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Music, Magic And Postmodern Historical Metafiction: Helmuth Krausser's Melodien (1993)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with a modern novel, Helmut Kraussers Melodien oder Nachtrge zum Quecksilbernen Zeitalter (1993) which may be classified as postmodern historical metafiction, touching upon alchemy, mystical- magical theories and praxis of music, and other occult lore of the early modern period. The historical narrative is framed by a story of modern academics studying all this with various purposes. If we examine protomodern theories of music we can arrive at a typology according to which the esoteric properties of music are related to three connecting areas: first is the interconnectedness of musical proportions and the structure of the cosmos; second is the idea that music has magical creative energy, and even the cosmos was created by divine music; finally, the third is related to the physical or psychological power of music over human individuals.

Keywords: Helmuth Krausser; Melodien oder Nachtrge zum Quecksilbernen Zeitalter; music

10.1163/ej.9789004182677.i-382.75
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