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Contents

Music in the Early Twentieth Century

SYMBOLISM

Chapter:
CHAPTER 2 Getting Rid of Glue
Source:
MUSIC IN THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin
Symbolism

fig. 2-4 Title page of Charles Baudelaire’s Richard Wagner et Tannhäuser à Paris (1861).

If, on the other hand, the word voiles in the title of Debussy’s piano prelude is taken to mean “veils,” connoting mystery and concealment, Debussy’s music can seem “literary”—concerned, that is, in its reluctance to draw explicit connections or maintain a strongly linear narrative thrust, with issues being raised in the literary domain by the poets and other “littérateurs” (literary hangers-on) who belonged to the “Symbolist” school. “Symbolism” was a somewhat older movement than “impressionism” in painting. It goes back to the work of the poet and critic Charles Baudelaire (1821–67), the first of the “decadents” and one of the obvious models for Des Esseintes, the hero of Huysmans’s À rebours, discussed in the previous chapter. Baudelaire claimed to derive his artistic ideas on the one hand from the music and writings of Richard Wagner, and on the other from the American poet and literary theorist Edgar Allan Poe (1809–49). He lived the role of decadent to the tragic hilt, dying penniless in drug-induced insanity.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 2 Getting Rid of Glue." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-002005.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 2 Getting Rid of Glue. In Oxford University Press, Music in the Early Twentieth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 10 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-002005.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 2 Getting Rid of Glue." In Music in the Early Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 10 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume4/actrade-9780195384840-div1-002005.xml
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