The following example essay on “The Noise of the Time by Julian Barnes” is an analysis of a literary work published in 2016. It is about the life of Dmitri Shostakovich, a Soviet-era Russian composer.
Dmitri Shostakovich, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, had to live the misfortune at a time and in a country where he could make anyone right, even if he would have wanted. The extraordinary talent, born in 1906, already developed as a youth a clear musical personality and strong innovative thrust, which quickly gained him a worldwide reputation.
His second opera, “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” was premiered in Leningrad in 1934 and remained there for two years with great success on the board. Previously, two ballets and three symphonies were the glory of not even justified Thirty Years.
In the years of his rise had, however, the successor of the October revolutionaries consolidated its rule and built a cruel regime of arbitrariness and terror, the his subjects with hitherto unprecedented rigor controlled.
Spying, interrogation and torture suppressed any criticism in the bud. As long as could be seen in sufficient artistic creation commitment to the success of the ideology, enjoyed the favor of the rulers, otherwise it was simply forbidden.
Shostakovich conceived his work not unidirectional. Although he presents with his second symphony, a commissioned work for the tenth anniversary of the revolution, in the service of Stalin’s dictatorship, but hidden in it nevertheless critical of the political, economic and social conditions. The method to convey by skillfully creating and arranging of moods, by innuendo and picking up unwanted traditions criticism, remains the censors not hidden, so that the first opera “The Nose” (1930) and the ballet “Bolt” (1931) be discontinued after a short time.
the fate of the composer turns finally, capricious and from downright trivial reasons, as “Man of Steel” as Stalin himself named, on 16 January 1936 a performance of the communist flagship opera attends the Bolshoi Theater. hidden behind a curtain, protected by steel plates against assassination attempts, the dictator displeases deeply what penetrates to his ear. It is mainly the fortissimi , enter the drummer and brass beneath his lodge their best. celebrated the world over or not, the Opera sells the dictator upset from the theater. Within a short time the hitherto enthusiastic official criticism in the sense swings about Stalin. coined “Muddle Instead of Music” and ostracized ideologies is the work, and the life of its creator hangs in the balance.
Julian Barnes has written a deeply moving, disillusioning novel about the life of this important artist and remarkable people. By Shostakovich always went his own way, he was the one too little party compliant, too little heroic, glorified for example, too little the victories of the Red Army, while at the same time the regime give the other to critical, was undistanziert. He universally fell into disgrace, was crushed between ideologies.
After Stalin’s devastating judgment of the composer spends his nights like many of his compatriots clothed on packed suitcases, because the agents of the secret police NKVD “brought a more middle of the Night”. Preparing for the worst, concern for his wife and one year old daughter Galya, you would be stuck for re-education in an orphanage for enemies of the state can not think of sleep. Right the “sight of the uniform,” the “nod of recognition,” he would stretch out his pianist hands the incoming officials to quickly get him out without endangering his family.
Just as the thoughts of the artist at that time to every sound, every word, every event wander back inexorably as they wander decades later to the different phases and themes of his life, the author arranges his diverse material into manageable text packet. Stories, reports, documents, protocols alternate with each other as the temporal levels of the moving Vita this extraordinary and controversial man, the meet is not easy.
The appetizers food is varied, but hard to digest, weigh but about especially the ever more oppressive, life-threatening state power and the depression that soon triggers its unpredictable, inhuman action at their mercy and sacrifice. Where everyone, relative, friend or stranger, may prove to be enemy or pay for alleged sins of another, is any certainty, any moral orientation easily lost.
After Shostakovich revoked the livelihood, is the “enemy of the people” summoned again for questioning about his “friends”. There were invitations with policy issues, references to the murder plot of the Red Army Marshal Tukhachevsky against Comrade Stalin? Long all disappeared within the Marshal from the ground and executed. Whatever he says now, would expand the deadly circle. Was he so do not even dead, since it could always denounce someone as an accomplice by an assassin as he all agree under torture immediately, “all with getting involved” would be?
But the power makes the world-famous musicians live to wear him as a person and to keep to heel for their purposes. In 1949 he is sent to New York, monitored strictly to de Soviet Union in the “peace conference of international scientists and artists” to represent. It alienates the audacity, the cheering people beset with him “in the full sense of superior values”: “Hey, Schosti, smile!” On the other side of the exile Stravinsky he denies request a meeting. With “Soviet artists” he would have nothing to do. (The contempt is mutual when Shostakovich holds his compatriot later that he had “enthroned his American Olympus” in indifferent silence on while were held in Russia hunts his fellow artists and their families.)
At the same time lived through the “star” of the Soviet delegation his own purgatory of doubt, feels nothing but “disgust” and “contempt” for his role that allows him no free speech. He read out a prepared text of his eighth symphony, the home “unhealthy individualism” and “pessimism” is accused, promises to continue to deliver “melodic music for the people”, as the party wishes supplemented after all, “over and sincere” to have written music that could not be “against the people”, given that he himself was in some way “people”. The speech is a great success, but Stalin is angry, can further reprisals followed, and the broken man retreats into privacy to compose preludes and fugues. In order not to lose the only way your mind? Should live on
That Dmitri Shostakovich as a puppet of power, is a bitter sarcasm of destiny. “Instead of killing him, they had let him live, and by letting him live, they had killed him.”
After Stalin’s death in 1953, followed by Nikita Khrushchev a period of “thaw”. But the artist is only the plaything of a new ruler. showered with awards and honors, Shostakovich is finally the pressure of the power that had crushed him by and enters without great hardship to the party. The Communists Picasso he criticized as a rich coward who “its disgusting peace dove painted” but signs even a disgusting letter against the opposition writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whom he admired and against which it can nevertheless be harnessed. “The noise of the time had made him deaf.”
Shostakovich stony, adjust dangerous path between them, come to terms, to oppose caution is well researched and discussed, also processed fictional, as in Sarah Quigley’s novel ” the conductor “(2012) [Lesen here my review of Sarah Quigley: “Der Dirigent” on books Rezensionen”
in addition to the variety of text types, it is especially the incredibly haunting style of the reader the dark time taught and allowed to proceed on the narrow ridge, which remained the man and artist Shostakovich for the design of his life and his art. It’s taken the power of his words in inconspicuous simple, short sentences that carry tremendous statements.