Daniel Albright (Department of English, Harvard University) "Belletristic Music in the Twentieth Century

Event Date: 

Friday, May 12, 2006 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Music 1145

Music has sometimes evolved by means of usurping the strategies of other artistic media, particularly painting and narrative literature. In this lecture Professor Albright will look at certain forms of usurpation in the domain of speech and print: How can music do the work of speech? How can music do the work of printed text? Joyce's novels provide useful test cases for the second question: various composers, including Luciano Berio, Harry Partch, and John Cage, have found in Finnegans Wake and Ulysses inspiration for extending the art of music beyond music's normal bounds.

Daniel Albright is the Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature at Harvard University. His interest in the comparative study of the arts has led him to publish widely on twentieth-century music and literature. His most recent publications include Berlioz's Semi-Operas : Romeo et Juliette and La Damnation de Faust (Eastman Studies in Music, 2005) and an edited anthology of major 20th-century writings on music titled Modernism and Music: An Anthology of Sources (University of Chicago Press, 2004). Other recent publications include: Beckett and Aesthetics (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and the Visual Arts (University of Chicago Press, 2000). Sponsored by the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music and the Departments of Comparative Literature, Music, and French.

A reception will follow the lecture.