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Reception of Opera “Salome” by Richard Strauss in Aspazija’s Novel “The Autumn Nightingale”

Author:

University:

Daugavpils University

Journal Title:

Forum for World Literature Studies

Edition:

Vol 11, No 1

PAges:

81-96

ISSN:

ISSN 1949-8519

One of the most striking characteristics of the Latvian culture and
literature in the first decades of the twentieth century is the focus on diverse
cultural and literary currents dominating the Western Europe cultural space.
Having been greatly influenced by the phenomena of other cultures and literatures
Latvian literature reveals transformations in human’s individual and collective
consciousness. The change of the paradigm of culture can be traced via the analysis
of the reception process of significant “alien” impulses and their impact on “one’s
own” cultural space. The aim of the article is to study the importance of the
monumental opera “Salome” (1905) by Richard Strauss in Latvia’s cultural space of
the first half of the twentieth century and its reception in literature by analysing
Aspazija’s (Elza Rozenberga; 1865–1943) novel “The Autumn Nightingale” [Rudens
lakstīgala] (1933). The “alien” discourse in Aspazija’s novel becomes “one’s own”
pre-text and a significant tool for depicting the atmosphere in the nation’s biography
and the perception of woman in the end of the nineteenth century society.
Key words: cultural space; cultural context; Salome; opera; reception; Latvian
literature

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