The Rivered Earth, By Vikram Seth
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
Saturday 18 August 2012
"Words are all very well, but the success of a musical work lies in its music..." writes Seth, in this book which aims to describe the musical process – in words.
Seth, best known for his novels, set out on a four year project a composer, Alec Roth, and a violinist, Philippe Honoré. The result – as far as this book goes – is sound without music.
Reading Seth's four librettis is a rich poetic experience, though the music-making process described so meticulously alongside is less compelling, and his reader longed for a CD of the book.
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