Only have 20 seconds?
Read this site's digest
Do you want someone else
to decide what art you get to see, read, hear, or otherwise appreciate?
Well, that's what happens
when art is turned into a business; when someone else decides whether or not a
piece of art-subjective by its very nature-is worthy to present to the public. This decision, however, is
based, for the most part, on the marketability of the work (how much money is the public
willing to spend on it).
There are several irritating
qualities to this process though:
- Someone else has to do your thinking for you
- Someone else has to assume they know what you like
- That same someone else then tries to sell you what they decided you'd be interested in paying for by using sophisticated marketing strategies, attractive packaging, and by adorning the work of art with accolades and
awards to let you know this is something worth your while (money)-just in case they were wrong when they were doing your thinking for you
These are not easy tasks for anyone to undertake, but unfortunately that's how it is ...
for some works of art ...
Disclaimer: Don't let the opening statements mislead you. I'm not a frustrated author who has been rejected by all the agents and publishers known to mankind. I have the utmost respect for those people in the industry who work very hard to make a living selling art. I also have a great deal of respect for the artists who wish to make a living off of their art, it's not easy and my hat goes off to them. I, on the other hand, don't want to make a living off of my writing. I only want to share something that I find entertaining and think others might as well. To find out the reasons behind the opening statements, take a look at the 'What is Defeating Silence about?' and 'About the author' links below, or download and read the book.
This site is dedicated to
delivering my art to the world, free of charge-without the filters of business-for you to decide for yourself whether or not you like Defeating Silence.
You can find out more about the book, how to get the book, and myself by following the links below:
Note: An understanding or even liking of opera is not fundamental to the enjoyment of this book
- To let the book speak for itself (the best way to get to know what the book is about), read the Prologue
- No one, not even the author, could possibly tell you what Defeating Silence is about. It's an experience which each reader understands solely based on his/her own interpretation of the story and can be very different upon each reading.
But what I can tell you is...
- Why I refer to the book as a novel/opera: Just about everything in Defeating Silence has multiple meanings, similarly, this description of it is multi-leveled. It's a novel, it's a novel way to tell a story, and it's written in the format of an opera with an overture, acts, arias, a happy ending (maybe), but no music (and no one dies), so it's a novel opera. And, as opera is the merging of many art forms into one beast, Defeating Silence is composed of various genres of fiction and various styles of writing. It's a merging of a novel, a drama, poetry, and a synopsis that tells an unrealistic, almost mythical, story about a legendary tenor, set in the real world-much of the same stuff found in the stories of traditonal operas. Therefore, I refer to this book as a novel/opera. (Want to read the Prologue?)
- What I find particularly entertaining about the book: There are many parallels, allusions, and references to other works of art and themes of various art forms running throughout the book. Readers who have nothing else to do, say on a 22-hour flight, might take up the challenge of finding the many not-so-obvious-but-intended allusions to these other works. Yet, these references do not get in the way of telling the story, so if the reader isn't familiar with some or any of these it doesn't matter. (Find out more in the Prologue)
- What I find somewhat disturbing about the book: There are many aspects to Defeating Silence that may turn many readers away, but serve a purpose in the book. They are either a metaphor for or an example of a reason works of art are silenced. Take for example: Opera-which not only serves as a vehicle to deliver the story, but also is a theme, metaphor, and the topic of the story-this is a polarizing art form, a person loves it or hates it, and then there are some who haven't even given a thought to it. With opera seemingly taking such a significant role in Defeating Silence, it has the possibility of turning many potential readers away. However, the curious reader will quickly see that an understanding or even liking of opera is not fundamental to the true understanding or enjoyment of Defeating Silence. And... for another example... this verbose website. (See the Prologue)
- With all the aforementioned qualities of the book and the reader being asked to play a particular role in the story, how can anyone but the reader: a) decide whether the book is worth the investment of your time, and b) tell you what the book is about, since you and only you will understand it the way you will? The only way you'll find out is if you download the book and experience it for yourself.
- If you absolutely must have someone else's opinion of the book: click here
Back to links
If you would like to get a better idea of what Defeating Silence is about, click on either one of the two links below to read the first 2 pages of the Prologue.
This is an image file that will open in a new window. If your browser is not set to view images, click on the PDF link (below)
- PDF Prologue
For newer browsers, this will open a PDF file in a new window of your browser. For older browsers, this will download to your computer.
