Intertextuality between literature and music is established via the combination of literature and music (e.g., operas, musicals, etc.), the application of musical devices in literature, and the application of literary devices in music (e.g., program music). Language and music form a complementary relationship, as "they entirely differ from one another but merge together to create beautiful harmony." To use German examples, Hermann Hesse referred to the fugue technique of Johann Sebastian Bach and the sonata form of the music of the Classical era as intertextual in nature, while Thomas Mann was interested in the leitmotif of Richard Wagner and the atonal twelve-tone technique of Arnold Schönberg. Such intertextuality has been employed by writers from both the East and the West.
This research paper focuses on the Slavism that is reflected in the musical world of Milan Kundera’s literature. In particular, Leoš Janáček's music, which had a considerable impact on Milan Kundera, is noteworthy in terms of intertextuality in that it "originated from the rhythm and accent in the speeches and songs of farmers in Moravia," and thus has an ethnic nature, rather than a traditional one, and is a unique work created at the border of East and West.
This research concerns the "possibility of a new writing" and "experimental narratives" in the works of Kundera in relation to a variety of relevant studies, including Mi-Young Chang's study of the counterpoint technique in novels, Ji-Yong Chung's study of polyphonic narrative technique, and Yong-Whan Chung's study of structural ambivalences in the literary world. However, this research has limitations in recognizing a systematic relation between Kundera's literary works and musical worlds therein (i.e., interrelation between musical forms and literary contents). Therefore, this research limits its examination to Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, within which a musical point of view is clearly reflected, examining the narrative and music of Kundera's literary world in relation to Janáček's musical technique. The narratives of the novel’s main characters, including Thomas, Tereza, Sabina, and Franz, are compared to a string quartet, counterpoint and polyphonic techniques in the novel are considered key aspects of its narrative (i.e., with regard to freedom, salvation, and kitsch), and different musical forms (i.e., fugue, sonata, and rondo) and dynamics (i.e., fortissimo, prestissimo, pianissimo, adagio, etc.) in the novel are viewed as reflecting different intentions of the author.
This research paper relies on inductive inferences, and thus aims at narrowing the gap between facts and errors. In addition, this research paper utilizes a text translated into Korean as its basic reference material, and thus has certain limitations in terms of providing in-depth analysis on the close relationship between the original language and different musical notes. However, this research paper analyzes the correlation between the structure and perspective of the novel’s narrative and the forms and instructions (i.e., dynamics and agogics) of music to emphasize the dramatic effects of intertextuality.