ABSTRACT

In psychological animations, synaesthetic associations, physical and scientific sources, instrumental projections, demonic and mystic principles, religious promptings, and amorous and dramatic attributes, music gradually impresses us, in passing from one novel to another, as an energy of life, a universal power that can best be described as dynamic. The total picture of Honore de Balzac's musical philosophy is full but confused, a compilation of frequent but unsequenced ideas. Balzac's marvel at Beethoven stemmed from his philosophical assumption that a successful Gambara was impossible, or that his Grail resided beyond even the most heroic grasp. By integrating music and philosophy, Balzac saw the possibility of giving the art a new vitality. The mystical resonance, for Balzac, marked a great artistic conception. His was a Romantic and literary mixture of occultist, spiritual, scientific, rational, and theriacal fascinations, characteristically made convincing, or at least impressive and thrilling, by the ardor of his enthusiasm.