Media, Convention, and the Beethovenian Monument
This chapter provides an overview of the main thrust of this book: how Beethovenian legend—there being no better example than the influential account of Beethoven as the archetypally suffering, Romantic composer, one whose ‘true’ origins in Beethoven’s day-to-day life seem always already hidden by the tales which have accumulated around him and his work—is a kind of encryption. This chapter accounts for the significance of that legendariness as it made its way through modernist literature in the early twentieth century, while also opening up the discussion, in conclusion, to look at the link between Beethovenian cultures and politics, and musico-literary analysis. It suggests that the importance of the book is that its argument gives us a means with which to demonstrate the existence of a hitherto-unacknowledged Beethovenian trajectory within modernist writing, and in so doing to describe its musico-literary operations in a markedly new way.
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