Israeli Daniel Barenboim - director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and of the Berlin State Opera - and Palestinian Edward Said - eminent literary critic and leading expert on the Middle East - have been close friends for years. Parallels and Paradoxes is a series of discussions between the two friends about music, politics, literature and society. Barenboim and Said talk about, among other subjects, the differences between writing prose and music; the compromising politician versus the uncompromising artist; Beethoven as the ultimate sonata composer; Wagner; great teachers; and the power of culture to transcend national differences.
Parallels and Paradoxes is an affectionate and impassioned exchange of ideas that is deeply informed, profound and yet completely accessible.
'A beautifully poised series of dialogues about literature, music and politics, and they're a testimony to the enormous gifts and courage of both men' Tom Paulin, Guardian 'Without question, the most original book of the year. A marvellous eavesdrop on the discourse of exchange between two great intellects' Nadine Gordimer, TLS 'A fascinating exchange of ideas on music, politics and literature' Classic FM Magazine 'An extraordinary meeting of minds in troubled times' Financial Times