Franz Schubert's "Du liebst mich nicht" (D. 756) has often been discussed as an extreme example of chromatic harmony, but one important possible motivator of the song's extravagance--its representation of one of the most exotic of the Orientalizing texts that Schubert set--has largely been overlooked. By considering the song and its interpretation by several recent critics, this essay suggests that the exotic is here represented not by overtly Orientalistic stylistic features, but rather by a pervasive ambiguity, which parallels the features ascribed to the Oriental in a variety of contemporary sources, including a review by Schubert's acquaintance Matthaus von Collin. Unlike such public evaluative texts, however, Schubert's song directly evokes the patterns of emotion and experience associated with the Orient rather than describing and critiquing from a critical distance. A brief consideration of the other songs of op. 59, "Dass sie hier gewesen" (D. 775), "Du bist die Ruh" (D. 776), and "Lachen und Weinen" (D. 777), reveals that "Du liebst mich nicht" opens the collection with an extreme representation of otherness from which the remaining songs gradually retreat.

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