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British Literature and Classical Music: Cultural Contexts 1870-1945 - Historicizing Modernism (Paperback)
  • British Literature and Classical Music: Cultural Contexts 1870-1945 - Historicizing Modernism (Paperback)
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British Literature and Classical Music: Cultural Contexts 1870-1945 - Historicizing Modernism (Paperback)

(author)
£28.99
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 23/03/2017
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British Literature and Classical Music explores literary representations of classical music in early 20th century British writing. Covering authors ranging from T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf to Aldous Huxley, H.G. Wells and D.H. Lawrence, the book examines literature produced during a period of widely proliferating philosophical, educational, and performance-oriented musical activities in both public and private settings. David Deutsch demonstrates how this proliferation caused classical music to become an increasingly vital element of British culture and a vehicle for exploring contentious issues such as social mobility, sexual freedoms, and international political rivalries. Through the use of archives of concert programs, cult novels, and letters written during the First and Second World Wars, the book examines how authors both celebrated and satirized the musicality of the lower-middle and working classes, same-sex desiring individuals, and cosmopolitan promoters of a shared European culture to depict these groups as valuable members of and - less frequently as threats to - British life.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350028463
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 390 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Deutsch writes about music, chiefly German, that evoked transcendental ideas in British literati, while deftly crossing lines of class, education, and sexual orientation ... Deutsch's argument is vitally important for showing how British listeners discovered a psychological release in the classical repertoire, enabling a "popular cosmopolitanism" that helped to "construct public sanctuaries amidst hostile crowds. * Common Knowledge *
[A] deeply admirable study. * Times Literary Supplement *
Extremely stimulating and well-informed ... [This] book offers a wealth of information and astute analyses on a too-rarely-tackled subject that gives a fascinating insight into the importance of musical issues in both literature and society. * Cercles *
Jazz is the musical style most often associated with modernism, but Deutsch (Univ. of Alabama) demonstrates that the roots of modernism are surely planted and bloom in classical music. Using the lens of New Historicism, the author examines music as an aesthetic trope in modernist literature to emphasize social reform and changing attitudes about sex, class, and gender. What he reveals demonstrates the reverberations of the new emphasis on the respectability of music education and the increased ability for all to attend musical performances. In the first chapter, Deutsch focuses on Walter Pater and the Oxbridge set. In the remaining four chapters, he considers Eliot's, Huxley's, and Woolf's use of musical allusion as a method of class critique; music education and the lower classes as seen through the work of Bennett, Burke, and Lawrence; classical music and tolerance of same-sex relationships; and the penetration of cosmopolitan ideas via the acceptance of European classical music. Proving that in this body of literature, music is integral rather than ancillary, Deutsch's volume merits serious attention. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. -- V. A. Murrenus Pilmaier, University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan * CHOICE *
David Deutsch's British Literature and Classical Music contributes valuably to a burgeoning conversation about the relationship between literature and music in the early twentieth century. ...his book is an important resource, built on an often-surprising archive. -- Josh Epstein * Journal of British Studies *
Teachers as well as scholars of British literature looking for new perspectives will find Deutsch's very informative and detailed study a great boon, because it illuminates an often neglected and yet very important area of literary study and does so very well indeed. * English Literature in Transition *
A carefully researched and well-organised account of the importance of classical music in British literature ... A study that does so much to uncover how early 20th-century literary culture cultivated its appreciation for classical music is to be warmly welcomed. * Literature & History *

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