Maestro Essay, Research Paper
Good Literature is often judged on not only what is written, but also the way it is written.
To what extend do you think he has succeeded in writing a piece of good literature ? Explain your answer with a detailed reference to the text.
The novel Maestro, by Peter Goldsworthy is a beautifully crafted novel dealing with the tragic gulf between talent and genius, between the real and the spurious. Good literature, however, is often judged not only by what is written, but also the way it is written. Reflecting this criteria, Maestro is well written, perfectly contrasted and thus an excellent example of a good piece of literature. Goldsworthy has achieved this thorough his character development, use of language and utilisation of the settings.
The different settings in Maestro play a significant role in the structure of the plot and the development of its characters. The novel begins in Darwin in 1967 and traces Paul s life through his childhood to 1977. During this time he travels to Adelaide and through Europe, and ends up settling in Melbourne with Rosie. At the end of the novel he returns to Darwin to be at Keller s bedside.
The novel is mostly set in Darwin, a place described as wet , moist and humid , which implies strong emotions, and also sexuality. The piano practice room is described as dark, with bright sunlight outside. This can be seen as to symbolise the repressed feelings of Keller.
Music is the central theme to the novel. A love of and an involvement in music are shared by most of the characters, including Megan, Rosie and even Jimmy Papas. The novel is rich with musical references, imagery, rhythms and history. It is important to recognise the significance of music to Paul and Keller as individuals as well as in their relationships with each other and their world.
The novel refers constantly to music. It is not necessary to know all the pieces referred to. It is necessary though to understand that music is central to both main characters in the novel and the author himself. Music is not seen just as one of the great art forms, but as one of the ways by which people define themselves.
Maestro is a novel which primarily focuses on the study of human relationships. Considering such, characters within the text are very unique and differ in personalities. On the surface, it is a study of two people, Paul and Keller a complex portrait of different yet similar individuals. Goldsworthy is skilled in bringing them to life using various literacy techniques, in particular the way that he treats them equally, so that neither appears wholly good or bad.
Paul s central relationship with Keller changes as he matures and begins to understand his teacher. However, when Keller finally opens up to Paul, he leaves: I should have stayed the aroused, sexual present overwhelmed the past. In this sense relationship can be viewed as both enriching and destructive for Paul. Perhaps causative of the close relationship between Paul and Keller is the symmetry of their personalities. Both are clever but flawed characters, able to spot the weaknesses and strengths of the other. Both are egotists, both fail missions which they cherish in their heart of hearts, yet both have the virtues of honesty and high ideals, and both are redeemed by love.
Although Paul s relationship with Keller is central to the plot, the minor characters of the novel, such as his parents, Megan Murray, Rosie Zollo, Jimmy Papas and his gang, highlight other aspects of Paul s character and development. First and foremost, Paul s relationship with his parents is mainly based around music, and they are very important in shaping his attitude towards life. Paul s love for music is also brought upon by his parents, since they have a habit of integrating music into their everyday lives.
Through the influences made via the parents, Goldsworthy has successfully created a caricature of Paul, substantially with a love for music and a basic understanding of life. However, the author has chosen to eventually complete the character of Paul through developing his relationship with his friends. One of such an interaction is that with Megan Murray.
The relationship with Megan has caused Paul to realise the difference between love and lust , I wasn t so much guilty, and I was terrified. Terrified that I might lose Rosie Throughout the text, she develops no skill, but cultivates the image of a sex object, She was too selfish, I realised later. Too used to being desired She has no future and is perhaps the most tragic character in the novel, as she never develops into a complete personality. Even Keller finally reconciles himself with the world, but Megan is just simply stuck in a rut .
However, despite the fact that Megan is of such a character, she had triggered the love relationship between Rosie and Paul, and this shows the maturity within Paul Paul has evolved. This is the basic reasoning behind the author s use of Megan, simply to show the growth of Paul s maturity.
From this point onwards, after the beginning of Paul and Rosie s relationship, Paul s growth to maturity really stands out. An example from the novel of how Paul shows increasing maturity is the increase of his self-confidence, thus giving him the confidence to give musical advises to Jimmy Papas. As a result, he was invited into Rough Stuff, where Paul learned things that will affect him in later life. Consequently as shown, the author s use of characters has really affected the life of Paul, as he evolved from ignorance to maturity.
Maestro takes the form of a first person as the basic structure of the novel. The main character and narrator, Paul, recounts from an adult perspective, his experiences with the maestro, Keller. The account begins with his first introduction to Keller, while still a boy, and ends with the death of the maestro, by which time Paul is a man. Paul is constantly reflecting on the experiences he recounts, exposing his youthful impressions and contrasting them to what, as an adult, he understands. This double perspective is one of the most interesting aspects of the novel.
The novel is musically structured and the author has chosen to use many musical references. This ties up with music being the central to the whole text and the use of musical references support this idea. The chapter Intermezzo is a brief change of pace, as it is in musical terms. Goldsworthy is primarily a poet and the style of is like that of poetry, compressed and vivid, First impression? Misleading of course
To this extend, Goldsworthy s has successfully created a story, where he has perfectly demonstrated his cartoon-like world. His use of relationships, settings, themes and issues has helped him with his illustration. Maestro is a good piece of literature, and the way it was written was enjoyable.