Because music is nothing. It is nothing and yet it belongs to me.

Tofu Liu's words remind one of Wen the Dreamer and Sparrow, both reduced to essentials: just clothes and a suitcase. Pianos and violins can be smashed, books and symphonies turned to ash, even the tiles of houses can't be spared: things are brittle.

Yet the dreamer can copy, night after night; though he has no words of his own he can use them to speak for him; because he has copied them over and over again their syntax and sound have cut themselves into the whorls and curlicues of his brain like so many dotted paths along a secret map, so that the smallest difference could stand out like a beacon on a windswept night, guiding the lost ship home.

Reduced to nothing, Zhuli becomes a part of Sparrow:

… it was as if Zhuli, in some invisible way, had reattached herself to Sparrow's life, to his consciousness and his being.

To his consciousness: that is not nothing at all.


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