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17. Music Do I Hear? Homer, Borges, And The Pied Piper

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Chapter Summary

It has been said that music is a universal language. This metaphor is defensible, provided one immediately adds that it is spoken, so to say, in many and different dialects. Plotinus, the great 3rd century Hellenized Egyptian philosopher, wondered, “What man with music in his soul, beholding the harmony in the intelligible world, but must be moved by the harmony in sounds that are heard with the ear?” Indeed. This chapter answers this question in three steps: by visiting Homer and exploring the power of words spoken and heard; by visiting the Pied Piper of Hameln and exploring the power of music played and heard; and by interpreting music as a tool of individuation, a mode of defining the emotive self. It examines Homer attitude to time and his use of language, by quoting from one of the beautiful narratives of the Argentinean poet Jorge Luis Borges, also blind.

Keywords: Hellenized Egyptian philosopher; Homer attitude; Jorge Luis Borges; Pied Piper



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