Sam Paris

Date of Award


First Advisor

Rebecca Fiske

Second Advisor

Larry Wallach


The purpose of this thesis is three-fold. In the first chapter of this thesis, I outline Oliver Messiaen’s life and compositional career in the 1940’s, specifically focusing on the circumstances in which he created his song cycle Harawi and the different themes that make up the cycle. The second chapter in the thesis discusses Messiaen’s religious background, surrealism, and the ways both manifest in Messiaen’s music and philosophy. I argue that though Harawi is a surrealist work, Messiaen creates his own flavor of surrealism, which I designate Divine Surrealism. In the third section, there is a translation of Harawi. The fourth section is a set of process notes that both discuss and justify why I use the particular phrasing and grammar that I do.

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