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Composing Consciousness: Psychological Design in the Late Dramatic Works of Robert Schumann

Ruth, Christopher Thomas (2013) Composing Consciousness: Psychological Design in the Late Dramatic Works of Robert Schumann. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Until fairly recently, scholarship dealing with German literary and cultural traditions in the early-nineteenth century has largely avoided the idea of psychological impact, in part due to the assessment that psychology as a fully empirical discipline had its birth in the Freudian fin de siècle. Recent studies, however, have suggested that early psychological theory in Germany was far more developed than in other European countries, and its impact on literature and culture is only now being measured in any significant way. The intersection of philosophy, psychology, and literature was very prominent in Early Romantic Germany, insofar as many writers such as Goethe, Schiller, and Büchner contributed to psychological theory in their works. This connection must naturally be extended to musical works, which in nineteenth-century Germany were often considered just as literary as poetry or novels. Robert Schumann in particular saw his dramatic works as such—and as I demonstrate in this dissertation—they were influenced by and contributed to psychological theory in a significant way. When Robert Schumann moved to Dresden following a colossal mental breakdown in 1844, he began a relationship as both medical patient and close friend with one of the early-nineteenth century’s preeminent writers on psychology, Carl Gustav Carus. Despite the recent increase in scholarly attention being paid to Robert Schumann’s late output, no scholar has probed this connection between Schumann’s access to the latest psychological theories and his own late music, which reveals many connections that shed light on misunderstood aspects of some of Schumann’s most carefully constructed pieces. A close examination of three of Schumann’s major dramatic works forms the basis of this dissertation: Genoveva (1850), Der Rose Pilgerfahrt (1851), and Szenen aus Goethes ‘Faust’ (1853).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ruth, Christopher Thomasctr2@pitt.eduCTR2
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCassaro, James P.cassaro@pitt.eduCASSARO
Committee MemberMoe, Ericemoe@pitt.eduEMOE
Committee MemberMuenzer, MUENZER
Committee MemberNisnevich, Annaann28@pitt.eduANN28
Date: 30 January 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 November 2012
Approval Date: 30 January 2013
Submission Date: 5 December 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 245
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Music
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Schumann, Robert; Carus, Carl Gustav; Genoveva, Der Rose Pilgerfahrt; Faust, Psychology
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2013 15:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:08

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