Event Title

Post-structural Sounds: Listening to the Relationship Between Post-structuralism and Music in Debussy, Mann, and Joyce

Location

King Building 327

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-29-2016 2:45 PM

End Date

4-29-2016 3:45 PM

Abstract

Western thought has long been troubled by the metaphysical and semantic problems of music. Unable to satisfyingly rationalize sound, philosophers and theorists of the Symbolist movement at the end of the 19th century constructed the myth of music as the ideal art for its intangibility. This project works to deconstruct this myth through the application of post-structural theory to the music of Debussy. It is the metaphysical multiplicity of a musical note in Debussy that leads to an understanding of the symbiotic relationship of music in literature, which I explore through the literary examples of Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.

Notes

Session II, Panel 8 - Mapping the Intangible: Meditations on Musical Meaning
Moderator: Jared Hartt, Associate Professor of Music Theory

Major

Comparative Literature; Violin Performance

Advisor(s)

Elizabeth Hamilton, Comparative Literature
David Bowlin, Violin Performance

Project Mentor(s)

Jed Deppman, Comparative Literature

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Apr 29th, 2:45 PM Apr 29th, 3:45 PM

Post-structural Sounds: Listening to the Relationship Between Post-structuralism and Music in Debussy, Mann, and Joyce

King Building 327

Western thought has long been troubled by the metaphysical and semantic problems of music. Unable to satisfyingly rationalize sound, philosophers and theorists of the Symbolist movement at the end of the 19th century constructed the myth of music as the ideal art for its intangibility. This project works to deconstruct this myth through the application of post-structural theory to the music of Debussy. It is the metaphysical multiplicity of a musical note in Debussy that leads to an understanding of the symbiotic relationship of music in literature, which I explore through the literary examples of Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus and James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.