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Lilt: a theory of melody

A melody has to catch the ear. A lilt is an up and down movement that has to be asymmetrical or surprising in some way. It can go up, and ...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sponge

We've all had the graduate student who is a sponge. The last thing he or she has read has to go into the dissertation, relevance aside. It's hard with this kind of spongy student because the attention tends to wander a bit. The absorptive impulse isn't bad in and of itself, but sometimes it becomes too associational (this reminds me of that) and lacks depth.

I'm a little like that too. When I'm working on a project, everything else I read just happens to bear a relation to it. Now, I happen to be teaching a novel by Unamuno and working on a section of an article where Unamuno comes up. Naturally, I turn to that novel and to another by Atxaga I just happened to have taught just now in my other course. Maybe I assigned these novels subconsciously knowing I would need them?

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