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Word Count: 995
Some have coined music as a universal language Perhaps the complexity of the notes the consistency of the beat the array of instruments or the flow of lyricism offers this universal appeal Nevertheless the unique composition of each song enables it to sustain its own magnetic aura much like the musical implication in Lewis Nordans Music of the Swamp Though many argue Nordans piece suggests merely a collection of short stories rather than a novel Nordan uses his singsong methodology- a novel-in-stories- to incorporate an anthology of his transformative memory- an autobiography of the way it was By examining the structure of Music of the Swamp it can be broken into a series of short stories though it is described by some as a novel-in-stories Dupuy 1 Although the novel is divided into three parts and an epilogue each chapter within each part relates a different episode throughout the childhood of Nordans main character Sugar Mecklin The first part begins in third person while Nordan presents the rest of the sections in first person Critic Edward Dupuy believes that considering the novel as a short story collective makes the part in the third person less engaging and somewhat disconnected to the others If seen as a novel-in-stories however the first part serves as a type of overture to the opera that follows Dupuy 3 This musical analogy suggests the ideas of the novel flow though the novel itself is structured as a compilation of differentiable eventsNordan actually accredits a musical influence as a determining factor in writing his prose In an interview with Sam Staggs Nordan mentions that the the rhythms of nursery rhymes and songs are a significant inspiration in his writing Staggs 1 In fact he includes an assortment of songs throughout the novel to articulate the emotions felt during a specific occurrence in his main characters and perhaps his own early life For instance Sugar awakens in the beginning of the
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