I had a thought a few years ago, after attending a performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations, that it should be possible to do something similar with language. To take a theme, develop it, and then spin out a number (30? - oh dear) of variations on it. Not something infrequent in music, but in writing?
I wasn't aware of such being done before. And, for a while, I forgot my maxim: "There are only six good ideas in the Universe." It's true, there are - else what is Noah's Flood doing in the middle of Gilgamesh, I ask you?
Well anyway, after much deliberation - in truth, once I got over being scared of the idea - I began a series of flash pieces on this blog, tagged with GoldbergVariations so I can keep track of them.
Of course, no sooner had I begun these than I learned of Raymond Queneau who, after attending a performance of Bach's Art of the Fugue, set about writing a simple theme - and producing 99 variations on it.
The result is a book titled "Exercises in Style". The book was written in French and translated into English in the 50s by Barbara Wright - who knew the author. It is witty, erudite, crazy-making. There's even a variation that is a Haiku. How could I not love it?
So, yet another "not-unique" idea, KjM. Maybe so, but I am in great company.
In great company, even more than I thought. Right around the other side of the globe, Rayna M. Iyer who blogs at Coffee Rings Everywhere began a series of Drabbles (exactly 100-word stories) using a painting by Van Gough - Cafe Terrace at Night 1888. Each one is a gem. To read the eight of them - go here.
There is a pleasure I take in not being unique - this time. I like the idea of inspiration, modes of expression, approaches, from one art form being applied to another. Will it all work? Who knows?
What's the Bard have to say on this - "Things won are done. Joy's soul lies in the doing."