Criticism: Possible Antidotes… and That's Enough for Now!

“How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea?”

I came across this quote the other day in a post about musical responses to great tragedies: “Requiems,” by Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker.

Ross’ understanding of Shakespeare’s question (which, as he mentions, Wallace Stevens cited while writing about World War II) concerns the light-in-the-darkness function that musicians serve in the face of horrific events:

How, in other words, can artists respond to news that exceeds their most extravagant nightmares?”

Happily, we can, and do, respond in many ways…

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