[lit-ideas] Re: It is worth a story ...

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  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 07:38:43 +0200

Further to David Ritchie's:

It's a cliche in art that the negative space is compositionally as important as the positive space.

The 'compositionally' there reminds me of another art form in which 'negative space' plays a significant role: music - in which the 'negative space' is termed 'silence'. (This point has been brought to our attention nowhere more strongly than in John Cage's 4'33".)

My definition of music has always acknowledged this: the aesthetic arrangement of periods of modulated sounds and silence.

And 'silence' - metaphorically speaking - plays an essential role in George Mackay Brown's 'The Poet'.

Therefore he no more troubled the pool of silence
But put on mask and cloak,
Strung a guitar
And moved among the folk.
Dancing they cried,
'Ah, how our sober islands
Are gay again, since this blind lyrical tramp
Invaded the Fair.'

Under the last dead lamp
When all the dancers and masks had gone inside
His cold stare
Returned to its true task, the interrogation of silence.

Chris Bruce,
(I hope I've pronounced that correctly)
in Kiel, Germany
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