Musico-Poetics in Perspective

Calvin S. Brown in Memoriam


The volume is dedicated to the memory of the late Calvin S. Brown of the University of Georgia, author of the first systematically conceived survey - Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Arts (1948) - of the branch of interart studies now generally known as Melopoetics. Part One consists of six original contributions by experts from Austria, Belgium, France, and the United States. Authored by a novelist and a composer/scholar, respectively, the first two essays - Jean Libis's “Inspiration musicale et composition littéraire: Réflexions sur un roman schubertien” and David M. Hertz's “The Composer's Musico-Literary Experience: Reflections on Song Writing” - focus, not surprisingly, on the creative process. The third piece - Francis' Claudon's review of the pertinent research done between 1970 and 1990 - complements the honoree's analogous report on the preceding decades, reprinted in the present volume, whereas the fourth - Jean-Louis Cupers' “Métaphores de l'écho et de l'ombre: Regards sur l'évolution des études musico-littéraires” - surveys the plethora of metaphorical applications, in music and literature, of two significant natural phenomena, the one acoustic and the other optical. Linked to each other, the two remaining papers - Ulrich Weisstein's ”The Miracle of Interconnectedness: Calvin S. Brown, a Critical Biography” and Walter Bernhart's “A Profile in Retrospect: Calvin S. Brown as a Musico-Literary Scholar” - offer critical accounts of the honoree's theoretical and methodological stance as viewed, in the first case, from a biographical angle and, in the second, in the light of subsequent scholarly practice.
Part Two bundles eleven of Professor Brown's previously uncollected articles, covering a period of nearly half a century of significant scholarly activity in the field. The selection demonstrates Brown's poignant interest in transpositions d'art exemplifying the “musicalization” of literature in the formal and structural, rather than thematic, domain as culminating in his trenchant critique of “music in poetry” as understood, somewhat naïvely, by Mallarmé and his critics, and, to a slightly lesser extent, by his translation of Josef Weinhebers' variations on Friedrich Hölderlin's ode “An die Parzen”. Just as Professor Brown's successive anatomies of melopoetic theory and practice illustrate his steadily growing sophistication and the maturing of his mind, so his Bloomington lecture “The Writing and Reading of Language and Music: Thoughts on Some Parallels Between two Artistic Media” reflects his unique ability to assemble, and organize, vast materials and comprehensive data in such a way as to reveal the underlying pattern.


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Table of contents

Acknowledgments. Jean-Louis CUPERS and Ulrich WEISSTEIN: Preface. Calvin S. BROWN: A List of Publications Concerned with Musico-Literary Relations. 1. Musico-Poetics Today. Jean LIBIS: Inspiration musicale et composition littéraire. Réflexions sur un roman schubertien. David Michael HERTZ: The Composer's Musico-Literary Experience. Reflections on Song Writing. Francis CLAUDON: Musico-Literary Research in the Last Two Decades (1970-1990). A Sequel. Jean-Louis CUPERS: Métaphores de l'écho et de l'ombre. Regards sur l'évolution des études musico-littéraires. 2. Calvin S. Brown in Memoriam. Ulrich WEISSTEIN: The Miracle of Interconnectedness. Calvin S. Brown: A Critical Biography. Walter BERNHART: A Profile in Retrospect. Calvin S. Brown as a Musico-Literary Scholar. 3. Calvin S. Brown’s Legacy. Eleven Uncollected Essays in Musico-Poetics. The Musical Structure of De Quincey’s Dream-Fugue (1938). The Poetic Use of Musical Forms (1944). The Joe Fisher Symphony (1959). The Musical Analogies in Mallarmé’s “Un Coup de Dés” (1967). Josef Weinheber’s Hölderlin Variations. A Comment and Translation (1968). Musico-Literary Research in the Last Two Decades [1950-1970] (1970). Theme and Variations as a Literary Form (1978). Literature and Music. A Developing Field of Study (1980). The Writing and Reading of Language and Music. Thoughts on Some Parallels Between Two Artistic Media (1984). Theoretical Foundations for the Study of the Mutual Illumination of the Arts (1984). Preface to the New Edition of Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Arts (1987). Notes on the Contributors. Index of Names.

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