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The Melody

by Jim Crace

The Melody introduces us to Alfred Busi, renowned composer, in his villa in an unnamed coastal community. Following an incident at the villa, the reader is taken on a poignant, dreamlike journey where Busi gazes into his own existence, his growing age, his grief. We also see this from the perspective of the locals. This journey asks the reader to consider how people on the margins of society are seen.

Extract

Now - almost tearful, for the second time that day - he left Alicia in ever-ending peace and pushed the music, peckishly, out along the corridor into the kitchen and close up to the larder door. Could he with his left hand shake awake the tiny Persian bells and induce a jingle of response, though whose response he did not want to guess? He'd bolted the door into the yard after the attack, of course, but he could not discount the possibility that that there was still an animal inside, now trapped, bewildered and precarious. What would an animal, a child, that had never encountered the music of instruments before make of the sombreness, he wondered, the cave and thunder sounds that were now coming from the singer's fingertips?

Parallels

Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man by Joseph Heller
 

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