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Noise

Author: Jack Vance
Year written: 1952
Author’s age at the time: 36
Year published: August 1952
Year revised: 1969
Publication: Startling Stories
Other title(s): Music of the Spheres
Dutch title: Lawaai, Geluid
Genre: short story, SF

Quote:

It must be, I tell myself, that both objectivity and subjectivity enter into the situation. I receive impressions which my brain finds unfamiliar, and so translates to the concept most closely related. By this theory the inhabitants of this world are constantly close; I move unknowingly through their palaces and arcades; they dance incessantly around me. As my mind gains sensitivity, I verge upon rapport with their way of life and I see them. More exactly, I sense something which creates an image in the visual region of my brain. Their emotions, the pattern of their life sets up a kind of vibration which sounds in my brain as music...The reality of these creatures I am sure I will never know. They are diaphane, I am flesh; they live in a world of spirit, I plod the turf with my heavy feet.

Republished in The World-Thinker and Other Stories, Spatterlight, 2012.