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The Hatred of Music

Pascal Quignard | Translated by Matthew Amos and Fredrik Rönnbäck | Yale University Press | March 22, 2016

From prehistoric chants to challenging contemporary compositions, Pascal Quignard reflects on music of all kinds and eras. He draws on vast cultural knowledge—the Bible, Greek mythology, early modern history, modern philosophy, the Holocaust, and more—to develop ten accessible treatises on music. In each of these small masterpieces the author exposes music’s potential to manipulate, to mesmerize, to domesticate. Especially disturbing is his scrutiny of the role music played in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. Quignard’s provocative book takes on particular relevance today, as we find ourselves surrounded by music as never before in history.


Pascal Quignard is a French novelist, essayist, critic, translator, and former musician. He is the author of more than sixty books and in 2002 won the Prix Goncourt, France’s top literary prize, for his genre-defying The Roving Shadows. He lives in France.

Matthew Amos is visiting professor of French, Bard College. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Fredrik Rönnbäck has published on Michel Leiris and Georges Bataille and has translated several works by Georges Perec into Swedish. He lives in Sweden.

  More information available on Yale University Press website.