Reference to popular music in the novel: the author's Perspective

University of Soukern Denmark
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The Journal of Music and Meaning, 2004, 2 (Spring), pp. 1 - 7
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Music has played an important role in the fictional novel for centuries. The sheer number of novels using music as a central feature is evident in a recent bibliography of musical crime fiction that lists more than 600 such novels ( Music has varying degrees of influence in the novel. It can be the centre of a novel, as is the case in Tolstoys The Kreutzer Sonata, where Beethovens violin sonata works subliminally on Tolstoys protagonist, its melody, amplitude, and rhythms unleash repressed instincts, opening the floodgates of the irrational sphere and leading him to the shadow world (Knapp, 1988, p. 10). Music can also influence the structure of a novel. Specific examples of this include James Joyces use of the musical fugue in the Sirens episode of Ulysses (Hiatt, 2001), and Toni Morrisons use of jazz in her novel of the same name, where the words of the book are a compilation of sounds and the unnamed narrator acts as a soloist within the music of other voices (Lesoinne, 1997, p. 151).
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