Back to What Defeating Silence is about
Back to links
"It's a page scroller."--Juliana Hughes, creator of The Cursed Girl role in Defeating Silence* * *
"A wonderful tribute to Opera and I love the nifty, handcrafted, hardback version of the book. Keep my $10, I'm not returning it!"--Pierre RÍveur, The Tenor of Defeating Silence* * *
"A juicy glimpse into the life of a superstar opera singer. Fantastic stuff!"--Cosmo Caspari, conductor of Defeating Silence* * *
"An adept merging of various styles, and yet, the author maintains a healthy respect for the reader. Brava, well done."--Yvette Descours, known for her acclaimed portrayal of The Tenor's Wife in Defeating Silence* * *
"It's a refreshingly novel opera. The reader plays the role of an audience member watching a performance of an opera about the creation of an opera, which is about the power of communication. It's an intriguing work that subtly enlists the reader to participate in its creation and at the same time begs the reader to think about what is being read."--Kendra Samuels, journalist in Defeating Silence with a reputation for reporting the truest version of every story* * *
"Better books may be found at an online or a local bookstore."--Someone Else, mentioned above
Real Readers' Comments
Back to links
First and foremost, I am a practical person-I learn by doing. Second, I make a living outside the world of art. And last, I love opera, with a special affection for Pietro Mascagni's work.
I wrote Defeating Silence for two reasons. One, as a way to preserve my sanity. The characters were in my head, repeating the same scene-driving me insane-until I started recording their actions. And two, I wanted to do what I could to put an end to a frustrating decade (or more) in my life. Years ago, I heard a fantastic aria from Nerone, Mascagni's last opera. I was moved by the aria and wanted to hear the entire opera-thus began my quest. After two years of visiting every music store in the D.C. area, I finally found the Bongiovanni recording. This, however, only ignited my desire to see it performed. It wasn't. No one would stage it. Why?
A little research on the opera and the composer revealed a handful of rumors that have now become rote dismissings of the work. These rumors didn't make sense to me. They even seemed contradictory to the story of the opera and the events surrounding its creation. I won't discuss the details of my research here because it's just my opinion and the theme of my next novel. If you're interested though, read Defeating Silence, look into the subject yourself, and form your own opinion based on what you find (then wait until my second book is available, if your interest persists). A great place to start your research is at Erik Bruchez's website: www.mascagni.org. This is a tremendous resource for all things concerning Mascagni.
Feeling as if I had no power to change the rote, I accepted the fact that I'll probably never see Mascagni's opera performed in this country. That was, until the characters started dancing around in my head, as I mentioned above. While following their dance, I came to the realization that without a voice-not enough people knowing about it-Nerone had no chance to be seen and, a more important realization, I could do something about that. Defeating Silence now had a purpose (other than to preserve my sanity).
As the book started to take shape, it became less about drawing attention to a specific opera or composer and more about the importance of communication. Defeating Silence turned out to be a voice for all works of art with Nerone (for better or worse) representing the silenced ones.
There was one caveat though, Defeating Silence also represented a silenced work in that, no one knew about it (except my friends and family). But, in this fantastic age of information sharing, all I had to do to give Defeating Silence a chance to serve its purpose was to design a website and post my book for the public to read. Because, in reality, that's all Defeating Silence needs-readers. Being the pragmatic person I am, I learned how to design a website and, knowing that not everyone (including myself) enjoys reading extensive amounts of material off of a computer screen, I also learned how to craft a reasonable facsimile of a hardback book to loan out. That's all it took on my part (well, and a bit of getting the word out about the website).
So, I invite you to download the book or borrow the hardback version and read it. If you like the book, tell your friends about it, direct people to this website, feel free to add a link to this page on your website and become an integral part of this project of Defeating Silence.
Back to links
Thank you for choosing to download my novel/opera. It is a zip compressed PDF, so it may be read on any computer that has Adobe Acrobat Reader™ and a decompression program. If your computer doesn't have Acrobat Reader™, you may download a free version here: www.adobe.com. If your computer doesn't have a decompression program, you may download a free version of Aladdin's StuffIt Expander™ here: www.stuffit.com. If you already have these programs, just click the link below and a 1.3MB zip file will download, then automatically decompress and deposit the 1.5MB PDF on your computer (approx. download time: 4 min - 56K modem, <1 min - high-speed connection).
