David Evans – Communication Breakdown: Debussy, Banville and the Trouble with Serenades

The Humanities and Arts Research Centre at Royal Holloway University of London (HARC)

Event Date: Friday 11 June, 2010 – 10am-6pm

The Boardroom, 2 Gower Street, London


Unsettling Scores: A Study Day on French Musico-Poetics from Banville to Duras

———————————-

David Evans (St Andrews):
Communication Breakdown: Debussy, Banville and the Trouble with Serenades

It is a commonplace of art song criticism to imagine the poem and the setting as completing each other, creating a harmonious whole. What can we say, though, of poems which deal with the failure of both music and poetry? In this paper I will examine Debussy’s settings of Theodore de Banville’s ‘Pierrot’ and ‘Serenade’, arguing that Debussy forces us to confront the tension between the materiality of art’s formal mechanisms and our belief in the transcendent beauty of the artwork. With reference to recent research on musico-poetics, I suggest that Debussy’s settings represent a crisis in post-Romantic poetry and music whereby the arts no longer mutually support each other, but rather, call each other, and themselves, constantly into question.

———————————————————–

talk:

Play

———————————————————–

questions:

Play

———————————————————–

handout: download


<<Return to Programme Page>>

share this entry: