Tuesday, May 30, 2017

"Sonata in Three Movements" Discussion

Day 2 of this year's Mormon Lit Blitz is Jeanine Bee's "Sonata in Three Movements."

It's a cool study in form and content: a piece about music where the language has a musical feel.

What do you think of it in general?

What do you think of it as Mormon Lit?


  1. .

    I would love it if someone else would go first, but...here I am.

    I think this story is wonderful. I almost don't want to touch it with analysis, I don't want to take the powder from its wings. But to tell a multigenerational story in this small a space---and to do it so beautifully---is quite the accomplishment.

  2. After we published this piece, it occurred to me that Bruce Jorgensen's "Measures of Music" also tries to give a musical feel to a story where music is an element:

  3. One thing I really liked about the piece was the mission section, which feels so genuinely historical because the mission norms are so obviously different. A lot of times writers project current norms onto historical fiction. It was cool to see that Jeanine Bee belongs to the Carla Kelly school of representing distinctive features of the Mormon past in a subtle, organic way.
    The history nerd in me was very pleased.

  4. I like the tie between the gospel binds families together and music binds them together as well. FamilySearch has focused a lot recently on recording family stories, especially ones of overcoming difficulty, because it helps later family members see that they can overcome as well. This is less about overcoming difficulty, but the thread of family stories and traditions also serves to help the individual family members endure. It adds strength to the sealing and connection.

  5. Oh goodness, I just loved this piece so much. The musical imagery in the descriptions, the rhythm of the story, and the actual story itself--it was such a lovely tale. I especially loved the coda because it gave a sense of the story continuing on into the future. Also, I think, because I related so much to that part of it--a song comes on the radio, and I remember my mom sometimes, and the power of the memory is sometimes quite shocking. It felt so real.



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