Monthly Archives: January 2012

Beauty and death

SparklersThe main characters in Muriel Barbery’s excellent and moving The Elegance of the Hedgehog spend much time ruminating on, searching for and stumbling upon beauty and the sublime within the confines of their constricted lives.

If the book were an essay, its main argument might be summed up in the scene in which the young and precocious Paloma witnesses a rosebud fall from a broken stem in a bouquet of flowers. The beauty of this tiny movement strikes a chord within Paloma, and she grasps after what it is about this moment that has affected her so.

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For The Love Of Music

A few months ago I was talking about music with a friend my age who said he missed the feeling he used to get when he was younger and heard a song that really shook him to his core in that visceral HOLY SHIT FUCK YEAH!!! way that is, to me, almost unique to music (movies do get there, occasionally)*. I reluctantly empathized, but to my mind this sort of thing is an inevitable aspect of aging; you get older, all of the music you’ve heard piles up, you’re harder to impress…and for better and worse you experience almost everything more intensely when you’re younger. So it goes.

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