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Virginia Woolf and Classical Music: Politics, Aesthetics, Form

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This study is a groundbreaking investigation into the formative influence of music on Virginia Woolf's writing In this unique study Emma Sutton discusses all of Woolf's novels as well as selected essays and short fiction, offering detailed commentaries on Woolf's numerous allusions to classical repertoire and to composers including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner. Sutton This study is a groundbreaking investigation into the formative influence of music on Virginia Woolf's writing In this unique study Emma Sutton discusses all of Woolf's novels as well as selected essays and short fiction, offering detailed commentaries on Woolf's numerous allusions to classical repertoire and to composers including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner. Sutton explores Woolf's interest in the contested relationship between politics and music, placing her work in a matrix of ideas about music and national identity, class, anti-Semitism, pacifism, sexuality and gender. The study also considers the formal influence of music - from fugue to Romantic opera - on Woolf's prose and narrative techniques. The analysis of music's role in Woolf's aesthetics and fiction is contextualized in accounts of her musical education, activities as a listener, and friendships with musicians; and the study outlines the relationship between her 'musicalized' work and that of contemporaries including Joyce, Lawrence, Forster, Mansfield and Eliot. Key Features: Analysis of music, national identity and war in The Voyage Out, Jacob's Room and Mrs Dalloway Close reading of Wagner's influence on the plot and narrative techniques of The Voyage Out Analysis of music and philo- and anti-Semitism in The Years Innovative reading of the 'fugal' structure of Mrs Dalloway


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This study is a groundbreaking investigation into the formative influence of music on Virginia Woolf's writing In this unique study Emma Sutton discusses all of Woolf's novels as well as selected essays and short fiction, offering detailed commentaries on Woolf's numerous allusions to classical repertoire and to composers including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner. Sutton This study is a groundbreaking investigation into the formative influence of music on Virginia Woolf's writing In this unique study Emma Sutton discusses all of Woolf's novels as well as selected essays and short fiction, offering detailed commentaries on Woolf's numerous allusions to classical repertoire and to composers including Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner. Sutton explores Woolf's interest in the contested relationship between politics and music, placing her work in a matrix of ideas about music and national identity, class, anti-Semitism, pacifism, sexuality and gender. The study also considers the formal influence of music - from fugue to Romantic opera - on Woolf's prose and narrative techniques. The analysis of music's role in Woolf's aesthetics and fiction is contextualized in accounts of her musical education, activities as a listener, and friendships with musicians; and the study outlines the relationship between her 'musicalized' work and that of contemporaries including Joyce, Lawrence, Forster, Mansfield and Eliot. Key Features: Analysis of music, national identity and war in The Voyage Out, Jacob's Room and Mrs Dalloway Close reading of Wagner's influence on the plot and narrative techniques of The Voyage Out Analysis of music and philo- and anti-Semitism in The Years Innovative reading of the 'fugal' structure of Mrs Dalloway

20 review for Virginia Woolf and Classical Music: Politics, Aesthetics, Form

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This is a fascinating book in which Emma Sutton examines Woolf’s work in the context of her allusions to music (there are many of these). We get a picture of musical life in the early twentieth century and references to a number of the important figures on the musical scene, including a critique of the English folk revival of the 1920s. Sutton examines Woolf’s experiences with music; when living in London Woolf was a regular attender at Opera and concerts and in later life built up a significant This is a fascinating book in which Emma Sutton examines Woolf’s work in the context of her allusions to music (there are many of these). We get a picture of musical life in the early twentieth century and references to a number of the important figures on the musical scene, including a critique of the English folk revival of the 1920s. Sutton examines Woolf’s experiences with music; when living in London Woolf was a regular attender at Opera and concerts and in later life built up a significant record collection. She acknowledged that music was important to her, thinking of all her works as music before she wrote them. Woolf was initially a great fan of Wagner, going to see the Ring cycle a number of times. Sutton charts Woolf’s changing feelings over the years about Wagner. There is also an extended discussion of The Voyage Out, the plot of which is a critique of Tristan und Isolde. One example of how an understanding of the musical background can illustrate Woolf’s work will show how interesting this work is. It involves on of Beethoven’s late piano sonatas Opus 111. It was written late in Beethoven’s life when he was already deaf; it is technically difficult and not easy to interpret. It is important to know that in terms of repertoire it was considered that this was a work that should only be performed by men and was beyond female performers. In fact there were different repertoires for men and women; women were taught a different canon of music thought to be appropriate. In The Voyage Out Rachel performs Opus 111 on a regular basis. Early feminists did use music and attitudes relating to piano playing to make points and Woolf does the same here, challenging the gender norms relating to music (Forster did the same in A Room with a View). There are all sorts of interesting insights into Woolf’s novels and into the musical background of the time. Well worth reading if you are a Woolf fan.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gioia

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dolors

  5. 5 out of 5

    victoria carol

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Meinhart

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zane Šturme

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Clothier

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ilse

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jake Maguire

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terri

  13. 4 out of 5

    Flaubertian

  14. 4 out of 5

    Inês Teles Carvalhal

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Fink

  17. 5 out of 5

    Neverdust

  18. 4 out of 5

    dolphi

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jur

  20. 5 out of 5

    Anna Lawattanatrakul

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