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'Thais': adaptation, degeneration and intermediality

Rowden, Clair Sophie ORCID: 2014. 'Thais': adaptation, degeneration and intermediality. Dix-Neuf 18 (2) , pp. 134-149. 10.1179/1478731814Z.00000000049

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This article examines several forms of intermedial adaptation arising from the creative and reception processes of the opera Thaïs, premièred at the Paris Opéra in March 1894. With a libretto by Louis Gallet and a score by Jules Massenet, the opera was based on the 1890 novel by Anatole France. Written in an age of Symbolist and post-Wagnerian aesthetics, the opera used innovative orchestral interludes to capture the philosophical tenets of the novel, and, in a social and medical climate preoccupied with decadence and degeneration, it depicted Thaïs as a mystical hysteric. Press reception of the opera in caricatural and parodical forms treated these and other reception issues via temporal and geographical re-contextualizations of the opera’s story, producing complex intertextual discourses and meta-discourses. Within these intermedial processes, each version of the Thaïs story used and adapted the conventions of the previous genre to fit the new, thereby creating a network of narratives in an exploration and understanding of communication and meaning, convention and genre.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anatole France, Louis Gallet, Jules Massenet, Jean-Martin Charcot, libretto, opera, adaptation, intermediality, parody, hysteria
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 09:03

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