Susan Grossey

Deep thoughts for Thursday

Things have taken a rather philosophical bent today.  I was listening to Radio 3 in the car this morning [for non-UK readers, it’s a classical music station] and the presenter said something along the lines of, “And next we have a rather interesting interpretation of Haydn’s [something or other] – I’m not sure what the conductor had in mind when he recorded this but let’s see what you think of it”.  This surprised me, because I am not at all musical and had always assumed that anyone competent could take a piece of music and play it, and it would always sound the same as someone else competent playing it.  But apparently not.

And then it occurred to me that writing a book is rather like writing a symphony or a concerto.  The creator – composer or author – has a clear idea of how it should sound.  They try to convey this through the selection of specific notes/words, and the use of musical notation/written punctuation that follows the accepted standard.  But in the end, you can only suggest – you cannot dictate.  You cannot dictate the mood of the listener/reader.  You cannot dictate the atmosphere in which the music/book is consumed – a dark room, a bright outdoor venue, a train journey.  You cannot dictate the message that the listener/reader will take from the experience.

And now, back to researching oysters.

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