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Chopin at the Boundaries

Chopin at the Boundaries

Sex, History, and Musical Genre

Jeffrey Kallberg

ISBN 9780674127913

Publication date: 01/21/1998

The complex status of Chopin in our culture--he was a native Pole and adopted Frenchman, and a male composer writing in "feminine" genres--is the subject of Jeffrey Kallberg's absorbing book. Combining social history, literary theory, musicology, and feminist thought, Chopin at the Boundaries is the first book to situate Chopin's music within the construct of his somewhat marginal sexual identity and to explore how this should figure in our understanding of his compositional methods. Through this novel approach, Kallberg reveals a new Chopin, one situated precisely where questions of gender open up into the very important question of genre.


  • Chopin at the Boundaries aim[s] 'to expose and partially recover aspects of Chopin's style perceived in his day to be marginal or foreign, but which today's listeners have transformed or repressed.' In this respect and in others, [it] succeed[s] brilliantly; Kallberg's scholarship is consistently of the highest caliber, his research meticulous and exhaustive, his arguments engaging.

    —John Rink, Times Literary Supplement


  • Jeffrey Kallberg is William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Music at the University of Pennsylvania.

Book Details

  • 320 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press