February 07, 2007

Jazz and ageing and sf

Co-incidentally, over at The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik's Postscript for Whitney Balliett has this nice bit:

As the music he loved aged, he was often left without a subject, and those of us who revered his writing sometimes wished that he could have discovered in himself a more sympathetic ear for the sounds of newer jazz. But he was too honest to pretend to admire what he didnít, and it was the great American music of the twenties through the eighties (the seventies, a jazz Indian summer in New York, were a high-water mark for him) that remained his subject... (12 Feb 2007, pg. 31)
In a related vein, my recent encounter with the video of Harlan Ellison reading Prince Myshkin (click on 'Prince Myshkin') led me to revisiting the Ellison-edited Again, Dangerous Visions "speculative fiction" anthology of 1972, and that, in turn, provoked this scribbled rumination:
1972 to 2007: 35 years, and still the stories seem fresh --or perhaps it's that those issues still define what's important for me, like Ursula LeGuin's "The Word for World is Forest", which is at base an examination of Ecology.
And it was Ecology that was the epicenter for my Generation, though my own take on it was more geospatial than energetic.
But the moniker "speculative fiction" (in Ellison's Introduction to the collection, and elsewhere) is worth considering anew. I just have this feeling that the world would have gone another way if more people had read this stuff...
So here I am, drifting toward joining those "old guys" who remember and value what others have forgotten, or are so young as to never have known...

Posted by oook at February 7, 2007 08:49 AM