Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The "I Wish I'd Said That" Department

From Frank Conroy's wonderful novel about a musician torn between classical music and jazz, Body and Soul. Claude is a composer who feels he should be "doing better," i.e., getting more recognition by winning prizes. His friend and mentor, Frederick, says:

"I thought you were past this....What you are looking for is authentication, Claude. But you're looking outside, to the system, and that's the wrong place to look. Bad music gets played every day and good music gets ignored. Everybody knows that. Forget about authentication. When it comes to writing music, all you can do is sign on for a way of life, and do the work...Do the work for its own sake, and if that's too hard, well then, don't do it."

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