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British Literature and Classical Music


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Approaches to Classical Music in British Literature, 1870-1945: Theory and Practice 1. The Liberalization of Music in Aesthetic Literature: Pater and Oxford 2. Modernism's Distinctive Musical Rhetoric: Eliot, Huxley, and Woolf 3. The Musical Refinement of the Lower-Middle and Working Classes: Bennett, Lawrence, and their Contemporaries 4. Distinguishing a Musical Homoeroticism: Pater, Forster, and Their Aesthetic Descendants 5. Classical Music, Cosmopolitanism, and War: From Authors to Audiences Conclusion: A Literary Coda: Classical Music in British Literature Works Cited Index

Promotional Information

Covering writers from Virginia Woolf to D.H. Lawrence, this book explores representations of classical music in early 20th-century British literature and the light they shed on the importance of music to British culture.

About the Author

David Deutsch is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alabama, USA.


Deutsch writes about music, chiefly German, that evoked transcendental ideas in British literati, while deftly crossing lines of class, education, and sexual orientation ... Deutsch's argument is vitally important for showing how British listeners discovered a psychological release in the classical repertoire, enabling a "popular cosmopolitanism" that helped to "construct public sanctuaries amidst hostile crowds. * Common Knowledge *
[A] deeply admirable study. * Times Literary Supplement *
Extremely stimulating and well-informed ... [This] book offers a wealth of information and astute analyses on a too-rarely-tackled subject that gives a fascinating insight into the importance of musical issues in both literature and society. * Cercles *
Jazz is the musical style most often associated with modernism, but Deutsch (Univ. of Alabama) demonstrates that the roots of modernism are surely planted and bloom in classical music. Using the lens of New Historicism, the author examines music as an aesthetic trope in modernist literature to emphasize social reform and changing attitudes about sex, class, and gender. What he reveals demonstrates the reverberations of the new emphasis on the respectability of music education and the increased ability for all to attend musical performances. In the first chapter, Deutsch focuses on Walter Pater and the Oxbridge set. In the remaining four chapters, he considers Eliot's, Huxley's, and Woolf's use of musical allusion as a method of class critique; music education and the lower classes as seen through the work of Bennett, Burke, and Lawrence; classical music and tolerance of same-sex relationships; and the penetration of cosmopolitan ideas via the acceptance of European classical music. Proving that in this body of literature, music is integral rather than ancillary, Deutsch's volume merits serious attention. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. -- V. A. Murrenus Pilmaier, University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan * CHOICE *
David Deutsch's British Literature and Classical Music contributes valuably to a burgeoning conversation about the relationship between literature and music in the early twentieth century. ...his book is an important resource, built on an often-surprising archive. -- Josh Epstein * Journal of British Studies *
Teachers as well as scholars of British literature looking for new perspectives will find Deutsch's very informative and detailed study a great boon, because it illuminates an often neglected and yet very important area of literary study and does so very well indeed. * English Literature in Transition *
A carefully researched and well-organised account of the importance of classical music in British literature ... A study that does so much to uncover how early 20th-century literary culture cultivated its appreciation for classical music is to be warmly welcomed. * Literature & History *

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