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Leos Janacek

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The melodic curves of speech are an expression of the complete organism and of all phases of its spiritual activities. They demonstrate whether a man is stupid or intelligent, sleepy or awake, tired or alert. They tell us whether he is a child or an old man, whether it is morning or evening, light or darkness, heat or frost, and disclose whether a person is alone or in company. The art of dramatic writing is to compose a melodic curve that will, as if by magic, reveal immediately a human being in one definite phase of his existence.
--
Leoš Janáček: Letters and Reminiscences (Stedron, Bohumir, ed. Translated by Geraldine Thomsen. Prague: Artia, 1995).

 
Leos Janacek

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The human mind in all countries having gone to the uttermost limit of its own capacity, flushed with its conquests, haughty after its self-assertion upon emerging from the prior dark age, is now nearing a new phase, a phase inherent in the nature and destiny of things.
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Nothing was said. And on crawled the little procession in the direction of Summerhouses, men and animals, men-animals, five souls. The pale red sun grazed the surface of the moorland bluffs on this northern winter's morning which was really only an evening. And yet it was midday. The light gilded the clouds of snow flying over the moors so that they seemed one unbroken ocean of fire, one radiant fire of gold with streaming flames and glimmering smoke from east to west over the whole frozen expanse. Through this golden fire of frost, comparable in its magic to nothing but the most powerful and elaborate witchcraft of the Ballads, lay their homeward way.

 
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imagine a child sitting and drawing with a pencil, drawing whatever occurs to a child, whatever a child recklessly and disconnectedly dashes off; but behind the child stands an invisible artist who guides his hand so that the drawing that is about to become disordered submits to the law of beauty, so that the line that is about to go astray is called back within the boundary of beauty-imagine the child’s amazement! Or imagine that child puts his drawing aside in the evening, but while he sleeps a friendly hand finishes the jumbled and poorly begun sketch-imagine a child’s wonder when he sees his drawing again in the morning! So also with a person; let us never forget that even the more mature person always retains some of the child’s lack of judgment, especially if the prayer is to assist the explanation, not as the essential but as the means.

 
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