Thursday, January 31, 2008

City Square

As Henry enter's the club to listen to Theo's music he is not not in the mood but he came anyway because it's his responsibility as a parent. When Theo's band begings to play their new song which they saved just for Henry's arrival Henry immediatly begins to analyze it into its components.
He begins by describing the different parts, of the music in a very concrete manner, "The piano and rhythm guitar lay down they're thick jazzy chords,"(174). There are several experiences of the music cannot be describing in the way above, so Henry must use more abtract terms, " He lets it engluf him. There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than theyve ever found before ... when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love"(176).
It seems that in the description of music like this, it is unable to be portrayed effectively without the use of a certain amount of abstract language. The problem with this type of language is that it can be interpreted differently by each reader, or maybe that is its strength? Although the portrayal of music through words can never transfer the entire experience to the reader. This may be as close as one can get.

1 comment:

Erin Sells said...

I would say that the potential for ambiguity is the same in both language and the music McEwan is using language to describe in the passage you point out. This is a paradoxical principle of both language and music (and most art, and most people for that matter)--that their strengths can also be their weaknesses.