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Voice of God

Tim Souster

21 April 1983
Beethoven and the Voice of God 
by Wilfrid Mellers.
Faber, 453 pp., £20, February 1983, 9780571117185
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... of the Dionysiac or the Apollonian I was then too young to judge. In retrospect I realise of course that they were neither, but rather a corporeal parallel to the hidden decorations of Gothic cathedrals, destined only for the eyes of God. These observations are not entirely facetious, as they serve to indicate some typical features of Professor Mellers’s ...

The Light Waters of Amnion

Dan Jacobson: Bruno Schulz

1 July 1999
The Collected Works of Bruno Schulz 
edited by Jerzy Ficowski.
Picador, 582 pp., £50, December 1998, 0 330 34783 7
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... him in earlier years. If an adult sense of embarrassment or compunction had inhibited him as he went about this agreeable duty, the poem would have been much diminished. Or, to put the point the other way around, the poem would have suffered irreparably if everything elevated in it had not been mingled with its baser, more primitive elements. Bruno Schulz ...

Should a real musician be so tormented with music?

Misha Donat: Robert Schumann and E.T.A. Hoffmann

15 July 1999
Robert Schumann: Herald of a ‘New Poetic Age’ 
by John Daverio.
Oxford, 618 pp., £30, June 1997, 0 19 509180 9
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The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr 
by E.T.A. Hoffman, translated by Anthea Bell.
Penguin, 350 pp., £7.99, April 1999, 0 14 044631 1
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... at Endenich, near Bonn, in May 1855, he discovered that the composer – by this time in the tertiary stage of syphilis – had been spending his time compiling an alphabetical list of cities. Nearly a year later, Brahms found Schumann doing almost the same thing: ‘I looked again at his reading matter,’ he reported back to Joachim. ‘It was an atlas ...

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