Book review: Poe's Silent Music
Bechtold, Rebeccah B.
MetadataShow full item record
Bechtold, R. (2018). Poe's Silent Music. Poe Studies 51, E30-E33. Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved May 28, 2019, from Project MUSE database.
That scarce awake, thy soul shall deem / My words the music of a dream," proclaims the speaker of Poe's "Serenade" to his love, Adeline [Works, 1:223]. In so doing, "Serenade," titled after a type of nocturnal music, highlights Poe's definition of the musical art in its highest form as an elusive, if still expressive, medium—what he would call the "indefinitiveness" of "true music," or "its ethereal, its ideal, its intrinsic and essential character," in his 1844 "Marginalia" [Writings, 2:153]. Charity McAdams's Poe and the Idea of Music reveals that this at-times vexed relationship between words and music, and the potential for connection to an otherworldly realm, recurs with startling regularity throughout Poe's writings.
Click on the URI to access the article (may not be free).