I, for one, like to be proven right. Few days ago I happened to hear for the first time ‘Nimrod‘, the Variation IX of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. When I heard the first few bars, I thought it was the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata.
And guess what? Today I read in Wikipedia:
Once, when Elgar had been very depressed and was about to give it all up and write no more music, Jaeger had visited him and encouraged him to continue composing. He referred to Ludwig van Beethoven, who had a lot of worries, but wrote more and more beautiful music. “And that is what you must do”, Jaeger said and he sang the theme of the second movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 ‘ Pathétique ‘. Elgar disclosed to Dora that the opening bars of “Nimrod” were made to suggest that theme. “Can’t you hear it at the beginning? Only a hint, not a quotation”.
Ah, it does feel good to know that we are not wrong all the time. Now, if my prof finds my explanation for the random field results making sense, I will call this week a happy one. And if, by any chance, I should find out that Tolkien deliberately chose 6 October for the Weathertop scene, it would be a more-than-happy week.
And now I am wondering, why do I like to be proven right? Is it the arrogance of man, something related to our Fall?