Perspectives of Interdisciplinary Comparative Literature- Translated by Lindsay Davidson
The problem of “music in literature”, known for a long time to literary theorists as a matter of aesthetics, has for a few decades attracted the attention of comparatists particularly interested in interdisciplinary research1. Despite this established interest, today it is impossible to bring clarity to the phenomena connected to music in literature – both due to the diversity of these phenomena occurring in different cultural realities, but also, and above all else, because of their different understandings. Divergent, disproportionate interpretations cause, in effect, the appearance that literary theorists’ proposals are exceptionally inconsistent. It is therefore necessary here to answer the most general questions possible, namely, what is meant by the phrase “music in literature”? This question is all the more justified when issues so varied in their essence appear. These are questions related to non-literary and musical influences, certain types of language formation, forms of thematising music, and interpretations of musical structures in literature or the existence of musical-literary intermedial constructs.
To immediately clarify the point of view adopted regarding the theoretical category “music in literature”2, I take the view given by Steven Paul Scher (as have, likewise, most of today’s comparatists and literary theorists from Western Europe3). It defines a typology within musical and literary studies from one of the problem fields, which consists of three interdependent spheres of phenomena. ← 7 | 8 → The first is combined with the sonic form of a literary text (in Scher’s terms the “word music”), the second – with the...
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