Into the greenwood

Into the greenwood

I wonder if there is a fifth taste for writing and music. I think there has to be. Right now I’m listening to Raising Sand by Krause/Plant, and the song Your Long Journey gives me that feeling of fullness, of satiety, it’s so completely beautiful.

Vivaldi’s Winter Largo gives me the same emotional response — a sense of joy and wonder and completeness. I can listen to it over and over. Some of Lucinda Williams excellent music have the same effect (Blue comes to mind). La Boheme. James McMurtry.

Books and stories do the same thing, where the fullness of the emotional response is complete, with not a thing missing. I’ve mentioned Nightingale by Tobias Wolff. I had the same response to a story by Esther Friesner that appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction years ago, in which one of the Good Folk longed to know God but the Good Folk don’t have souls.*

If food can have salt, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami, why can’t art? What books or music make you feel sated and at the same time, longing for more?

*If anyone can remember that story’s title for me, I would be deeply appreciative.


m_bey · February 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

So you’re saying that all art needs to have the vague taste of animal protein? I’m all for that.

Patrice Sarath · February 2, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Only metaphorically.

Maria Ragucci · February 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I don’t get your regard for Nightingale.
The “Agony and the Ecstasy” by Irving Stone was the pinnacle of that feeling for me- I stayed up till 3 a.m. one morning years ago to finiash it because I couldn’t put it down, and then I couldn’t sleep- I had to call a friend in the middle of the night (a very good friend)to express some of what I was feeling.

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