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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Reading Kramer's "Music and Poetry".

Surely instead of trying to look for parallels between one quartet of Beethoven and one poem by Wordsworth, it would be better to look at larger structural tendencies that don't depend on one person's analysis and judgment of isolated examples.  And this nervous flipping back between poetry and music, between Ives and Wallace Stevens, for example. The comparisons occur at such a high level of abstraction and stylistic obfuscation  that one is never sure of the exact claims being made:

"At first glance, the risk that Wordsworth takes with myth in the 'Intimations' Ode might seem insignificant beside Beethoven's protracted gamble with tonality."

[or else: unrelated in any way; we are comparing musical structures with literary meanings].

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