The editors recently learned that R. J. Cardullo's article, "Wassily Kandinsky's The Yellow Sound as a Total Work of Art: Reception and Interpretation," published in Interdisciplinary Literary Studies 19.2 (2020), was plagiarized from other scholars. The editors and the press take seriously their commitment to publishing ethics and wish to retract this article immediately.
While completely repudiating representational or realistic art in The Yellow Sound,Wassily Kandinsky embraced some models of avant-garde drama and prefigured others. Influenced by the principles of the Gesamtkunstwerk and the symbolist theory of “correspondences,” Kandinsky also explored some of the themes of expressionistic drama, such as the eternal contradiction between Dionysian frenzy (yellow) and Apollonian “classicism” (blue) and the never-ending battle between the spiritual and the physical. In emphasizing the importance of collage and the juxtaposition of different arts within a total work of art, he also anticipated the Dadaist theories of automatic writing, chance collages, and random stage compositions. Finally, however, The Yellow Sound in its pure form cannot be identified with any particular avant-garde movement: instead, it is sui generis, presenting its own form and perhaps its own movement. This essay explores The Yellow Sound—a stage composition, as Kandinsky described it—in depth.