29 March 2010
Beethoven and blogging
I really love this short piece about Beethoven that Edwin Outwater posted a while back. It lays out so beautifully the intimate emotional relationship we can have with music (and with other arts as well, but it's so powerful with instrumental music because the meaning is expressed in a wordless and therefore enigmatic and subterranean way). Read the whole thing, but here's one part that jumped out at me: "Imagine all the conversations you’ve ever had in your life. How many of them were about something truly important, truly profound? How many times have you laid your soul bare to someone else? This is what Beethoven does in his music: often with power and violence, but just as often with mystery and tenderness." There's a conversation like that in Emma, too, and it is the part I think of first when someone mentions that book. How many of those conversations have I had, and how many have I been open to? How many have I avoided because emotion unmediated by art embarrasses me? But isn't art, the making of it and the offering of it, the essence of what is best and profoundest in us, even if the profundity takes the form of graceful amusement rather than grand tragedy? I know there's much talk about the Internet as a forum for anonymous trash-talking and obscenity, but isn't it also a place where we can reach out and discuss those dear things we hide in the working world?