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Music and literature, rivals among the arts, have not coexisted withou

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Music and literature, rivals among the arts, have not coexisted withou  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 08 Mar 2019, 09:20
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 71, Date : 08-MAR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Music and literature, rivals among the arts, have
not coexisted without intruding on each other's terrain.
Ever since what we think of as "literature" developed
out of the sounds of spoken, sung, and chanted art,
(5) writing has aspired to the condition of music, in which
form contributes significantly to content. Nowhere is
this truer than in the African American tradition,
whose music is often considered its greatest artistic
achievement and one of the greatest contributions to
(10) North American art. But while many African American
writers have used musicians and music as theme and
metaphor in their writing, none had attempted to draw
upon a musical genre as the structuring principle for
an entire novel until Toni Morrison did so in her 1992
(15) novel Jazz, a novel set in the Harlem section of
New York City in 1926.

In Jazz, the connection to music is found not only
in the novel's plot but, more strikingly, in the way in
which the story is told. The narration slips easily from
(20) the third-person omniscience of the narrator's
disembodied voice-which, though sensitive and
sympathetic, claims no particular identity, gender, or
immersion in specific social circumstances-to the
first-person lyricism of key characters. But throughout
(25) these shifts, the narrator is both generous with the
characters' voices and protective of his or her mastery
over the narrative as a whole. On the one hand, the
central characters are given the responsibility of
relating their parts of the overarching story, but on
(30) the other hand, their sections are set off by quotation
marks, reminders that the narrator is allowing them to
speak. In this way, the narrative is analogous in
structure to the playing of a jazz band which
intertwines its ensemble sound with the individuality
(35) of embedded solo performances.

In jazz, composer and conductor Duke Ellington
was the first to construct his compositions with his
individual musicians and their unique "voices" in
mind. Yet no matter how lengthy his musicians'
(40) improvisations, no matter how bold or inventive their
solos might be, they always performed within the
undeniable logic of the composer's frame-they
always, in other words, performed as if with quotation
marks around their improvisations and solos. It is this
(45) same effect that Toni Morrison has achieved in Jazz,
a literary rendering of an art of composition that
Duke Ellington perfected around the time in which
Jazz is set.

In this novel, Morrison has found a way,
(50) paradoxically, to create the sense of an ensemble of
characters improvising within the fixed scope of a
carefully constructed collective narration. By
simulating the style of a genius of music while
exhibiting Morrison's own linguistic virtuosity,
(55) Jazz serves to redefine the very possibilities of
narrative point of view.

1. Which one of the following most accurately states the main point of the passage?

(A) In Jazz, Morrison has realized a significant artistic achievement in creating the first African American work of fiction whose plot, themes, and setting are all drawn from the world of jazz.
(B) Morrison's striking description of a musical ensemble performance containing solo improvisations constitutes an important artistic innovation and makes Jazz an important model for other writers.
(C) Although many African American writers have used music as a central metaphor in their works, Morrison's 1992 novel is unique and innovative for using jazz as its central metaphor.
(D) Building on the works of many African American writers and musical composers, Morrison has over the years developed an innovative jazzlike style of narration, which she used especially effectively in the novel Jazz.
(E) In Jazz, Morrison has succeeded in creating an original and effective narrative strategy that is a literary analogue of Duke Ellington's style of musical composition.


2. The author's discussion in the first paragraph proceeds in which one of the following ways?

(A) from a common claim about the arts, to a denial of this claim as applied to a particular artistic tradition, to a hypothesis about a particular individual
(B) from a general remark about two art forms, to a similar observation about a particular artistic tradition, to a specific comment about a particular work that exemplifies the prior remarks
(C) from a description of a common claim about two art forms, to some specific evidence that supports that claim, to an inference regarding a particular individual to whom that claim applies
(D) from an observation about a specific art form, to a more general claim about the applicability of that observation to other art forms, to a particular counterexample to the first observation
(E) from general comments about the arts, to a purported counterexample to the general comments as applied to a particular artistic tradition, to a description of a particular work that bears out the original comments


