ABSTRACT

In his writings, Honore de Balzac relied on the seductive powers of music, not unlike the driving energy of money, to move his characters, normal or abnormal, in and out of their realities and fantasies. Music, in La Comedie humaine, acts as an inner force; it provides the intimacy that permits tacit or personal disclosures, conveys meanings that words would only mar, and excites or relaxes the psyche, prompting action or inducing contemplation. Three inseparable threads highlight Balzac's musico-psychological fabric: dream, remembrance, and love. Because love sees its double in music, both are analogous through the psychic phenomenon of correspondences and may thereby be triangulated with memory and rise above carnality to the infinite, to the three infinites of boundless desire, incalculable feeling, and illimitable personal time. Emilio Capraja probes the phenomenon on a psycho-intellectual level—that of thought—rather than on a psycho-sensual level, as his friend Prince Emilio would be likely to do.