Music and Modern Literature The Influence Of Music On Literature - Essay

The Influence Of Music On Literature

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Calvin S. Brown

SOURCE: "Fiction and the Leitmotiv," in Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Arts, University of Georgia Press, 1948, pp. 208-18.

[In the following essay, Brown argues that the compositions of Richard Wagner have been the principal musical influence on the novel, and he illustrates how Gabriele d'Annunzio and Thomas Mann used the musical device of the leitmotiv, as Wagner developed it, in their novels.]

For fairly obvious reasons, music has exerted considerably more influence on poetry than on prose fiction. By its very nature, poetry demands a constant attention to problems of sound, and thus is likely to suggest musical...

(The entire section is 21589 words.)