Literature is like music. Oh, yeah. Music uses symbols to give us a story involving sound. Tra la la la la LA. In the beginning was the WORD. APPLE. The symbols A-P-P-L-E don’t have much to do with the fruit.
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Tra la la la la LA.
But when you read them, you call to mind the juiciness, the smell, the color, the taste. The apple IS for you.
Words have the power to recall, distill, and evoke experience.
We live the world more fully with our music than without it.
We use the symbols to begin our relationship with the piece. After a time, and sometimes some struggle, we “get it” and feel we have a sense of the thing. We can hum it. We can see the cause and effect, we know the characters and recall the main events.
We want to see the relationship of the parts to the whole: what’s the effect and how is it created?