3. The author's assertion in lines 10-16 would be most called into question if which one of the following were true?

(A) Even a casual reading of Jazz makes it evident that the author has intentionally tried to simulate a style of jazz performance in the narration of the story.
(B) A small number of African American novelists writing earlier in the twentieth century sought to base the form of their work on the typical structure of blues music.
(C) All novels about nonliterary arts and artists appear as if their authors have tried to make their narrative styles reminiscent of the arts in question.
(D) Depending partly on whether or not it is read aloud, any novel can be found to be somewhat musical in nature.
(E) A smaller number of African American writers than of non-African American writers in North America have written novels whose plots and characters have to do with music.


4. The information in the passage most supports which one of the following statements regarding Ellington?

(A) Morrison has explicitly credited him with inspiring the style of narration that she developed in Jazz.
(B) He prevented his musicians from performing lengthy solos in order to preserve the unity of his compositions.
(C) He is a minor character in Morrison's Jazz.
(D) He composed music that was originally intended to be performed by the specific musicians he conducted.
(E) Though he composed and conducted primarily jazz, he also composed some music of other genres.


5. The author's primary purpose in the passage is to

(A) analyze and commend the variety of contributions to the art of the novel made by a particular writer
(B) contrast a particular African American writer's work with the work of African American practitioners of another art
(C) describe a particular aspect of one work by a particular writer
(D) demonstrate the ways in which two apparently dissimilar arts are, on a deeper analysis, actually quite similar
(E) detail the thematic concerns in the work of a particular writer and identify the sources of those concerns


6. Each of the following excerpts from the passage exhibits the author's attitude toward the novel Jazz EXCEPT:

(A) " ... whose music is often considered its greatest artistic achievement and one of the greatest contributions to North American art" (lines 8-10)
(B) "In Jazz, the connection to music is found not only in the novel's plot but, more strikingly, in the way in which the story is told" (lines 17-19)
(C) "The narration slips easily from the third-person omniscience of the narrator's disembodied voice ... " (lines 19-21)
(D) " ... Morrison has found a way, paradoxically, to create the sense of an ensemble of characters improvising within the fixed scope ... " (lines 49-51)
(E) "By simulating the style of a genius of music while exhibiting Morrison's own linguistic virtuosity ... " (lines 52-54)


7. It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be most likely to believe which one of the following?

(A) In Jazz, Morrison has perfected a style of narration that had been attempted with little success by other North American writers in the twentieth century.
(B) Because of its use of narrative techniques inspired by jazz, Morrison's novel represents the most successful representation to date of the milieu in which jazz musicians live and work.
(C) In Jazz, Morrison develops her narrative in such a way that the voices of individual characters are sometimes difficult to distinguish, in much the same way that individual musicians' voices merge in ensemble jazz playing.
(D) The structural analogy between Jazz and Duke Ellington's compositional style involves more than simply the technique of shifting between first-person and third-person narrators.
(E) Morrison disguises the important structural connections between her narrative and Duke Ellington's jazz compositions by making the transitions between first- and third-person narrators appear easy.


8. The passage contains information that most helps to answer which one of the following questions?

(A) Do any African American visual artists also attempt to emulate African American music in their work?
(B) In what way is Jazz stylistically similar to other literary works by Morrison?
(C) After the publication of Jazz, did critics quickly acknowledge the innovative nature of the narrative style that Morrison uses in that novel?
(D) How many works by African American writers have been inspired by the music of Duke Ellington?
(E) What characteristic of Jazz is also present in the work of some other African American writers?


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Originally posted by patto on 12 Feb 2019, 15:57.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 08 Mar 2019, 09:20, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Music and literature, rivals among the arts, have not coexisted withou  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2019, 09:24
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Re: Music and literature, rivals among the arts, have not coexisted withou   [#permalink] 08 Mar 2019, 09:24
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Music and literature, rivals among the arts, have not coexisted withou

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