|Odes to Joy and the Perils of a Single Society|
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| By Hannay, Alastair|
| ISBN 9781846220784|
| Hardback 106 pages|
| Published 5 February 2021|
| UK Price £25.00 |
| US Price $35.00 |
'Oh friends, not these sounds, let us instead strike up ones more pleasing and more joyful'.
Written during the corona of 2020 and stretching into 2021, the sounds and words of music are here given a deeper and wider meaning.
The words quoted above were Beethoven's own in the lockdown of his own deafness and just before letting the chorus loose to proclaim that 'all people become brothers'.
The sounds he refers to are those of despair, exuberance, and utopian peace that his symphony has just portrayed.
For him, and for us, the Ode is less the vision of an alternative world than an expression of a constant need to seek a joy which, beyond happiness and once-in-a-while cheerfulness, is a sense of doing something worthwhile with and, where possible, for others.
Alastair Hannay was born in 1932 in England with Scottish parents, educated in Edinburgh and London, and has been a resident of Norway since 1961.
He is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University Oslo.