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Chopin's Subjects: A Prelude

Chopin's Subjects: A Prelude JAMES PARAKILAS Personifications in Chopin Chopin’s Subjects: A Prelude LAWRENCE KRAMER No (and will this surprise anyone?), the subjects referred to in the title of this special issue are not melodic subjects, much less fugue subjects, but human ones: selves, personas, personifications, figures, phantoms, protagonists, addressers, and addressees. But, no: the issue was not planned on this theme. It just came together as the five authors represented here produced their work independently. Yet the convergence was hardly an accident. It suggests the continued working of a nineteenth-century trope that hears in Chopin an appeal, in every sense of the word, to subjective participation. This was, is, a trope that casts Chopin’s music as the paradigm of a certain subjectivity—not of subjectivity in general, at least not for us today, but of a historical phenomenon that nonetheless spills over its boundaries continually. This is the production of subjectivity as sensitivity: the vehicle of feeling both deep and refined, both authentic and artful, both socially elevated and socially resistant. Saying so, I admit, sounds a bit old-fashioned, or, as they say, so twentieth century. Subjectivity today, if the term still applies to the identities we construct for ourselves, feels different http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png 19th-Century Music University of California Press

Chopin's Subjects: A Prelude

19th-Century Music , Volume 35 (3) – Mar 1, 2012

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Publisher
University of California Press
Copyright
© 2012 by the Regents of the University of California
ISSN
0148-2076
eISSN
1533-8606
DOI
10.1525/ncm.2012.35.3.iii
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

JAMES PARAKILAS Personifications in Chopin Chopin’s Subjects: A Prelude LAWRENCE KRAMER No (and will this surprise anyone?), the subjects referred to in the title of this special issue are not melodic subjects, much less fugue subjects, but human ones: selves, personas, personifications, figures, phantoms, protagonists, addressers, and addressees. But, no: the issue was not planned on this theme. It just came together as the five authors represented here produced their work independently. Yet the convergence was hardly an accident. It suggests the continued working of a nineteenth-century trope that hears in Chopin an appeal, in every sense of the word, to subjective participation. This was, is, a trope that casts Chopin’s music as the paradigm of a certain subjectivity—not of subjectivity in general, at least not for us today, but of a historical phenomenon that nonetheless spills over its boundaries continually. This is the production of subjectivity as sensitivity: the vehicle of feeling both deep and refined, both authentic and artful, both socially elevated and socially resistant. Saying so, I admit, sounds a bit old-fashioned, or, as they say, so twentieth century. Subjectivity today, if the term still applies to the identities we construct for ourselves, feels different

Journal

19th-Century MusicUniversity of California Press

Published: Mar 1, 2012

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