Dialogism and Song: Intertextuality, Heteroglossia and Collaboration in Augusta Holmès’s Setting of Catulle Mendès’s “Chanson”

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This article proposes a new methodology for analysing song, underpinned by Mikhail Bakhtin’s ideas of intertextuality, dialogism and heteroglossia. It builds on the recent current of scholarship that challenges Bakhtin’s hierarchical view of the novel as the dialogic literary mode par excellence, and presents the theories of dialogism and heteroglossia as apt for the analysis of lyric poetry. In the article, this Bakhtinian theoretical framework is applied to a little-known song setting of Catulle Mendès’s “Chanson”, composed by Augusta Holmès and
published in issue six of Mallarmé’s 1874 fashion magazine La Dernière Mode.

The objective of this article is twofold: on the one hand, it seeks to situate this collaborative endeavour within a historically and culturally wide-ranging intertextual network and, on the other, it aims to demonstrate the value of applying Bakhtinian dialogism as a theoretical framework in word and music studies in order to enhance our understanding of the processes by which songs are created, performed and received.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-252
JournalAustralian Journal of French Studies
Issue number2-3
Early online date1 Jul 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2017