Winter 1981 • Vol. III No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1981 |

Symptoms

Dreams and Resentments Cello and bassoon. Why do I not like the cello? I can even say I hate it. It is a respectable instrument, sensitive, dignified, profound, manly, grave. It is the instrument of full self-achievement in life. It dominates others and itself to such an extent that it can afford to become suave, melodious, calm, and mild. All this follows, it would seem, from its restrained force. Actually, it is nothing of the kind. For what will happen to all this rounded and controlled manliness in case of real need? How does a cello react when in danger? Can a cello get angry? Who has ever seen an unleashed, raging cello? In such situations, its impotence is ridiculous. True, its polished and oily tone lashes about pathetically, grievously, but it remains pitiable and powerless. A cello is incapable of becoming crazy, heroic, or violent. In fact, it is incapable of humor, too. The cello's comical range does not go beyond the sociable anecdote, vapid, dull, conformist. The ce

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Virgil Nemoianu is William J. Byron Distinguished Professor of Literature and Ordinary Professor of Philosophy at CUA, where he has taught since 1979. He has also taught at the Universities of Bucharest, California (Berkeley), Cincinnati, London, Cambridge, and Amsterdam. He has held leading positions in the International Comparative Literature Association, the Modern Language Association and the Association of Literary Critics and Scholars; he is a member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences (Vienna). Nemoianu has written, edited, or translated 16 books, written over 600 articles and reviews, and given more than 65 lectures in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia.

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