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Rethinking Schubert$
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Lorraine Byrne Bodley and Julian Horton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190200107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190200107.001.0001

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Narrative Dislocations in the First Movement of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony

Narrative Dislocations in the First Movement of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony

(p.127) 7 Narrative Dislocations in the First Movement of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony
Rethinking Schubert

Xavier Hascher

Oxford University Press

This essay considers the first movement of Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony from the perspective of its narrative trajectory. In reference to the vocabulary introduced by Freud in his dream theory, it distinguishes between a ‘manifest’ narration on the surface and a deeper, hidden, ‘latent’ one that influences the former and accounts for the spectacular, violent outbursts that periodically interrupt its course. Whereas the surface narration seems to follow the narrative programme normally associated with sonata form, what is actually happening in the movement makes use of this unfolding to recount a different story, one that is entirely static, non-evolving and obsessional in nature. The manifest narrative trajectory is underlain by an anti-narration, a non-trajectory that distorts and dislocates it, so that the movement only progresses through a succession of crises and interruptions.

Keywords:   narrativity, Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’, first-movement sonata form, Freud and dream theory, Narrative trajectory

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