Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Magic And Loss


It's been a strange week on RR, don't you think? The obvious emotiveness of the topic has attracted so many new posters, many of whom, as I mentioned in a post below, have written beautifully on their choices (I've just read PapaChach's post, 01:16, 25/3, and, well . . . what do you say?). I've wanted to second so many choices, not for the songs, but because I feel the stories should be acknowledged. Making a playlist with those stories in mind seems almost facetious, or even insulting (and although I thought Dorian wrote an outstanding column the week of bereavement, arguably his best, and I really hope it made the book, I still don't envy him this week's task). Much as I love our little community here and there, this has been a really sobering week, and a reminder of harsh realities and plain old reality outside our bubble. And yet, in a way, it's a celebration; these stories attest to the power of music, that this music has at times eased someone through a trying time, or that it keeps a memory alive and fresh, a candle burning; that music can be so evocative, so bittersweet, so necessary, which, for whatever reason, is something I think everyone posting here will agree with. It marks our lives, the passage of time, the milestones, good or bad. To quote TracyK, unlike Prufrock, we measure our lives in slabs of vinyl, and a halfheard song through the window of a passing car can transport us to a where, a when, a who. I feel that some of this week's stories will stay with me when next I hear certain songs, and for that reason alone, and all that it implies, this has been both one of the best and worst RR topics, and I just wanted to mark it in some way.

14 comments:

glasshalfempty said...

Hear, hear

Proudfoot said...

missed the deadline but have been catching up. you're right about Papachach's post- not a dry eye in the house. Really don't know what I would have nominated to be honest. I was reading my son 'The Little Prince' last night and that always has me in hopeless floods but I can't think of a song that always does that to me. Depends on the mood/amount of alcohol consumed...

FP said...

I've never actually seen Carl Dreyer's Joan of Arc. But this is a very powerful picture and makes me want to see it.

FP said...

I've never actually seen Carl Dreyer's Joan of Arc. But this is a very powerful picture and makes me want to see it.

TracyK said...

Eloquently put Catcher.

goneforeign said...

This picture of Mme. Falconeti takes me back to a film class in the '60's, The instructor was writing a book on the film and was a wonderful teacher, we saw it several times.
And your comments Catcher, are right on, I don't think this topic deserves a playlist, it deserves a book! I've never seen such genuine emotion and such literate comments on a blog before. I think that we belong to a quite amazing community here.

lukethedrifter said...

is this photo from the Passion of Joan of Arc? Almost certain it is. Carl Theodor Dreyer was a genius. but his best film was Ordet.

ToffeeBoy said...

Top comments Catcher - this topic really does deserve more than a top 10.

But proudfoot - don't get me started on books that make you cry. I've posted quite a few recommendations this week of songs that have brought a tear to my eye or a lump to my throat but for a good all-out, completely-lose-control-of-yourself sob, you can't beat a good book (am I allowed to say that on a music blog????).

There's something about the relationship you develop over the weeks of reading a book that a song just can't compete with. And I can read my favourite books time and time again without dulling the emotional experience whereas even my favourite weepie songs lose some of their power with repeat exposure.

My top 3 sob-every-time-I-read-them novels:

On The Black Hill - Bruce Chatwin
Ridley Walker - Russell Hoban
Behind The Scenes At The Musuem - Kate Atkinson

Proudfoot said...

Haven't read any of those toffeeboy.I agree with you about books/music weep factor though. Now we'll both be thrown off the blog. Then I'll cry.

goneforeign said...

Re. books; If Darcey's dad is listening, I read that book by Christopher Brookmyre, I'm not sure why I stayed with it all the way, possibly the most unpleasant book I've ever read, I had to force myself and I'm not sure why I did.
Chatwin I know, the other two, not.

Anonymous said...

Oops! Sorry, gf. On Brookmyre's behalf, I'll accept 'unpleasant' as a valid description of Quite Ugly One Morning, particularly if it missed your funny bone. He hits mine almost unerringly, although if I'd thought about it, I'd have realised how scatalogical violence might not have appealed universally!! I should have suggested One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night (strapline: "Die Hard wi' a kilt aan") as the best place to start, even though chronologically it's further down the line. Inspector McGregor has retired to a quiet cottage on the coast, but on his first off, is assaulted by the stray flying limb of an exploding would-be terrorist, and then . . . I tell you what, don't bother, eh?!
Truly, I'm sorry if you were offended.

DsD

lukethedrifter said...

Three books that have reduced me to tears in public:

The Makioka Sisters by Tanizaki Junichiro (has the most devastating ending in Japanese literature, reduced me to tears on a park bench)

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall (in retrospect overly sentimental, but I couldn't stop crying on the back of a bus, very glad it was almost empty)

A Thousand Cranes - Kawabata Yasunari, a novella which runs the Makioka sisters very close.

Books that left me feeling desolate: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers and The Famished Road by Ben Okri.

Proudfoot said...

Brookmyre I think very funny indeed, but one sick puppy. I don't see how he cropped up on the subject of weepies. Was it 'cos DD recommended it? He probably gave his Nan 'The Wasp Factory' to read...
Lukethedrifter, I haven't read any of yours either, although I HAVE read some Ben Okri.
I thought of another one. Oscar Wilde's 'The Selfish Giant'.

lukethedrifter said...

the whole book of the Happy Prince and other stories is incredible. I once forked out a fortune for an early edition of it. As a sentimental fool, I then gave it to a girl.