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Borrowed FormsThe Music and Ethics of Transnational Fiction$
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Kathryn Lachman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380307

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380307.001.0001

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(p.137) Conclusion
Borrowed Forms

Kathryn Lachman

Liverpool University Press

Borrowed Forms has shown how a critical engagement with music is essential to understanding the formal innovations and ethical commitments of the transnational novel. The conclusion extends the discussion of polyphony, counterpoint, variation and opera to consider the influence of concerto form on the work of Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier. Concerto form relies on the principles of opposition, contrast, and dialogue. In Concierto barroco, accordingly, Carpentier foregrounds the dynamic negotiation among Cuban, African-American, and Italian Baroque traditions. Carpentier's novella suggests that the resurgence of Baroque musical forms in transnational fiction cannot be regarded simply as evidence of neocolonialism nor of the entrenched legacy of Western cultural values. On the contrary, musical forms are always hybrid and impure: they are the product of encounters among multiple traditions, and constantly undergo creolization and transformation. The conclusion brings together the book's main arguments, while also pointing to the new musical strategies deployed by emerging writers and the critical challenges this presents.

Keywords:   transnational fiction, musical form, concerto, Alejo Carpentier, Chris Abani, creolization, popular music, jazz

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