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Bewildering Stories

Bewildering Stories discusses...

Artistic Inspiration

with Mike Florian

[Don Webb] I’m very fond of “Storm Variations,” not only for its implied moral but also because you handle very deftly the multiple characters and simultaneous events...

[Mike Florian] Thank you for your letter and kind words. I really enjoyed writing this story. If I may, could I be presumptuous with a very short explanation. When I wrote it I was listening to Glenn Gould playing J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

I timed each variation for the purposes of length and tried to match it with the length of the written prose relative to each numbered section. At times it was difficult to distinguish the musical variations.

I also tried to match the moods of each Goldberg variation with the moods in the prose. It was fun to do and it was a humbling experience to try to reflect — however feebly — such a musical masterpiece. It was just a small attempt at something different.

[Don] Thank you for the explanation, Mike; it’s fascinating! Marcel Proust knows where inspiration can come from: it may be music, or a painting — or an odor, or a taste, or the sound of railroad brakemen testing the wheels of a train car.

Knowing what Proust drew from, I can hear him applauding you now. J. S. Bach and Glenn Gould? You’ve taken it from the top — literally.

[Michael E. Lloyd] Mike Florian’s explanation of his inspiration for “Storm Variations” is fascinating, and to me is utterly understandable ...

In several of the early chapters of my novel Observation One: Singing of Promises, Toni Murano is aware of Janis Ian’s definitive album Between the Lines playing over and over again in the background as Quo carries out the Domans’ transferral, briefing and missioning procedures.

The lyric snippets which frequently break through into Toni’s consciousness (and into the story) both reflect and illuminate what is happening to him. But in addition, the text is composed in such a way that if the reader sets that glorious CD playing at the point at which Toni re-perceives it at the start of each of those chapters, and then reads at a steady pace, the lyric snippets will appear in the reader’s ear at roughly the moment they appear on the page.

As Mike Florian says: fun to do, humbling, and something a little different!

Copyright © 2012 by Mike Florian
and Bewildering Stories

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