This Man and Music

By Anthony Burgess

Edited by Christine Lee Gengaro

This Man and Music

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2391-6
  • Pages: 344
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: March 2020
  • BIC Category: LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Literature, Modern & contemporary fiction, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Composers & Musicians, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • Series: The Irwell Edition of the Works of Anthony Burgess


This man and music asks two central questions: what can literature contribute to the art of composition, and how can music influence the writer? Anthony Burgess, famed novelist, journalist, and composer, answers these questions and many more. As a person uniquely qualified to look at the interconnectivity of music and literature from both sides, Burgess provides fascinating insights, drawing on his deep knowledge of both disciplines. The book contains eleven interconnected essays that touch on philosophical conundrums of art and adaptation, questions of meaning, and the author's own personal experience. It is a must-read for fans of Burgess who want to understand how music influenced the author's craft of writing. Part autobiography and part literary and musical analysis, This man and music is a unique artefact in the stunning output of a prolific artist.


'There is a lot in this book to recommend it to Burgess readers. There is even more, I would say, to recommend it to scholars of music. For those interested in the meeting points of music and literature, it is essential reading. It is a deeply personal book, but one that any reader will come away from filled with interesting factoids, and a much better and braver sense of how the written and the heard can come together.'
Manchester review of books



This man and music
1 Biographia musicalis
2 A matter of time and space
3 Let's write a symphony
4 Music and meaning
5 Meaning means language
6 Under the bam
7 Nothing is so beautiful as sprung
8 Re Joyce
9 Contrary tugs
10 Oedipus wrecks
11 Bonaparte in E flat

1 Comparison of 'Blest Pair of Sirens' and 'Disharmonious Sisters' to This man and music
2 Original Prefatory Note from 'Blest Pair of Sirens'
3 Reviews
4 Excerpt from 'The Novel as Music'
5 Similar passages in This Man and Music [1982], The Pianoplayers [1986], and Little Wilson and Big God [1986]
6 Correspondence between Hans Keller and Anthony Burgess



Christine Lee Gengaro is Professor of Music at Los Angeles City College

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