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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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Interdisciplinarity and Comparative Studies


I. Introductory Remarks

The dispute about interdisciplinarity – of interest to us in direct connection with the problems of recent comparative studies and more broadly: with the problems of modern literary criticism and cultural studies – in today’s world reaches, practically speaking, into every area of reflection and every aspect of scientific research218. It could most simply be said that interdisciplinarity as a contemporary phenomenon comes down to, firstly, the issue of knowledge and perception of the world, and secondly, as a consequence, to the “economy” of knowledge and, ultimately, a form of power219. In the case of looking at the widest circle of issues in two indicated ways, namely in epistemological and sociological aspects, not without reason one should consider becoming acquainted with the various phenomena (including literature as one of the discourses and one of the elements of cultural reality) and be aware of the existence – as suggested recently in an interview with Vincent B. Leitch – of the “era of interdisciplinarity”220. ← 67 | 68 →

Undoubtedly, in the current dispute about interdisciplinarity, which inevitably places the question of the status and boundaries of individual academic disciplines221 at the centre of attention, there is no lack of supporters or opponents. All the criticism formulated in connection with the idea of interdisciplinarity can either be reduced to the moderated thesis that there is no such discipline, which would be completely autonomous and completely isolated from the others (this is, for example, an argument of Giovanni Gozzer222, a...

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