High Fidelity Paper - Professor Demers Assignment#3 ARTL...

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Professor Demers Assignment #3 ARTL 100g Thirty six years old, single, poor, no college degree, and bad friends. That doesn’t exactly sound like an ideal description for a personal ad, but at the start of Nick Hornby’s novel High Fidelty , those grim depictions were all that main character Rob Zimmerman had to say for himself. Well, except for one other thing…an undying love for music. At times it was this for passion for song that kept Rob, the narrator and protagonist of the novel, alive. This is because music is essentially the center of his self-absorbed life. In fact he uses music as a means to control, justify, and explain various events, insecurities, and tribulations of his life – ultimately the entire path it follows. Until 1979, Rob Zimmerman’s life was no different from any other middle class adolescent male. That was until he was dumped by his girlfriend and failed out of college. With seemingly nothing left, he had nowhere to turn except to music, so that’s what he did. Accordingly, he opened up a record shop in North London called Championship Vinyl, but its lack of success kept him poor. The previous years of his life involved DJ’ing at an “in” club, thus the lonely, boring record shop was quite a change of pace, “Im stuck in this pose, this shop managing pose, forever, because of a few short weeks in 1979 when I went a bit potty for awhile.” The dismal lifestyle of the shop has an effect on Rob and as the story progresses he becomes depressed. He unquestionably hits an all time low at a solo performance by one his new friends, an American female artist named Marie. As she plays Rob realizes how much he misses his ex-girlfriend Laura so he begins to cry. This is just one of a plethora of instances where he psychologically reacts to music. Throughout the novel, Rob ponders over the correlation
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between people’s emotions and music– in particular pop music. He questions, “What came first - the music, or the misery? Did I listen to the music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to the music?” This is a very valid consideration and can be related to modern music’s emo scene more than anything. For some reason people love to swim in their own misery, and emo/pop often times gives them this fix. Ultimately it’s the sense of knowing you’re not the only one who has a broken heart that people crave. In Rob’s case it seems as though he was already miserable, and then his feelings of pain and loss were just augmented by, per say, Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” or the Smiths, “Last Night I Dreamed That Somebody Loved Me.”
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