Musical Fictions
Departments: Music and English
First-year Course

Professor Mark Mazullo 

Why take this class? From E. M. Forster’s Lucy Honeychurch, who “entered into a more solid world when she opened the piano,” to James Baldwin’s Sonny, who “moved in an atmosphere which wasn’t like theirs at all,” fictional musicians encounter trouble when negotiating the conflicting realms of art and society. Experts in one kind of expression, they fail in others. What draws these characters to music? What does it offer them? What is its value to us? We will read works of literature by diverse authors, discuss them in terms of the musical contexts that inform and inspire them, and write about them from critical perspectives.

Selected texts: 

Jazz by Toni Morrison
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

Fun fact: Assignments include readings as well as listening to musical selections featured in, or affiliated with, the readings. 

Up Next: Vampires

September 15 2020

Back to top