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Musicality of a Literary Work


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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5 Listen and read: two sources of one interpretation strategy: (Stanisław Barańczak’s[[I119]] Podróż zimowa [Winter Journey])


A most general and strongly paradoxical observation regarding Stanisław Barańczak’s cycle of poems Podróż zimowa: Wiersze do muzyki Franza Schuberta351 [Winter Journey: Poems to the Music of Franz Schubert] – would be as follows: in the majority of attempts at interpreting this cycle the interpretative context is treated marginally or generally omitted although it is clearly indicated by the literary work. It could be constatated a little differently, more precisely, that interpretative inquiries are limited to the semantics of literary text, while reducing, or even excluding, the intersemiotic and intermedial perspectives of a literary work352. Thus, for the most part, they do not refer to musicological analysis, they only stop at the study of metaphorical imaging or thematic reminiscences353. Meanwhile, the intermedial references in this case drive the ←119 | 120→basic text-creating mechanism, which on account of the interference of verbal notation with the notation of a particular musical work establish a degree of complexity of the literary work. The placing of literary text with musical text, characteristic in every poem of Barańczak’s cycle, graphically exemplifies their formal interdependence, and is merely an external manifestation or rather an emblem of genre indefiniteness (nota bene the referenced musical quotation shows here the difference between the boundaries of a text and the boundaries of a literary work in the strongest way).

The problem of the intermedial complexity of the cycle, essentially reducing to the plane of genology, remains analytically and interpretatively unresolved until the non-literary source of literary...

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