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Pulitzer : Lamar :: Nobel : Dylan?

Friday, April 20th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — with the nost remarkable, beautiful, unexpected, unexpectable music at the very end, a total surprise ]
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Kendrick Lamar just won the Pulitzer for music. A small while back, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

I haven’t seen anyone comparing Kendrick Lamar‘s Pulitzer fuss with Bob Dylan‘s Nobel shenanigans — yet.

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The black on white of the Dylan lyrics (upper panel, above) and the white on black of the Lamar lyrics (lower panel, above) aren’t racially intended, nor do they represent good and evil as so commonly elsewhere — and in any case, in black on white is it the black or the white that carries the meaning, and vice versa — but in the case of white on black, which do you notice most? And above, below, what do they mean?

Both, and.

Good’n’evil, rock’n’roll. Rock on, world.

**

Sources:

These two will give you the surprise, surprise narratives:

  • New York Times, Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize, Redefining Boundaries of Literature
  • NPR, How The Pulitzer Jury Opened Its Doors To Hip-Hop
  • And those two headlines make a nice contrapuntal DoubleQuote, too.

    **

    Me, I’ve been listening to Dylan since I could crawl and he was folk, and had never consciously heard the words Kendrick Lamar until yesterday, when I started in on this piece.

    Sources:

    Here are the two musics from which the lytrics posted above are taken, both of which you may skip if you know them already:

    and:

    **

    But. And. Yet. Also. Splutter —

    My remarkable discovery of the day.. It’s Caroline Shaw‘s astounding Partita for 8 Voices, written for and sung by Roomful of Teeth. Listen closely, beauty is born fresh here:

    Kudos, where kudos due:

  • Slate, Classical Music Needs Kendrick Lamar More Than It Needs the Pulitzer
  • **

    Okay, just in case — what I hear:

    Human voice sound poetry of Henri Chopin — I visited him briefly circa 1965 — via Glenn Gould‘s polyphonic voice radio plays, meeting Machaut, via Morten Lauridsen‘a O Magnum Mysterium, plus what funk meant first, before it was limited to funk — a twisty ringing of changes in sound: cough, swoop, taal, stutter and bend weaving in and out of dissonance, of purity..

    Utterly fresh and brilliantly performed: watch and listen..

    And tell me below if you knew this wonder already.

    Shorts 3: Bear, Tiger & Sanctuary, Service / Servitude, &c

    Sunday, March 4th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — gotta serve somebody, but best not Richard III ]
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    Bear vs Tiger:

    Watch a bear pick a fight with a tiger to try to save her cub

    Only a few dozen tigers roam this 30,000-acre reserve in central India, according to the Hindustan Times. Yet they dominate the coveted water holes, where barking deer and hyena packs must come to drink. Even humans have to respect the laws of nature in this park. [ .. ]

    And Matkasur ran from the bear; this time not turning back. She chased him all the way to the water hole. He splashed straight into it, as if it were sanctuary. Maybe it was, because the bear stopped at the water’s edge.

    Projecting sanctuary back to the animal realm — semi-joking, srsly? And water, holy water, as the sanctuary? Or would the boundary (limen, in Victor Turner‘s terms) between earth and water might be enough? Obvs, the tiger doesn’t think, “Ah, Victor Turner time!” — but what might be the sensibilities of tiger and bear cognition? Seriously?

    Paleo-religion? Time to rethink sanctuary cities?

    Tyger! Bear!

    **

    It Can’t Happen Here, i:

    It Can’t Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis, and a 1936 play adapted from the novel by Lewis and John C. Moffitt.

    Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, a politician who defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and is elected President of the United States, after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and “traditional” values.

    And so on..

    **

    It Can’t Happen Here, ii:

    Inspired by the book, director–producer Kenneth Johnson wrote an adaptation titled Storm Warnings in 1982. The script was presented to NBC for production as a television miniseries, but NBC executives rejected the initial version, claiming it was too cerebral for the average American viewer. To make the script more marketable, the American fascists were re-cast as man-eating extraterrestrials, taking the story into the realm of science fiction. The revised story became the miniseries V, which premiered May 3, 1983

    And so forth..

    **

    It can’t happen here, [Richard] iii::

    Wachet auf!

    **

    Serve somebody, i:

    Why I regret being in the pocket of the NRA: Marc Dann

    The mass murder of 17 students and staff at a high school in Parkland, Florida, has reignited the national debate about the availability of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that began nearly 30 years ago. Since the Parkland massacre, I’ve been asked repeatedly why politicians steadfastly oppose banning firearms that serve no other purpose than to efficiently kill innocent human beings.

