Perfect Blue
Kona Macphee
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Commentary: Cholera

A streak of terrible earnestness runs through my character like a six-lane highway, and sometimes even the Aussie larrikin shtick can't quite conceal it. Whenever I've read Russian authors like Dostoevsky or, in particular, Tolstoy, I've felt a sense of recognition: they have a kind of passionate seriousness-about-things that I very much relate to (and what an antidote it is to our snarky and cynical media era). Similarly, I've always felt a connection with the music of Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky - it's that same intense collision of emotion and intellect overlaid with a stoic Russian melancholy.

Speculations abound about the death of Tchaikovsky (see the Notes on p.44), but the notion that he might have committed suicide, by the indirect means of drinking a glass of cholera-contaminated water, seems an apt poetic metaphor for that intelligent, passionate melancholy.

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