The Noise of Time Read ✓ 2

Review The Noise of Time

The Noise of Time Read ✓ 2 Õ Μάιος του 1937 Ένας τριαντάρης περιμένει δίπλα στον ανελκυστήρα μιας πολυκατοικίας του Λένινγκραντ Περιμένει όλη τη νύχτα ότι ανά πάσα στιγμή θα τον οδηγήσουν στο Αρχηγείο της Υ?ας Καμιά από τις διασημότητες που γνώρισε την περασμένη δεκαετία δεν μπορεί τώρα να του φανεί χρήσιμη Και ελάχιστοι από όσους οδηγούνται στο Αρχηγείο επιστρέφουν Αυτή είναι η αφετηρία του νέου μυθιστο. 35 “What could be put up against the noise of time Only the music which is inside ourselves –the music of our being –which is transformed by some into real music Which over the decades if it is strong and true and pure enough to drown out the noise of time is transformed into the whisper of history This is what he held to”The Noise of Time Julian Barnes' latest novel transports us in Russia and into the mind of the composer Dmitri Shostakovitch around three conversations with the Soviet Power that influenced his destiny The format of the novel is of a stream of consciousness in 3rd person where the composer remembers events and people from his past and what they meant for his mind soul and his career I felt distanced in the first part although it should had held the most tension I got into the “rhythm” for the second one but the third part was torture I decided to read this novel although I did not have previous knowledge of Shostakovitch and I do not really enjoy classical music However I was mesmerized by The Sense of An Ending and I am interested in reading books about Russia Would it have made a difference if I had already been familiar with the composer’s life and work Probably I am not sure I did some research before starting the novel which helped me to better understand the events the author was alluding to but also took away the feeling of tension from the first chapter as I knew the outcome The book is full of beautiful uotes that taken alone have a great impact on the reader However the narrator voice felt lifeless dry especially in the third part In my opinion the author did not succeed to make the music come alive actually there wasn’t much written about music save some composition names and their fate during the oppressive regime I was expecting the music to flow out of the pages to transport me in the composer’s soul to feel his love for music his fear that the Power will take it from him Nevertheless The author succeeded to transmit the composers internal struggle with fear of dying his cowardice to confront the Soviet Power and his guilt for acting the way he did to preserve his life and career I do not normally discuss the cover in my reviews but this time I am going to make an exception For me it is one of the most beautiful creations that I’ve hold in my hands I loved the uneven texture the contrast between the vintage cheap brown paper feel and the salmon pink of the title and the inside jacket I surprised myself petting the book many times and I felt an exhilarating pleasure just to hold it I know that you voracious readers can understand the lure of a beautiful cover Here you can read an interview with Julian Barnes and his long term designer Suzanne Dean on this cover and the other she created for the author I appreciated the uality of the writing the message the author tried to convey but I did not enjoy reading about a third of the novel As I said this novel is extremely uotable so I leave you with some thoughts that I selected “Art belongs to everybody and nobody Art belongs to all time and no time Art belongs to those who create it and those who savour it Art no belongs to the People and the Party than it once belonged to the aristocracy and the patron Art is the whisper of history heard above the noise of time Art does not exist for art’s sake it exists for people’s sake”“Sarcasm was dangerous to its user identifiable as the language of the wrecker and the saboteur But irony – perhaps so