What you CAN do with the book after you've downloaded it:
What you CANNOT do with the book after you've downloaded it:
- Read it on your computer
- Print it out if you have a spare ream of paper and lots of ink
- Ignore it and let it take up space on your computer
- Read it, share it with your friends, and if you hated it, your enemies (although, I'd rather you point them to this website for them to download instead of emailing the PDF to them)
- Rave about it or rail against it (after you read some or all of it-but it's not really necessary, you can say whatever you wish about it no matter how much of it you read)
- Sell it or otherwise make a profit from the book
- Change any of the text (if I formatted it correctly you shouldn't be able to)
- Use any portion of it without giving me proper credit-however, if you wish to use any of it, you are welcome to email me and ask for permission which I will most likely grant (not exclusively though)
Back to links
Warning! Not completely free (see below).
I've made 25 books that I'm willing to loan out. To ensure their return and to make them available to others who wish to borrow them, I've devised the following scheme (overview only):
- You fill out the request form (the link below will take you to the form)
- I'll respond to your request with an email that details the terms of the loan and what you need to do in order to get the book
- After you agree to the terms, you'll send a check to me for $10 (This check is only collateral you will get it back when I get the book back). The major cost to you: you have to pay for the postage to send the check.
- I'll send you the book to review for 2 months (meanwhile, your check collects dust in my apartment-I won't cash it)
- You'll mail the book back to me when you're finished with it or when the 2 month loan period is up. (I pay for the return postage)
- Upon receipt of the returned book, I will void your check and return the voided check to you.
If you don't return the book, I will cash your $10 check and the book is yours to enjoy (if you can enjoy it, knowing that you are taking one of the nifty, handcrafted, hardback books out of circulation and making those who are eagerly waiting to borrow one wait longer)
- That's it!
The total cost to you to borrow the book should be less than $1 (This is including: $0.39 stamp to mail the check and ~$0.40 for other incidentals like the envelope to send in the check, the cost of the check itself, a piece of paper for the signed agreement, and an optional mailing label) (US addresses only).
For non-US residents, the terms differ, but still at a minimal cost to you.
Back to links
All links will open in a new window
Free books online
- www.gutenberg.net - Project Gutenberg - the most comprehensive free online book site I've found. Look for that classic you've never read but wanted to, or find something you've never heard of before.
- www.bartleby.com - Bartleby - many classics, reference books, poetry, fiction and non-fiction free to read online.
- www.starry.com - Ace Starry's website - A man living his dream, he wrote a novel, designed a website, and now provides other authors space on his website to announce their books. All the books listed on his site (excluding his) are supposed to be free.
- www.cwoodcock.co.uk - Colin Woodcock's website - Read Colin Woodcock's online sci/fi-spy-thriller novel and/or take a look at other online novels on the FNO (free novels online) section of this website. Most are available for online reading, but some are downloadable.
- www.jogena.com - Jogena's Ebooks and Ezines Directory - A site providing a large list of links to software, ebooks, and ezines on the web. The site's focus is non-fiction with a marketing bent, however, there is a small section for fiction (new authors usually self- or subsidy published). Some of the ebooks/ezines/software are free, but not all.
- www.rkphunt.com - RKP Hunt's Free Online Novels - Rebecca KP Hunt's website devoted to her free fantasy and horror novels, poetry, and works-in-progress.
- www.pietromascagni.com - The official website for Pietro Mascagni - in Italian and parts in English.
- www.mascagni.org - Erik Bruchez's website devoted to Mascagni - a very comprehensive, labor-of-love website devoted to all things concerning Mascagni. Download music and video, browse the photo albums, find out about new releases, old recordings, upcoming productions and events, connect with other Mascagni fans.
- www.operastuff.com - OperaStuff - links, links, and more links to everything having to do with opera.
Website design and HTML Basics
Websites where you can rate or review Defeating Silence
- www.ebookdirectory.com - This link will take you to the page Defeating Silence is listed. Scroll down to its listing to rate it or give a review of it. While you're there, take a look the other books available at this site. (The page it's listed on may change. I'll do my best to keep this link updated, but if it's not on the page this link brings you to, just do a search on that site for Defeating Silence)
Would you like to have your website added here or wish to suggest a site? Email me with the URL. I'll review your site or suggestion and, if I find it appropriate, I'll add it to one of the groups above or create a new group just for your link.
Back to Defeating Silence links
If you have any problems, comments, or questions about this site, visit the contact info page.
Defeating Silence and website © 2003 Tanya Henderson. Trademarks are property of respective owners. All rights reserved.