ART AND AUTOCRACY
Historical dramas were popular everywhere in the nineteenth century; the Parisian grand opéra, as we know, consisted of virtually nothing but. Artistic representations of history in all media had a special importance in Russia, however, and a special cachet. That was because by the latter half of the nineteenth century Russia was the only remaining autocratic state in Europe. Everywhere else monarchies had been at least to some degree constitutionalized, but in Russia the tsar's authority was absolute, neither fettered by law nor shared with a parliament. Public debate of social and political issues was more severely circumscribed than anywhere else, and liberal opinion usually had to be camouflaged in what was called “Aesopian” language. That is, it had to take place in the guise of scholarship or art, on the understanding that sophisticated readers would interpret such writings, objects, and performances metaphorically, alive to its potential contemporary relevance.
- Citation (MLA):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 12 Cutting Things Down to Size." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-012002.xml>.
- Citation (APA):
- Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 12 Cutting Things Down to Size. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Nineteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 1 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-012002.xml
- Citation (Chicago):
- Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 12 Cutting Things Down to Size." In Music in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 1 Oct. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume3/actrade-9780195384833-div1-012002.xml