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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54091
Doc. No:TL24045
Call number:‭3250027‬
Main Entry:Sindhumathi K. Revuluri
Title & Author:On anxiety and absorption: Musical encounters with the exotique in fin-de-siècle FranceSindhumathi K. Revuluri
College:Princeton University
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:262
Abstract:Anxiety about the invasion of the foreign has always haunted France's quest for self-definition. Whether with regard to immigration policy, the Arabic and African slave trade, or even traveling circuses, the nation's fascination with---and imagination of---the exotic continues to be mediated by the aspiration to identify and preserve an authentic French culture and language. The case of music in fin-de-siècle France is complicated in this regard by the fact that the very exotic elements that had previously been imagined were now entering the reality of the cultural landscape. In this study, I look at what happens when one is confronted with one's own imagination and how French musicians and scholars of the fin-de-siècle dealt with the anxiety that arose from this confrontation. I propose that this anxiety was eased by erasing difference through absorption. Such a gesture is both a powerful indication of France's latent imperial authority and the paradox of fin-de-siècle French music: in the process of displaying exotic others as found objects, the French musical language became thoroughly permeated by exotic sounds. Other became Self. I begin by considering representations of the exotic as seen through documentation around the Expositions Universelles of 1889 and 1900, including analyses of transcriptions of exotic spectacles. I then demonstrate how imagination gave way to absorption: specific gestures used to express exotic music in transcriptions eventually become absorbed into a modernist musical language, shedding any association they once had with the exotic. I mirror the issue of exotic representation by considering French self-perception and that depiction in music. By comparing the collection and harmonization of exotic and French folksongs, I show how the French constructed a musical identity that was fundamentally different than that associated with exotic musics. The two parts of my dissertation come together to form a double examination of French perceptions, those of musical others and of selves. Even as the sounds of exoticism and nationalism---both real and imagined---become absorbed into modernism, they remain consequences of a singular anxiety about identity.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Anxiety; Claude Debussy; Debussy, Claude; Folk song; France; Maurice Ravel; Musical encounters; Ravel, Maurice; Turn of the century; Music; 0413:Music
Added Entry:S. Morrison
Added Entry:Princeton University