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Graphic analogies in the imitation of music in literature

Rodrigo Guijarro Lasheras
From the journal Semiotica

Abstract

Music may have a strong influence on literature. Many novels have reflected this by thematizing music in many different ways. However, this engagement can also adopt the form of an imitation or a formal presence that does not actually require the text to say anything about music. This paper aims to explore some aspects of musical imitation in literature that have not been analyzed in depth. Departing from the approach developed by Werner Wolf, I propose a distinction between imitating and imitated elements that applies to any case of study. Furthermore, at the core of this article, I advocate for a fourth dimension that the imitation of music in literature may have and that should be added to word music, formal and structural analogies, and imaginary content analogies. I call this fourth category “graphic analogies.” It implies an imitation whose imitating element is the graphic, written aspect of the linguistic signifier. Finally, this leads to the idea that, in the case of the imitation of music in literature, there is not a necessary correlation between imitating and imitated elements.


Corresponding author: Rodrigo Guijarro Lasheras, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, E-mail:

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Published Online: 2020-10-12
Published in Print: 2020-12-16

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