September 21 Reading, Attali.Listening

Jacques Attali starts the first chapter Listening by pointing out that life is full of noise and that death alone is silent. Today, is unavoidable to live without noise. And as Attali says: background noise is increasingly necessary to give people a sense of security. I personally agree Mr. Attali's affirmation. In big cities it is difficult to find quiet places. I come myself from a populated and busy city where the fact of being surrounded by noise can make one feel more secure.

As Attali mentions later in the chapter: Eavesdropping, censorship, recording and surveillance are weapons of power… During the Soviet Union, every expression of art was under surveillance. Dmitri Shoshtakovich, the russian composer, had a complex and difficult relationship with the government. He, together with other composers, was against the Zhdanov decree which can be summarized in the phrase "The only conflict that is possible in Soviet culture is the conflict between good and best". Soviet artists, writers and intellectuals in general had to conform to the party line in their creative works. Under this policy, artists who failed to comply with the government's wishes risked persecution. For Zhdanov, music, an instrument of political pressure, must be tranquil , reassuring, and calm.


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