Jul 8, 2009

Beware of Chamber Music

So I read Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata on google books yesterday. And then, later, I was at home working on a painting, and Rubber Soul was playing in the next room on my ipod, and the next thing i knew, I was hearing, I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man.

Maybe I put the album on subconsciously, I don't know. But the first chorus really does sum up the novella pretty well: Well you know that I'm a wicked guy/And I was born with a jealous mind/And I can't spend my whole life/Trying just to make you toe the line.

If you haven't read it, it's a free download on google books (<-- my current favorite invention, you can access anything that's public domain and also preview books that aren't...and the previews I've seen are actually about 1/4 of the book. Which is just long enough for you to get hooked, and then there's nothing to do but go across the street and buy the silly thing for 19.99 from Borders. But anyway, it's wonderful.). In it, through the main character's re-telling of how he murdered his wife, Tolstoy expresses his fairly twisted view of male/female relations (and, secondarily, of the potential effects of music and the performance of it), which in part characterized his ascetical-heretical brand of Christianity. And, of course, if you've played much Beethoven, you'll find it interesting. After reading Anna K, then Kreutzer, I figured this was as good a time as any to read War & Peace (which, incidentally, can also be downloaded on GB, though it would probably crash your hard drive). And then I realized it was 2,485 pages and that by the time I finished it, it would be snowing outside, and went back to reading the little Eudora Welty that I picked up at a yard sale last week.

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