This study uncovers and interprets the representation of alterity in Schubert’s Moment musical in Aβ, op. 94 no. 2 (1828) and Wilde’s ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ from The Happy Prince and Other Stories (1888). Furthermore, the study locates and contextually investigates analogies between Schubert’s representation of alterity and Wilde’s. There is a strong likelihood that Schubert was part of a Viennese subculture that was involved in illicit activities and dissident experimentation. Since Maynard Solomon published his essay ‘Franz Schubert and the Peacocks of Benvenuto Cellini’ in 1989, the possibility of Schubert’s homosexuality has received a vast amount of critical attention. Whatever his sexuality, his music has long been seen as containing distinctly feminine traits and subversive elements. Similarly to Schubert, Wilde’s homosexuality and resulting ostracism forms an essential aspect of his life, oeuvre and of subsequent and current Wilde studies. The way in which both Schubert and Wilde’s marginalisation and illicit activities lent a sense of alterity to their works is intriguing. Taking on the loose appearance of deconstructive readings, the analysis of Schubert’s work incorporates musical semiotics, while the analysis of Wilde’s fairy tale builds on ideas raised in the Schubert analysis. The deconstructive readings focus on the binary opposition between the concepts of redemption and defeat as found in Wilde’s fairy tale. The duality between redemption and defeat is shown to have particular resonance with the Romantic image of the artist as messiah and martyr. This study offers the hypothesis that the sense of alterity experienced by Schubert and Wilde is reflected in their works as a longing for the unattainable, a quest for redemption, and that the representation of this alterity is often subversive and dissident. Specific ways in which Schubert and Wilde represent alterity are by refusing climactic moments, by juxtaposing opposites, by symbolising homoeroticism, and by purposefully disobeying stylistic obligations. Copyright
Dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2010.
Reynders, Nadia(University of Pretoria, 2011-05-13)
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