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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 ...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Among the Frogs: Chapter 3

Any approach to writing about my experience would be wrong: knowing irony, faux-naiveté, deadpan allegory. No "attitude," no calibration of arrogance or humility, sentimentality or cruelty, no matter how precise it might seem, is working for me so far. Imagine a man organizing his narrative material in the shower every morning. The longer the showers, the more organized his recollections will be. Yet the cost in hot water heating cannot possibly be justified.

Just so, my initial attempt to live among them amounted to little more than a series of errors. My attempt to introduce gunpowder and fermented spirits to the community is just one example. I had initially taken my frog-name to mean "Self-explanatory." It was made known to me, at some point, though, that a truer translation would be "Unfroglike Guy." Yes, it is true that the concept of the self-explanatory explains almost everything among the frogs. For me to take that to be my own name was presumptuous. The only justification that occurs to me now is my lack of knowledge of the language. One day, I awoke and realized I understood everything and could even produce rudimentary utterances myself. At that point, many other things also became clear to me.

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