This is an on-going weird thought, one I’ve had to years. And it seems to be an issue I don’t share with many other people in my family.
I’ve always had a problem with classical music and Shakespeare. I used to think that my issues with these two icons of good taste meant that I was just uncultured and a Luddite (although the Luddites were not actually uncultured they just didn’t like change). But over time, and after having seen Shakespeare plays and experienced live classical music, I think I know why I do not ‘do’ classical music and Shakespeare. It isn’t because I can’t appreciate the finer arts humankind has created, it’s an all-or-nothing thing issue that I have. If you are going to listen to classical music, you need to listen to classical music. If you are going to experience Shakespeare then you have to be there and have Shakespeare delivered to you. You can’t just read it in bed or on the train. It’s just not the same.
Equally, I can’t just listen to classical music in the car, or house and NEVER at low volume. It is just not the same. It doesn’t move me. It doesn’t excite me. Whereas listening to classical music at the Barclaycard Arena moves me and the experience is all-encompassing. I feel it in my toes as well as my belly. I don’t feel anything listening to classical music in the kitchen at home. In fact, in that context it is completely yawnsville.
I’ve tried to read Shakespeare for pleasure but it doesn’t work for me. My mind drifts if I try. I can’t absorb the words. I don’t feel the emotion. I’ve seen Shakespeare performed and felt myself swept away on the wave of drama and emotion. Why can’t I recreate that feeling at home? It is quite expensive to be afflicted so.
I guess that means that great music, great literature, great art and the like can only be truly experienced first hand. At least, that is the case for me. I’m not a Luddite, I’m a fussy so-and-so. Just like my egg on toast has to be cooked in a certain way.
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