George Eliot, Music and Victorian Culture by Delia da Sousa Correa

By Delia da Sousa Correa

George Eliot was once enthusiastic about track and her writing is steeped in musical allusion. This ebook explores musical reference in her paintings and investigates contexts comparable to Eliot's friendship with Wagner, the legacy of Romanticism, music's position in medical concept, and the ambivalent prestige of woman musicality. The ebook establishes how intensely Eliot's musical allusions are knowledgeable through her modern tradition and gives a clean view of the experimental writing during which she took literary realism into formerly uncharted areas.

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Literary Awards
Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2010)

Extra resources for George Eliot, Music and Victorian Culture

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Com - licensed to Universitetsbiblioteket i Tromso - PalgraveConnect - 2011-03-24 36 37 This, of course, still suggests a primarily physiological and evolutionary account of musical response. Like Sully, Gurney was more concerned to take issue with Spencer’s schematic correlations of language and musical expression than with his evolutionary analysis of music’s origins, or his identification of a common physical basis for emotional and musical response. 162 Gurney was, in fact, convinced that the expressive sound from which music originated long preceded speech and the intellectual conceptions which accompanied it.

There were continual developments in instrument-building and this, of course, was a period before any widespread revival of Baroque music when performance practice favoured recently composed works. 71 The advance of music was readily perceived to mirror the evolution of the human faculties in general. 72 In the 1870s, the Reverend Hugh Haweis was to proclaim in his Music and Morals that ‘Music, as distinguished from the various rude attempts of the past, is only about four hundred years old. 73 Such views were long-standing.

Numerous responses to Spencer’s work cite this same phrase from Jean Paul to describe music’s effects. The conception of the musician as possessing superior emotional sensibilities was of course widely to be found in Romantic literature. The idea is frequently alluded to by composers themselves: in Beethoven’s claims for the special status of the musical artist in his Heiligenstadt Testament, in the writings of E. T. A. 95 Spencer’s view of the musician stressed the greater sympathetic and moral capacity which creative sensitivity conferred, so emphasising the artist’s crucial role in society rather than the glorious isolation which apparently accompanied the Romantic view of artistic status.

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