What's in a Title? Setting, Narrator, and Mimesis in Del Tredici's "A Memory of the Players in a Mirror at Midnight"
Narrative theory has experienced fruitful if somewhat controversial adaptations to music. Carolyn Abbate has adroitly revealed several difficulties in applying literary concepts to music, most notably with narrative time and lack of a past tense. This study applies aspects of literary and musical narrative theory to one of David Del Tredici’s early Joyce songs, “A Memory of the Players in a Mirror at Midnight.” In this article, I explore how mimetic representation of objects from the song’s title creates a diegetic narrative with a past tense. An examination of the narrative elements reveals a long-range teleology through the song’s structure.
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