Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An Equal Music

I picked up Vikram Seth's "An Equal Music" almost a month ago & read through it rather slowly. I know nothing about music & about classical music I know lesser still. So I'm afraid, this book was a little wasted on me. All the references to Schubert, The Trout quintet & fugues had to be googled before I could proceed with the book. I don't think Vikram Seth intended that for his readers. I do wish I knew more about music & I wonder if its too late to start now.

The book is not just about music though. Its about people, personalities, passions. It's written very much like a musical composition; its lyrical, poetic even, full of allegories. The dymanics of a quartet who exist only in unison, their relationship with their instruments, their pursuit of excellence, and a love story of two exquisite musicians who are imperfect people with faults & warts. The book doesn't even attempt to make the protagonist likeable; does make you respect as well as pity him for the music and passion he deeply feels. I have a feeling I would've been very engaged in this book had I known or loved music slightly more than I do.


Parth said...

Once you are done, read 'The ground beneath her feet' by Rushdie. Both books about music came out about the same time and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the contrasting styles.

Radha said...

@ Parth - To be honest, I don't think I was sufficiently impressed with this book, to pick up another book about music. Maybe in another lifetime, when I feel more strongly about & know more about music!!!

Parth said...

Rushdie's book is less 'technical' about music. It is pure Rushdie though - so it is a function of whether you like reading him or not.