Perhaps best known as a peerless virtuoso in his day and a composer the significance of whose contributions to the Western tradition was only appreciated in the latter half of the 20th century, Ferenc Liszt was also among the most ambitious composers of the 19th century in his exposure to works of literature and his interest in the interactions of literature and music. The following article examines the interrelationships between his music and the works of literature he chose as inspirations and in some cases as texts to be put to music.
There exists an evident and organic connection between the various arts (for example, painting, sculpture, music, dance, literature, film etc.), which can be expressed with the term
. This paper will be concerned with the relation between music and literature, more precisely, it examines the manifestation and the parallels of individual musical forms and renderings in literary text. The selected prose—Marguerite Yourcenar’s
—will be the focus of this textual-musical analysis, concentrating on those stylistic characteristics and text formatting tools that exhibit musical features in their properties and their structure. Even up to the present, analyses of literary texts have employed musical terms, for instance, polyphony, rhythm, cadence, pedal point, etc. This study will explore the textual manifestation of the following musical terms: rhythm, upbeat, non legato, imitation, tempo, lento, accelerando, retardation, polyphony, a cappella, soloist and figuration.
The paper presents theses for discussion locating some common cultural denominators in view of the interest of the general
practitioner of the discipline. Today, American scholars carve out from texts special angles pointing not inwards but outwards, toward other, prevalently non-aesthetic disciplines (political, ethnic, racial, gender-and-sex related, etc.) to illustrate
their broadly 'cultural' commitments. Comparing integral literary works from different cultures, the crux of comparative literature, has become a
rarity. Context is not brought in to elucidate the total import of the text, but, inversely, text is used to elucidate context, confirm theory, deductive rather than inductive. There has been a major
shift from the vertical literary-cultural to the horizontal literary-non literary. In the United States the literary core of comparative literature has become secondary if not dropped
altogether. On the pro side, truly interdisciplinary studies, especially in historiography, philosophy, anthropology, the hard sciences and technology,
along with the consanguine inter-arts constellation, have enriched comparative literature scholarship. On the con side, the inter-disciplinary drive, with its pitfalls of amateurism, has pushed back the inter-national/inter-linguistic
core of comparative literature which demands a slow-to-acquire, reasonably comprehensive knowledge of language, literature,
and history of at least one non-English culture. Most interdisciplinary studies currently carried on in the United States
are distressingly monolingual and monocultural. Of the two principal aims of interdisciplinary scholarship envisaged 40–50
years ago, the affinity-and-interaction-oriented goal of interdisciplinary studies in comparative literature has proved, if
anything, too successful, but the co-equal goal of refining and redefining distinctions has been submerged in the tide of
culture theory and criticism.