugal Poems, Literary Collages and the Metamorphic Comparatist,” in: Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature, 27 (1978): p. 16.

337The issue is additionally complicated by the author’s commentaries and their interpretations; Paradis by Philippe Sollers (1981), although the author himself suggests the relationship between the work and fugue construction, for Colin Duckworth it is just a good example of “false analogy”. See C. Duckworth, “Table ronde. Transpositions: musique et parole, traduction et représentation,” in: Sud, 50/51 (1984): pp. 223–224.

338Ewa Wiegandt expresses a similar opinion: “The feature of musicality has a non-conventionalised status, requires a signal of its presence. Sometimes this is a title, an author’s commentary, the organisation of the sound layer of the text, or most often, the musical theme of the work”. E. Wiegandt, op. cit., p. 113.

339C. S. Brown, op. cit., p. 151.

340S. Grochowiak, Agresty, Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1963, p. 34.

341K. I. Gałczyński, Niobe, introduction J. Kierst, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Artystyczno-Graficzne RSW “Prasa”, 1958, pp. 8–11.

342The musical aspect of Eliot’s cycle is ignored, amongst others, by Balachandra Rajan (“The Unity of the ‘Quartets’,” in: T. S. Eliot: A Study of His Writings by Several Hands, ed. B. Rajan, London: Dennis Dobson, 1949, pp. 78–95), and given casual treatment by Monique Lojkine-Morelec (T. S. Eliot: essai sur la genèse d’une écriture, Paris: Klincksieck, Publications de la Sorbonne, 1985). On the contrary, however, amongst others Hugh Kenner (“‘Four Quartets’,” in: idem, The Invisible Poet: T. S. Eliot, London: Methuen & Co, 1965, pp. 247–276) and Thomas R. Rees (The Technique of T. S. Eliot: A Study of the Orchestration of Meaning in Eliot’s Poetry, The Hague–Paris: Mouton, 1974).

343See part 1, chapter 2: Musicality – musicality of a literary work, p. 46 ff.

344See W. Brydak, “O muzyczności,” in: Dialog, 1 (1978): p. 86.

345F. Claudon, “Littérature et musique,” in: Revue de Littérature Comparée, 3 (1987): p. 262.

346See amongst others: J. Prokop, “Stanisław Grochowiak: ‘Fuga’,” in: Liryka polska: Interpretacje, ed. J. Prokop, J. Sławiński, Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1966, p. 427 ff; F. Escal, Contrepoints: Musique et littérature, Paris: Méridiens Klincksieck, 1990, pp. 172–176 (Gide); J.-L. Cupers, Aldous Huxley et la musique: À la manière de Jean-Sébastien, Bruxelles: Publications des Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, 1985, p. 198 ff. See also J. Paszek, op. cit., pp. 82–91.

347See C. Lévi-Strauss, Mythologiques, vol. 1: Le Cru et le cuit, Paris: Librairie Plon, 1964, p. 155 (see C. Lévi-Strauss, Mythologiques, vol. 1: The Raw and the Cooked, trans. J. Weightman, D. Weightman, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983, p. 147).

348R. Abernathy, “A Vowel Fugue in Blok,” in: International Journal of Slavic Linguistics and Poetics, 6 (1963): pp. 88–107.

349J. Iwaszkiewicz, Pejzaże sentymentalne, Warsaw: Nakład Gebethnera i Wolffa, 1926, p. 5.

350W. Szymborska, Wielka liczba, Warsaw: Czytelnik, 1976, p. 32 (see W. Szymborska, The Onion, in: eadem, View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems, translated from the Polish by S. Barańczak, C. Cavanagh, New York: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1995, pp. 120–121).