This comprehensive study of the ideas of music in Wallace Stevens' poetry «rereads» Stevens as a poet whose compositional strategies assimilate musical forms and performative programs. The «decomposer» is the poet of qualification, who constantly explores the validity of «developing variation» as the best means for creating art not limited by system or medium. As both subject and strategy for poetry, music becomes Stevens' most frequently used figure connecting his art to the rhythms of modern life. Thus, to disregard Stevens' ideas of music is to misread the text.
New York, Bern, Frankfurt/M., Paris, 1990. XIII, 177 pp.
Contents: Chapter I: biographical basis for Stevens' use of music - II-IV: focuses on musical figures and compositional strategies
- V: analyzes two contemporary musical settings of Stevens' poems. This work synthesizes preexisting commentary on Stevens
and music and focuses on «developing variation» as the «decomposer's» method. To date, no large-scale study of Stevens has
included music in its agenda.