The "Goldberg Variations" and Ian McEwan's Saturday - a study of interdisciplinary analogies
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This thesis examines the musical influence on Ian McEwan’s fiction, in particular that of the Goldberg Variations’ influence on his novel Saturday. This involves an interdisciplinary analysis that compares the two arts, and sheds light on both possibilities and difficulties with regards to which musical features are likely to occur in literature or not. The analysis is founded on previous interdisciplinary studies of music and literature in general, studies of representations of the Goldberg Variations in literary fiction, previous McEwan criticism, and the musicality of his novel Amsterdam. The analysis compares specific sections and topics in the novel to selected features from the musical composition. Several corresponding similarities are discovered through the course of this examination, as well as considerable differences. The results indicate that there is considerable reason to believe that the Goldberg Variations has indeed figured as a work of influence in the creation of Saturday.