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Music into art into text: Klee’s Wander-Artist in Josipovici’s Goldberg: Variations
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Portuguese. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies. (Literature, identity and Transculturality)
2015 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The presence of music in Gabriel Josipovici’s novel, Goldberg: Variations (2002), is clear at onset as it establishes an obvious allusion to Bach’s colon-less Goldberg Variations. The reference naturally moves beyond the title as Josipovici appropriates the well-known anecdote in Johann Sebastian Bach’s life and transposes it to an English country house in the 1800s. A constellation of allusions to this episode from Bach’s life informs the novel throughout and it becomes ever more evident that music is bound to play an important role in the economy of the novel. This is particular noticeable on Chapter 18 where two characters reflect at length on the notion of the fugue and “its metaphorical potential”.

And yet, the full scope of the metaphorical potential of the fugue can only be fully grasped in connection to Paul Klee’s figure of the wandering artist, which seems to be in the text an iconic metaphor for that which we can only glimpse briefly at a certain moment in time and which is lost once we try to apprehend it.

Drawing on this, this paper shall examine, on a first stage, how Klee’s Wander-Artist enables music to be translated into words, acting as it does as a metaphor for the way the text uses the notion of the fugue to explore the limits of what is sayable and understandable, and then reflect, on a latter stage, on how the figure of the wandering artist affects the text, allowing it to convey what otherwise would be left unsaid. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Kultur, identitet och gestaltning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-18986OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-18986DiVA: diva2:845172
Conference
Tenth International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature, University of Tübingen, Germany, 26-28 March 2015
Available from: 2015-08-11 Created: 2015-08-11 Last updated: 2015-08-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf