Transmigrations of text and souls | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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Transmigrations of text and souls

The film adaptation of David Mitchell's sprawling Cloud Atlas is dazzling and frustrating

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Dizzied by the film yet delighted by the book, I dig for clues. And sure, it's right there in the source text. In David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas, in a chapter about a composer in the frenzied midst of composing a sextet whose name becomes that of the book (and now the movie), the narrator explains his musical device that also reveals the novel's literary structure. 

Korean actress Bae Doo-na plays an android on the verge of spiritual epiphany in Cloud Atlas .

Cloud Atlas, he describes, is "a sextet of overlapping soloists: piano, clarinet, cello, flute, oboe and violin, each in its own language of key, scale and colour. In the first set, each solo is interrupted by its successor: in the second, each interruption is recontinued, in order. Revolutionary or gimmicky? Shan't know until it's finished...".

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