Dancing about Architecture

“Framing all the great music out there only drags down its immediacy. The songs are lyrics, not speeches, and they’re tunes, not paintings. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture—it’s a really stupid thing to want to do.” – Elvis Costello

When reading others’ posts on how they perceive text, and what it can be, this quote stuck out in my mind. It points out how different forms of texts can do and express things that others just can’t. They’re all expressive communication, but different… perhaps, too, like looking at something through someone else’s glasses.

Another interesting thing about this quote is that, while it is what Costello said in 1983, the main simile in it isn’t his. The generation of this wise comparison was by someone else, and it took a good deal of sifting through texts (oral, written, etc.) to figure out who it originally belonged to.


It’s a great example of how unique text forms can be, and how what people say can be recycled and re-authored.

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