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Music in the «Nachtwachen»

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Paul Davies

Bonaventura's Nachtwachen (1804/05) has puzzled and troubled critics through its scepticism, nihilism, and scathing irony. By focussing on these aspects, critics have tended to overlook the role of music as a positive value and counterbalance to Bonaventura's mad topsy-turvy world. It is precisely this fascinating and multilayered use of music in the Nachtwachen that is explored in this book from a variety of different angles and perspectives. The book establishes the central importance of music as a literary metaphor as well as an absolute positive value in the world of the Nachtwachen. At the same time the book invites us to reconsider Bonaventura's novel in the light of the contemporary Romantic reception of music in German literature.
Contents: This book deals with musical figures, references, and analogies in Bonaventura's Nachtwachen as well as with literary depictions of musical accompaniment and the role of music as a positive force.