Schubert, Bach, Dowland - The Function of Music in Richard Power's 'The Time of Our Singing': The Function of Music in Richard Power's 'The Time of Ou by Daniel Stock

Schubert, Bach, Dowland - The Function of Music in Richard Power's 'The Time of Our Singing': The…

byDaniel Stock

Kobo ebook | March 1, 2006

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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,7, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Englisches Seminar ), course: Seminar: Literature and Music, 39 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Introduction 'I can't pretend that anything I've ever experienced can compare to what black or mixed-race people confront on a daily basis in this country,' says Richard Powers, author of The Time of Our Singing.1 Racism and belonging are the most important topics in his recent novel. Joseph and Jonah Strom, sons of David Strom, a Jewish German immigrant and his wife, Delia Daley, a black woman, grow up in the United States, a country in which they have to face the lives of social outcasts. Belonging to neither black, nor white, neither Christian, nor Jewish, neither German, nor American society, they are permanently confronted with the question: 'Who are you, boys?' Music is the only thing that holds the family together, that provides hope and confidence in an otherwise desperate situation. The Guardian calls music the 'central metaphor of Power's book'.2 The New Yorker even establishes a connection to Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus (1947) as a 'ghostly thematic backdrop'.3 Actually one could imagine a sort of contract between the singer Jonah and the devil. He develops and enhances his voice whilst racial hatred and uprisings are getting worse all around him. Jonah's father is a scientist who really lives for science and is always busy exploring time - just like the father of Adrian Leverkühn, the protagonist in Doktor Faustus, is a passionate scientist. Unlike Jonah, who actually is a gifted singer, Adrian needs the devil to become a better musician. As a price the latter is not allowed to love, which is the same with Jonah and, in fact, Joseph Strom. As descendants from two different races, and belonging to neihter, they are different from both and are not able to find a suitable partner. As a matter of fact they will not be able to procreate - like a 'mule', which is the very nickname Jonah gives to his brother Joseph. As a trained singer who studied physics as well, it does not astonish which topics Powers chose.4 --- 1 Powers, quoted from: Emma Brockes, 'Magic Powers.' The Guardian (14th March, 2003). 2 Brockes. 3 Sven Birkerts, 'Harmonic Convergence.' The New Yorker (1st January, 2003). 4 Joseph Dewey, Understanding Richard Powers (Columbia, SC, 2002) p. 6-7.

Title:Schubert, Bach, Dowland - The Function of Music in Richard Power's 'The Time of Our Singing': The…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:March 1, 2006Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3638474798

ISBN - 13:9783638474795

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