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“Something inaudible”: Anthony Burgess’s Mozart and the wolf gang and Kirsty Gunn’s the big music as literary music through Roland Barthes’s concept of listening

Faculty Advisor




avant garde music, Roland Barthes, narrative, literature, listening

Abstract (summary)

This essay considers Roland Barthes' three types of listening and how they relate to avant garde music as well as novels that present formats subversive to the typical narratives expected of the medium. Both Anthony Burgess's Mozart and the Wolf Gang and Kirsty Gunn's The Big Music are novels that present an experience more in harmony with avant garde music than their own medium by bringing attention to the rhythm, cadence and phonetic relationships of the language rather than their narrative arcs. These novels demand an altogether separate manner of reading, or listening, than the act of deciphering usually associated with texts.

Publication Information

Behr, Eric. “'Something Inaudible': Anthony Burgess’s Mozart and the Wolf Gang and Kirsty Gunn’s The Big Music as Literary Music through Roland Barthes’s Concept of Listening.” MUSe 1.1 (2014): 114-124. Web. 30 January 2014.



Item Type

Student Article




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