Monday, January 24, 2011

Michael Lawrence’s book picks
I’m not well-read but this post, with the ideas he writes when describing these, is worth a look

For example Allan Bloom on music:
Good music should be an integrating force and not a fragmenting one. “To Plato and Nietzsche,” he writes, “the history of music is a series of attempts to give form and beauty to the dark, chaotic, premonitory forces in the soul – to make them serve a higher purpose, an ideal, to give man’s duties a fullness. Bach’s religious intentions and Beethoven’s revolutionary and humane ones are clear enough examples. Such cultivation of the soul uses the passions and satisfies them while sublimating them and giving them an artistic unity. A man whose noblest activities are accompanied by a music that expresses them while providing a pleasure extending from the lowest bodily to the highest spiritual, is whole, and there is no tension in him between the pleasant and the good. By contrast a man whose business life is prosaic and unmusical and whose leisure is made up of coarse, intense entertainments, is divided, and each side of his existence is undermined by the other.”

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