"Herr Pablo," I said to him as he played with his slender ebony and silver walking stick, "you are a friend of Hermine's and that is why I take an interest in you. But I can't say you make it easy to get on with you. Several times I have attempted to talk about music with you. It would have interested me to know your thoughts and opinions, whether they contradicted mine or not, but you have disdained to make me even the barest reply."
He gave me a most amiable smile and this time a reply was accorded me.
"Well," he said with equanimity, "you see, in my opinion there is no point at all in talking about music. I never talk about music. What reply, then, was I to make to your very able and just remarks? You were perfectly right in all you said. But, you see, I am a musician, not a professor, and I don't believe that, as regards music, there is the least point in being right. Music does not depend on being right, on having good taste and education and all that."
"Indeed. Then what does it depend on?"
"On making music, Herr Haller, on making music as well and as much as possible and with all the intensity of which one is capable. That is the point, Monsieur. Though I carried the complete works of Bach and Haydn in my head and could say the cleverest things about them, not a soul would be the better for it. But when I take hold of my mouthpiece and play a lively shimmy, whether the shimmy be good or bad, it will give people pleasure. It gets into their legs and into their blood. That's the point and that alone. Look at the faces in a dance hall at the moment when the music strikes up after a longish pause, how eyes sparkle, legs twitch and faces begin to laugh. That is why one makes music."
- Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf
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