“Some say I now fiddle like a man with a wild fever”

December 21, 2008

Three-hundred pages into Charles Frazier’s novel Cold Mountain, and while I think I’m going to put together something on the book once I finish it, I think this passage deserves to be shared without comment:

“The grouping of sounds, their forms in the air as they rang out and faded, said something comforting to him about the rule of creation.  What the music said was that there is a right way for things to be ordered so that life might not always be just tangle and drift but have a shape, an aim.  It was a powerful argument against the notion that things just happen.  By now he knew nine hundred fiddle tunes, some hundred of them being his own compositions.”

OK, so without much comment.  A while back I promised that I would post something on Oakeshott’s contemplative mode since I was in the habit of referring to it, and while I have not yet had time and my volume of Oakeshott isn’t with me right now (so I’ll get to it, I suppose, in January), the ability of music — simply the notes and sounds, setting aside for the moment all lyrics — to move one may provide something approaching an example.  Especially when, like me, one knows exceptionally little about the makings of music on a note-by-note level, and his emotions are stirred by little more than the natural beauty of it.


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