3rd International Symposium on Anthony Burgess
Anthony Burgess: Music in Literature and Literature in Music
University of Angers (Espace culturel), France, December 8-9, 2006
When the 3rd International Symposium on Anthony Burgess began there was no doubt that a promising event was about to happen. The members of the Anthony Burgess Centre welcomed the international speakers Paul Phillips (Brown University, USA), Jonathan Mann (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK), Rob Spence (Edge Hill University, UK), Sandrine Sorlin (ENS Lyon, France), Alan Shockley (University of North Carolina, USA), Anthony Levings (University of Kent, UK), Daniel G. Geldenhuys (University of South Africa), Nathalie Otto-Witwicky (University of Rennes 2, France), Teodora Wiesenmayer (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary), Jean-Philippe Heberlé (University of Nancy 2, France), Christine Lee Gengaro (Los Angeles City College, USA), Timothée Picard (University of Rennes 2, France) Vita Gruodyté-Guillot, and Marcin Stawiarski (University of Poitiers, France). For most of them it was a long journey to come to Angers, and now that all of us were together another one began: an intellectual journey exploring the relationship between literature and music.
This time the ABC proposed to examine the manifold relations between music and literature in Anthony Burgess’s works. Music was indeed a fundamental part of Burgess’s creative life and, by examining the role and function of music in his works, the speakers would help us to depict Burgess’s art more comprehensively. Furthermore, being both a prolific writer and composer, Burgess was fascinated by the relations between literature and music, as he was especially concerned about, as he put it, “the resolution of confusion about the literary intentions of music and the musical intentions of literature" (This Man and Music). On various occasions throughout his life he raised key questions such as: -
- “Where do the frontiers of literature and music touch…?" (The T. S. Eliot Memorial Lectures 1981) -
- “Can music teach anything to the novelist?" (This Man and Music) -
- How far has music “believed itself capable of taking over the job of literature?" (The T. S. Eliot Memorial Lectures 1981) -
- “When we think music has a particular meaning, is this meaning implicit, explicit in the music, is it part of music or is it imposed from without through an analogy, a literary reference?" (The T. S. Eliot Memorial Lectures 1981)
The symposium directly and indirectly studied some aspects of those questions and also explored what Burgess called “the relationship between the art of words and the art of sound" (This Man and Music), including issues such as:
- How far music influenced the writings of Burgess.
- How he combined the two structurally in shaping his own style.
- How music and literature echo each other in his works.
- The setting of text to music and music to text.
- The writing of narrative verse.
In the evening, the event was marked by an exceptional concert - a selection of musical works composed by Burgess -, which constituted a premiere in France. Later, an unforgettable candlelight visit of the wine cellars of Bouvet Ladubay in Saumur preceded a stylish dinner on the premises.
When it was time to say goodbye, everyone reckoned that the symposium was very successful for the lectures were intellectually remarkable and challenged the audience’s scholarly interests. Moreover, since it dealt with interdisciplinary domains, it promoted an elaborate and constructive debate between speakers and participants, illustrating thus the complexity of Anthony Burgess’s rich literary and musical legacy.
Friday 8 December 2006
9:00-9:15 Opening speeches
9:15-9:45 Keynote speaker - Paul Phillips (Brown University, USA): “A Clockwork Counterpoint: The Integration of Words and Music in Burgess’s Novels and Music Compositions"
9:45-10:00 Questions and discussion
Session 1: The Presence and Implications of Music in the Writing of Burgess
Chair: Marc Jeannin (University of Angers, France)
10:15-10:45 Jonathan Mann (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK): “The Music of the Spheres: Visceral Epiphany and Physical Muse/Music in AB"
10:45-11:15 Rob Spence (Edge Hill University, UK): “Burgess and popular music"
11:15-11:45 Sandrine Sorlin (ENS Lyon, France): “A Clockwork Orange: A Linguistic Symphony"
11:45-12:00 Questions and discussion
Session 2: Music and Literature: Structural Transpositions in Burgess’s Works (Referring to Mozart and/or Beethoven)
Chair: John Cassini (University of Angers, France)
14:30-15:00 Alan Shockley (University of North Carolina, USA): “Failing as a Writer: Musical Techniques in Napoleon Symphony and K. 550"
15:00-15:30 Anthony Levings (University of Kent, UK): “Incongruous Voices: Musical Philosophies in Mozart and the Wolf Gang"
15:30-16:00 Daniel G. Geldenhuys (University of South Africa): “The Wolf Gang as Structural Exercise in Mozart Writing"
16:00-16:30 Questions and discussion
18:00-19:00 Concert “Songs of a Man Who Has Come Through", composed by Anthony Burgess
19:30 Departure by bus to the Bouvet-Ladubay wine cellars
20:15 Candlelight visit of the wine cellars
21:00 Banquet dinner in the Bouvet-Ladubay wine cellars
Saturday 9 December 2006
2nd session (continuation): Music and Literature: Structural Transpositions in Burgess’s Works (Referring to Mozart and/or Beethoven)
Chair: Daniel G. Geldenhuys (University of South Africa)
9:30-10:00 Nathalie Otto-Witwicky (University of Rennes 2, France): « K.550 (1788) : du modèle musical à son double littéraire »
10:00-10:30 Teodora Wiesenmayer (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary): “The Musical Structure of Napoleon Symphony"
10:45-11:15 Jean-Philippe Heberlé (University of Nancy 2, France): “Music and Literature, Literature and Music in On Mozart: A Paean for Wolfgang by Anthony Burgess."
11:15-11:45 Christine Lee Gengaro (Los Angeles City College, USA): “Music as Subconscious in the Novels of Anthony Burgess"
11:45-12:00 Questions and discussion
3rd session: Problems and Issues Related to the Connections between Language and Music
Chair: Graham Woodroffe (University of Angers, France)
14:30-15:00 Douglas Milton: “The Neurotic Note: Burgess, Elgar and Resisting Modernity"
15:00-15:30 Timothée Picard (University of Rennes 2, France): « Le modèle musical des écrivains à une époque charnière : Burgess, Carpentier, Kundera »
15:45-16:15 Vita Gruodyté-Guillot: « Les musiques de Pianistes »
16:15-16:45 Marcin Stawiarski (University of Poitiers, France): “Of a Ménage: Burgess, Music and Eroticism"
16:45-17:15 Questions and discussion