Complete Story

CLOUD, Dana L. and Kathleen Eaton Feyh

Fall 2015, 45.4, pages 300-323

Reason in Revolt: Emotional Fidelity and Working Class Standpoint in the “Internationale”

Abstract:This essay performs a comparative analysis of the rhetorical dimensions of versions of the socialist anthem the “Internationale” in divergent historical contexts. Based on literature on the rhetoric of music in social movements and theories of affect and emotion, our study of two historical iterations of the “Internationale” demonstrates the differences between class-conscious and nationalist-populist mobilization of feeling. In versions faithful to working class experience, the anthem names a basic class antagonism, unites an audience in affective musical practice resonant with working class experience and aspirations, and explicitly demonstrates how reason and revolt, in the words and sounds of the song, may thunder together.

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