2 thoughts on “The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes

  1. “Yet all he had ever wanted to give them was music.
    If only things were so simple.”

    This novel is the only fiction I have read during my April sabbatical, finished today.
    Muddle or formalism, artful graciousness or a secret inchoate language smuggled past the reading eyes?
    It is the emotionally touching as well as rigorously cerebral story of Shostakovich, his music, his cynical struggle with artistic individualism in face of the strictures of the Soviet state. HIs loves, his shortcoming, his strengths.
    Corruption OR integrity OR corruption and integrity. The perfect triad perfectly chimed, like doctored clocks, on three vodka glasses.
    I love Shostakovich music not, I guess, despite his shortcomings but because of them in synergy with his strengths. The Red Beethoven.
    This book, too, not so much Flaubert’s Parrot as the Chauffeur’s Ear. The stoked noise of time, the struggling art within that noise. A gorgeous alchemy of fiction as truth from the patchwork quilt of history and a human mote within its swirls, a lifetime told by documentary rote. Waiting for a lift.
    (While reading the book I wrote this short short fiction without realising there was a stronger connection than a mere mention of Shostakovich until now.)

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