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Opera in the Novel from Balzac to Proust

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Opera

  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9780511985393

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About the Authors
  • The turning point of Madame Bovary, which Flaubert memorably set at the opera, is only the most famous example of a surprisingly long tradition, one common to a range of French literary styles and sub-genres. In the first book-length study of that tradition to appear in English, Cormac Newark examines representations of operatic performance from Balzac's La Comédie humaine to Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, by way of (among others) Dumas père's Le Comte de Monte-Cristo and Leroux's Le Fantôme de l'Opéra. Attentive to textual and musical detail alike in the works, the study also delves deep into their reception contexts. The result is a compelling cultural-historical account: of changing ways of making sense of operatic experience from the 1820s to the 1920s, and of a perennial writerly fascination with the recording of that experience.

    • Brings the reader closer to the real performances and real reception conditions experienced at the time, and evoked in the novels under discussion
    • Examines a range of different kinds of writing: novels from diverse generic and stylistic traditions, and also music criticism of varying degrees of sophistication, demonstrating a considerable overlap between novelists and critics
    • Covers a wide range of academic secondary sources from literary studies, musicology and cultural history, published in a number of languages, providing the reader with access to areas of thought and debate they otherwise may not have
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'With an obvious and informed enthusiasm for the subject, Newark balances literary and musicological considerations with quite and persuasive authority … casts revealing light on a significant period in the development of opera.' Opera

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9780511985393
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Balzac, Meyerbeer and science
    2. 'Tout entier?': scenes from grand opéra in Dumas and Balzac
    3. The novel in opera: residues of reading in Flaubert
    4. Knowing what happens next: opera in Verne
    5. 'Vous qui faites l'endormie': the Phantom and the buried voices of the Paris Opéra
    6. Proust and the soirée à l'Opéra chez soi
    Envoi
    Bibliography.

  • Author

    Cormac Newark, University of Ulster
    Cormac Newark has published widely on nineteenth-century French and Italian opera: his work has appeared in 19th-Century Music, the Cambridge Opera Journal and the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and in various collections of essays. He has also written for Opera magazine and the Guardian. He currently teaches at the University of Ulster.

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