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Speaking of MusicAddressing the Sonorous$
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Keith Chapin and Andrew H. Clark

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823251384

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823251384.001.0001

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Mi manca la voce: How Balzac Talks Music—or How Music Takes Place—in Massimilia Doni

Mi manca la voce: How Balzac Talks Music—or How Music Takes Place—in Massimilia Doni

Chapter:
(p.120) Mi manca la voce: How Balzac Talks Music—or How Music Takes Place—in Massimilia Doni
Source:
Speaking of Music
Author(s):

John T. Hamilton

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823251384.003.0008

As his letters attest, Balzac was deeply concerned about incorporating musical composition, performance and reception into his broad novelistic project. The task, as he explicitly describes it, is not “to talk about music” (parler de musique) but rather “to talk music” (parler musique), that is, to depict musical experience without employing it merely as a literary metaphor. In a reading of his novella Massimilla Doni, which features an extended analysis of Rossini's oratorio Mosè in Egitto, the present article discusses the various aspects of music's place in literature, which in turn offers some reflection on the tensions between music and verbal language, between the sound of the opera house and the silence of the page.

Keywords:   Honoré de Balzac, Massimilla Doni, Mosè in Egitto, Music and literature

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