    I know the answer because, as an Ohio state senator and attorney general, I was in the pocket of the National Rifle Association. [ .. ]

    I made a devil’s bargain with myself: To stay in office, I adopted pro-gun positions that made me uncomfortable.

    The bargain paid off.

    Amazing to see how (a) how he quite casually invokes theology by way of explanation, and/or (b) how the Faustian bargain “myth” works out in real life:

    I soon learned however, that in making a deal with the devil to advance my political career, I had abandoned my principles and sold my soul.

    D’oh! That’s what the Bargain is! You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed, you’re gonna have to serve somebody:

    **

    Serve somebody, ii:

    Yom may be the heavyweight champion of the world..

    I’ll end on this note.

    And you know something’s happening, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?

    Monday, August 28th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — gulf water temperatures 2° above average fuel winds, flooding in TX ]

    Furthermore,

    **

    These frank admissions that we have gone beyond the known signal a qualitative shift in the situation.

    You don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?

    It’s altogether a hard rain falling..

    Gingrich appraises Mueller

    Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — fwiw my first name, charles, translates to churl ]
    .

    I am far from the only one to have noticed this juxtaposition:

    I read the first of these as a simple statement of the concensus as to Mueller‘s character, what is generally known of the man after years of pubic service. I think of it, in other words, as a statement of received opinion, which Newt Gingrich is presenting for the record. I imagine I could find similar endorsements of Mueller from the Democratic side of the aisle.

    The second tweet strikes me as of a diFfferent sort altogether. This one I believe I could find echoed in other statements from aides to Trump — it’s a talking point.

    I know politicians lie. I imagine I could find instances of Joe Biden, or Hillary Clinton, making similarly opposed statekents. I take Bill Clinton‘s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” to be the Lie Direct in Jacques’ terms. But this —

    I don’t believe Gingrich has changed opinions, I believe he has simply changed hats. I think, in short, that he still takes Mueller for a man with an impeccable reputation for honesty and integrity — but in his second tweet, he’s parroting a party line, not his actual opinion.

    Dylan: But what’s the sense of changing horses in midstream?

    Maybe Jacques would classify this as a Reply Churlish. Gingrich, you’re a Churl.

    If your memory serves you well..

    Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — Muslim travel ban DoubleQuoted with Japanese internment camps, history rhyming, Ginsberg on Dylan’s national rhyme ]
    .

    Anna O Law (The Immigration Battle in American Courts, Cambridge, 2014) made the connection:

    **

    What kind of rhyme is that anyway, Mister History?

    Is it one like:

    Idiot wind, blowing everytime you move your jaw,
    From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Mardi Gras.

    — the first version the current Nobel Laureate in Literature tried out — or this, definitive one? —

    Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
    From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol.

    **

    The question interests me because there’s a back-level where the rhyme is in the concept, not the sound of the words as pronounced by poet or listener, reader — as with the rhyme womb / tomb, where before-birth and after-death meet both soncally and conceptually, making life freshly worthwhile as only the mechanics of poetry can.

    Ginsberg explains:

    Christopher Ricks, who has also penned books about T. S. Eliot and John Keats, argues that Dylan’s lyrics not only qualify as poetry, but that Dylan is among the finest poets of all time, on the same level as Milton, Keats, and Tennyson. He points to Dylan’s mastery of rhymes that are often startling and perfectly judged. For example, this pairing from “Idiot Wind,” released in 1975:

    Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull,
    From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol

    The metaphorical relation between the head and the head of state, both of them two big domes, and the “idiot wind” blowing out of Washington, D.C., from the mouths of politicians, made this particular lyric the “great disillusioned national rhyme,” according to Allen Ginsberg.

    Ginsberg’s formidable liking for this rhyme is part of what got him invited to Dylan’s Rolling thunder Review:

    Ginsberg’s tribute to that rhyme is one of the reasons he is here with Bob and Joan and the rest of the merry motley. It was, says Allen, “one of the little sparks of intelligence that passed between Bob and me and that led him to invite me on the tour.”

    **

    I caught the rolling thunder in Fort Collins:

    **

    Ah yes.

    And If your memory serves you well is, as I recall via Google, Dylan’s top of the hat to Rimbaud‘s A Season in Hell, which opens with the words:

    Jadis, si je me souviens bien, ma vie était un festin où s’ouvraient tous les cœurs, où tous les vins coulaient.

    This Wheel’s On Fire, lyrics by that Nobel fellow, Rick Danko and the Band:

    **

    Memory, pattern, association, analogy, history, learning.

    And Dylan on how literature works on you a similar wonder — in his recently released Nobel speech:

    Music to my ears.


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