Screwtape on music and silence

From Screwtape, the senior demon of The Screwtape Letters:

Music and silence — how I detest them both! … no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise — Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile … We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in that direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it. Research is in progress.

Related posts:

I miss quiet libraries
Audio book narrators
Listening to music with your whole body

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2 comments on “Screwtape on music and silence
  1. Nat says:

    Written around 70 years ago, and it still holds true today. I think it’s indicative of how bad things have gotten that we’ve created technology (such as noise-cancelling headphones) to cancel the noise that our other technology has created.

  2. Chris Barts says:

    Your noise is my music, and vice-versa. Also, sometimes what is noise is context-dependent for the same person: If I need to diagnose a plumbing problem, my favorite song is noise if it blocks the diagnostic sound coming from the pipes.

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