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Music in Literature

Perspectives of Interdisciplinary Comparative Literature- Translated by Lindsay Davidson


Andrzej Hejmej

This book captures links between music and literature in the light of recent proposals from theorists of intertextuality and comparative literature, and at the same time diagnoses the current state of comparative literature as a field of literary research. The issue of literary score, namely the phenomenon of musical intertexts which exist in literature, lies at the centre of the author’s interests. He examines strict intertextual correlations, in situations where a particular musical composition is implied in the literary record, or where it is precisely indicated, or co-exists with it as a component of the intermedial structure. Particular attention is given to realisations of sound poetry by Bernard Heidsieck, Miron Białoszewski, the creator of the Teatr Osobny (Separate Theatre), poetic works by Kornel Ujejski and Stanisław Barańczak, the creative work of playwright-composer Bogusław Schaeffer and Michel Butor’s hybrid text.
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Literary Score. Subject Matter of Interdisciplinary Comparative Literature ...


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Literary Score. Subject Matter of Interdisciplinary Comparative Literature

I. Literature – Music (Methodological Remarks)

The numerous and extremely complicated relations between literature of music may undoubtedly be represented in very different ways. However, they always are in a close relationship, most generally speaking, from the object of the study to the researcher’s position161. An elementary consequence of this in music-literary studies (and indeed one of the obvious differences between musicological research and literary studies) can be seen perfectly at first glance. If discussion of aspects of co-existence of literary and musical texts – be it in the formula of vocal compositions, or in the formula of a symphonic poem162 – does not raise the slightest objection, then discussion of aspects of the existence of a musical composition in a literary text is immediately highly suspect, through careful marginalisation or to be placed entirely in doubt. In this context, using Steven P. Scher’s generally accepted musical-literary research typology, depending on the form of the object under examination, distinguishes between three variants of possible relations, namely, “literature in music”, “music and literature” and ← 51 | 52 → “music in literature”163. Scher’s ideas initially suggest that not only is there no symmetry between these questions, but that they are actually extremely divergent issues.

The problem of the incompatibility of the manifestations of “music in literature” in the perspective of “literature in music”, i.e. the fundamental disproportion between the results of cross-references between two works of art in music...

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