Urban, George Robert (1956)
Stefan George's attitude to music considered in relation to the aesthetic views of himself and his circle.
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The present thesis attempts to identify two broad principles behind the aesthetic views of Stefan George and his followers and show how George's attitude to music and the musical theories of some of his associates spring from these principles. The discussion of the first principle -that of reality apprehended as a flow of things - will explain the nature of some of the aesthetic and philosophical views which were current in the George circle before the time of Maximin. The symbolist aesthetic, the appreciation of music, the "cosmic" outlook upon life and historiography conceived as a creative process will appear as ramifications of the idea that the world is in a state of flux. The second principle will disclose itself as the common denominator of the views which were held by George and his followers after the poet had encountered Maximin. This holds that the world is a being and resting rather than a flowing and becoming. The idea of significant form with its many variations, the dogma of the inferiority of music and its musicological repercussions, the functions of dancing and dance imagery in George's art and the rules laid down for the speaking of verse will all be discussed within the scope offered by this distinction. In both cases conformations will be established which, it is hoped, will elucidate the thinking of one of the most important groups of poets and intellectuals in modern European literature.
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Institution: University of London, Bedford College (United Kingdom).