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I Harden Myself

We talk, my aunt and I, in our old way of talking, during the pauses in the music. She is playing Chopin. She does not play very well; her fingernails click against the keys. But she is playing one of our favorite pieces, the E flat Etude. In recent years I have become suspicious of music. When she comes to a phrase which once united us in a special bond and to which once I opened myself as meltingly as a young girl, I harden myself. (Walker Percy, The Moviegoer, Part 1, Ch. 5)


  1. Cubeland Mystic says:

    why do you suppose that is?

    • Jonathan Potter says:

      Webb may be right. Consult your Kierkegaard. Something about the musical-erotic and aesthetic damnation, maybe. Also cf. Percy’s essay on bourbon. It might be the connoisseur aspect of the aunt’s love of music that Binx (the protagonist relating this scene) is suspicious of — and the “special bond” that is rooted in a sort of gnosticism.

  2. Jonathan Webb says:

    In this case we might be talking about a Chinese Communist, basically Hegal turned on his head. I think S.K. should weigh in here.

    Thanks The Pot.

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