• Lawrence Kramer deposited Chopin’s Thirst: Literary Reception and Bodily Expressiveness on Humanities Commons 1 year, 8 months ago

    The literary representation of Chopin in the period leading to and through early 20th-century modernism shows a contradiction between two expressive identities: a compound of refinement, delicacy, and sensitivity, the expression of a beautiful soul too good for this world, and a ravenous, violent force of desire that sooner or later takes the form of oral greed, that is, of thirst, sometimes direct, sometimes displaced. The thirst is also expressed as a figurative preoccupation with fluids, especially rhythmic fluids—blood and ocean waves. The outward surge of the fluids forms a mirror image of the wish to gulp or swallow; a small symbolic system emerges that balances immersion with absorption.