Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On Music & the Soul

“Now and then when she was listening to music this premonition touched her soul secretly, somewhere a long way out. . . . She would feel a start of terror, suddenly aware of her soul's existence in the realm of the undefined. But every year, as winter passed away, there came a time when she felt nearer to those outermost frontiers than at other times. During those naked, strengthless days, suspended between life and death, she felt a melancholy that could not be that of ordinary craving for love; it was almost a longing to turn away from this great love she possessed, as though faintly glimmering ahead of her there were the road of an ultimate destiny, leading her no longer to her beloved but away from him, defenseless, out into the soft, dry, withered expanses of some agonising desert. And she realised that this came from a distant place where their love was no longer solely between the two of them, but was something with pallid roots insecurely clutching at the world.”

Robert Musil, "The Perfecting of a Love," from Five Women

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