Infinity : The Story of a Moment
"The piano is not an instrument for young ladies Massimo, he said, it is an instrument for gorillas. Only a gorilla has the strength to attack the piano as it should be attacked, only a gorilla has the uninhibited energy to challenge the piano as it should be challenged". Thus Tancredo Pavone, the wealthy and eccentric Sicilian nobleman and avant-garde composer, as reported by his former manservant Massimo. In the course of the single interview which is this book, Massimo recalls what his master told him about his colourful life and repeats Pavone's often outrageous opinions about everything from the current state of the world to the inner life of each note. It becomes comically clear that not only does Pavone not always distinguish between memory and imagination, but that Massimo does not always understand what it is he is repeating. Yet what emerges is a moving portrait of a close bond between two people from utterly different social spheres, and of a complex and vulnerable man who never gave up trying to give voice to the music that he heard within him.
- Paperback | 144 pages
- 135 x 216 x 12.7mm | 136.08g
- 01 Jun 2012
- Carcanet Press Ltd
- Manchester, United Kingdom
'A tour de force of straightfaced high-culture lunacy ... very funny, deeply serious, at once scathing about the sublime preposterousness of modernism and profoundly admiring of it. Infinity is that rare thing - a novel about a creative genius in whose artistry you are made to believe, and who, for all his monstrous egoism and crackpot theorising, you come to care about and finally applaud.' Howard Jacobson 'I am a constant admirer of his talent and intellect.' Muriel Spark 'Concealed in this wry interview is an exhilarating "world tour" of music, and how it comes to be created. Music aficionados will recognise Infinity's central figure with delight; newcomers will learn all they need, and more, about an extraordinary composer, and the anguished musical era in which he lived and worked.' Judith Weir 'A Doctor Faustus for our time. Like Thomas Mann's great novel, Infinity shows how a composer's times are reflected in the creative process of composing, and has the novel's structure itself parallel the composer's aesthetic. Books as insightful as these into the composer's world are rare indeed.' Jonathan Harvey
About Gabriel Josipovici
GABRIEL JOSIPOVICI was born in Nice in 1940. He lived in Egypt from 1945 to 1956, when he came to England. After graduating from Oxford he joined the faculty of the University of Sussex, where he taught until 1998. He is the author of sixteen novels, three volumes of short stories, eight critical works, a memoir of his mother, the poet and translator Sacha Rabinovitch, and numerous stage and radio plays, as well as a regular contributor to the TLS. His acclaimed critical book, Whatever Happened to Modernism?, was published by Yale University Press in 2010.