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Μάιος του 1937 Ένας τριαντάρης περιμένει δίπλα στον ανελκυστήρα μιας πολυκατοικίας του Λένινγκραντ Περιμένει όλη τη νύχτα ότι ανά πάσα στιγμή θα τον οδηγήσουν στο Αρχηγείο της Υπηρεσίας Κρατικής Ασφάλε?. I am inherently drawn to Russian literature or even books set in Russia written by non Russian authors Perhaps it is because the majority of my ancestors come from Russia but regardless of the reason I devour most Russo centric books that I read As I have read through my goodreads friends year end reviews I came across The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes a novella based on the life of famed composer Dmitri Shostakovich Having read Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien earlier this year which featured Shostakovich's music I had my interest piued to read this modern novel And as has been the case with the other books I have read set in Russia or the Soviet Union this year I was not disappointedJulian Barnes is a respected post modern novelist from London His books have been nominated for the Man Booker award three times and The Noise of Time should follow in suit Barnes sets out to piece together Shostakovich's life in three parts or eras pre Stalin the Stalin purge era and the post Stalin Khruschev era Each part of the book takes place in vignettes of Shostakovich's memory set in twelve year periods The composer points out from the book's beginning that during each leap year 1936 1948 1960 he was destined for bad luck This could be in the form of close relatives dying critics denouncing his music as subversive or the government targeting the composer as an enemy of the state Shostakovich despite being revered lived his life in constant fear until Stalin's death as he believed that the government wanted to dispose of him as it had of many artists who had spoken out against the state As a result despite composing nine symphonies Shostakovich did not have an easy lifeToday Shostakovich is regarded in both the west and the Soviet Union yet during Stalin's reign of terror the composer was targeted as both subversive He would have been the regime's biggest catch if he joined the party and head of the union of composers but Shostakovich viewed this as a fate worse than death Yet Stalin himself appreciated the composer's symphonies and for the most part left him alone even if his henchmen did not Shostakovich was never deported or forced to do labor in a gulag as did many famed Russian composers and authors He was considered untouchable yet Barnes can not pinpoint exactly why Stalin and his cronies left him alone Perhaps because his music was regarded in China the Soviets' ally or because after Stravinsky defected to the west that Shostakovich was the top Soviet composer left and the state would be devoid of its top musician should the communists deport or denounce himFrom reading Barnes' work it is clear that he is a gifted writer It is also clear that he has studied Russian literature in depth as he has cited Pasternak Solzhenitsyn and Pushkin in this slim volume That Barnes is from the west and has studied previous biographies written on Shostakovich it is clear that he has a deep appreciation for the musician's work and his history within the communist historical context In each of the three parts of this book a recurring theme is the survival of the noise of time who will outlive the government of the day who will submit to politicians' wishes who will be their own person who will continue to create masterpieces despite the threat of censure of socialists and communists alike Today Putin has lauded Shostakovich's work as being central to the history of Russian music whereas during the composer's life he lived in fear of Stalin Khruschev and all the

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The Noise of Timeρήματος του Μπαρνς το οποίο αφηγείται τη διαδρομή του μεγάλου Ρώσου μουσικού Ντμίτρι Σοστακόβιτς καθώς και την καθοριστική για τη ζωή και το έργο του σχέση του με το κομμουνιστικό καθεστώς της χώρας το?. This latest work by Julian Barnes looks at the life of the composer Shostakovich Rather than give us a straightforward fictional biography the author takes three key points in his life He begins in 1936 when the composer finds himself denounced in Stalinist Russia As critics trip over themselves to find fault with his work Shostakovich waits – dressed and with his small suitcase packed – for those in Power to take him to the Big HouseShostakovich was living in a dangerous time and the author perfectly creates that period of intense fear speculation and danger When a visitor from the Party commentates that he likes the composer’s study but that it lacks a portrait of Stalin you can almost feel the composer break out in a cold sweat Throughout this novel the composer constantly castigates himself for cowardice However when he does feel that he will disappear in the 1930’s his concern is not just for himself but his wife and baby daughter as well as his friends and family Will his beloved child Galya be trundled off to a State orphanage if her father is discredited So begins an uneasy truce with PowerWe meet up with Shostakovich again; after a visit to the United States in 1948 where he is ordered to represent his country at the Cultural and Scientific Congress for World Peace and again in 1960 when he is offered the Chairmanship of the Russian Federation Union of Composers During this time he feels humiliation and shame as he endeavours to continue his work and keep his family safe in this period of political danger I expect that many will read this novel and find it fairly slow and uiet; perhaps too slow However this is certainly a novel which has stayed with me and I found it profoundly disuieting and extremely atmospheric It has made me wish to discover about the central character and I feel that Barnes painted a very realistic portrait of Stalinist Russia Lastly I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley for review