ABSTRACT

Music became a literary vice during the ebullient Romantic years, when its fluidity and vague sensuous appeal elicited from writers responses that suggested a visual rather than an aural appreciation. Honore de Balzac's approach to the art often left the novelist behind the philosopher. Because translation and commentary mutilate, he chose to incorporate the suggestive energies of music into a context that outstripped analysis. The references to music in separate works end by embracing a broader concept, the way Balzac's individual novel becomes a chapter in the human epic. More than seeing himself as a literary amateur in music, which he was and honestly admitted, Balzac preferred to see himself as a musical amateur in literature. In his undertaking to discover the total communion of man and nature, Balzac responded to every stage and function of reality and dream suggested to him by his various musical experiences.