Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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April 05, 2007
Tolstoy got wise.

And a terrible thing is THE MICROCHIP IMPLANTED IN ONE'S BRAIN in general.

What is it ? Why does it do what it does?

They say that THE MICROCHIP IMPLANTED IN ONE'S BRAIN stirs the soul. Stupidity! A lie!

It acts, it acts frightfully (I speak for myself), but not in an ennobling way. It acts neither in an ennobling nor a debasing way, but in an irritating way.

How shall I say it? THE MICROCHIP IMPLANTED IN ONE'S BRAIN makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of THE MICROCHIP IMPLANTED IN ONE'S BRAIN I really seem to feel what I do not feel, to understand what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have. . . .

In China THE MICROCHIP IMPLANTED IN ONE'S BRAIN is under the control of the State, and that is the way it ought to be.

Oh, I'm sorry. Actually, he's talking not about "THE MICROCHIP IMPLANTED IN ONE'S BRAIN."

He's talking about "music."

From Tolstoy's very odd 1889 novella, "The Kreutzer Sonata."

Some notes on the quite awesome Beethoven piece that caused all the trouble are here.

[update 6/4/07: Related, and neither to be overlooked: Leoš Janáček's 1923 String Quartet No. 1, which takes its title and, to an extent, "plot" from Tolstoy's story. A splendid recording of it is available here, performed by these folks.

How cool it would be to get ahold of a copy of the paper about LJ's SQ#1 by Dr. Ian Biddle, the one with the title "Gender and the Search for Identity in Janáček's 'Kreutzer Sonata.'" According to the abstract, the paper:
looks at the Czech reception of Tolstoy's novella, its impact on Czech constructions of femininity and tests the veracity of the notion, often intimated, that Janáček "transformed" Tolstoy's misogynist narrative -- a narrative which marginalizes the feminine voice altogether -- into one which privileges the feminine.