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MoonlightingBeethoven and Literary Modernism$
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Nathan Waddell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198816706

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198816706.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 September 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Beethoven and Literary Modernism

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Moonlighting
Author(s):

Nathan Waddell

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198816706.003.0007

This introductory chapter suggests that the customary critical focus on formal correspondences between literary and musical art works doesn’t help us grasp how the modernists knew that so many references to Beethoven’s life and music in and around 1900 were references to conventional ways of talking and writing about his life and music, references which had by that point long since become part of the cultural vernacular. It argues that once we allow for a modernist musicality in this sense, we open up the possibility of a new way of talking about the place of the Beethovenian in early twentieth-century literature—we make it feasible to see modernist writers not only as the inheritors of Beethovenian rebelliousness, but also as critics of the very rhetorical means with which the rebelliousness of Beethoven acquired legendary status.

Keywords:   legend, vernacular, rebelliousness, rhetoric, iconicity

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