Sunday, October 12, 2008

Elegant synchronicity


Oh, the sheer elegance of synchronicity! Two recent posts here touched on musicians as literary figures and John Adams' views on Britten's settings of English texts. The next book after Hallelujah Junction in the pile collected last week from the estimable Norfolk Library Service was Between Each Breath by Adam Thorpe. I had been greatly impressed by Thorpe's latest novel, but knew little about Between Each Breath. I picked it up today and read these words in the Acknowledgements:

With many thanks to John Woolrich and Jonathan Reekie of the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts, where I was writer-in-residence in 2004, and where the germ of this novel was first sown.
And these on the dust-jacket blurb:

Once 'England's most promising young composer' - now living comfortably in Hampstead with his wife Milly, an heiress - Jack Middleton is no longer so young, nor has he fulfilled his remarkable promise. Between Each Breath is a rich and often hilarious critique of Blair's Britain: decadent, bewildered, shallow, greedy, but knowing the right buttons to press; knowing the langauge of compassion and abusing it. A story ... of age and youth, of wealth and poverty, of the new Europe and the old Europe, of art and compromise, of youthful ideals and cynical weariness.
Are words the new music?
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