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Title: The role of music in selected novels and associated writings of Alejo Carpentier : primeval expression, structural analogies and performance
Author: Chornik, Katia Marcela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 3655
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2011
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Alejo Carpentier's extensive use of music in fiction is interdisciplinary by its very nature and thus begs for consideration by scholars working across both disciplines. However, it has been mainly analysed by literary critics with insufficient or inadequate understanding of music. This thesis aims to fill this gap. The Introduction explains the selection of texts, establishes methodologies and sources, and contextualises the thesis within relevant Carpentier scholarship and related interdisciplinary studies in literature and music. Chapter Two deals with a newly discovered unpublished source, Carpentier's 'Los origenes de la música y la música primitiva' ('The Origins of Music and Primitive Music'). It scrutinises the ways by which the author assimilates, resists and challenges evolutionary ideas used in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century anthropological and musicological literature. Chapter Three examines Carpentier's novel Los pasos perdidos (The Lost Steps) in the light of 'Los origenes de la música', focusing on the enterprise of collecting 'primitive' instruments, the discussion of the origins of music, the use of primeval expression for contemporary music and the juxtaposition of conflicting models of time. Chapter Four discusses Carpentier's experiments with musical time and musical form in the novella El acoso (The Chase). Using a previously unexamined radio programme by Carpentier as a starting point, it establishes how the author uses musical form as a literary model and determines the influence of his broadcasting experience upon the novella's play on musical timeframes. After music as formative and music as form, comes an examination of music as performed. Focusing on the performances narrated in El acoso and La consagración de la primavera (The Rite of Spring), Chapter Five examines how music is employed to convey irony and political ideology, and the incongruities that result from these connections. Chapter Six concludes the thesis and suggests avenues for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral