Saturday, June 02, 2007

Further Throwing-up of Hands

Ok, I have ditched the Jules Romains toward the end of Volume 5. There's only so many hundreds of pages of people's paths crossing and recrossing in the French capital in the year 1908 that I can handle before I start looking for something with more to it. Each volume is something like 200 pages and reading it has gotten to be rather like staring about a day too long at an ant-farm. More from proximity than just about anything else, I've picked up Proust, in which one can find interesting things interspersed between extended sections on manners. I'm in a bit of a dry spell where nothing really catches my attention or interest. And speaking of catching interest, I found this Proust bit on music, though it would also carry over to any artistic expression:

"And not only does one not seize at once and retain an impression of works that are really great, but even in the content of any such is the least valuable parts that one at first perceives."

In other words, it's all most likely my fault that it's not working out so well between Romains and me. But, going off for a bit on accessibility and what Proust wrote above, much of pop music appears to take the opposite approach--the hook is the best part of the song. Brit-Brit's Toxic certainly doesn't have much past the hook. In classical music, the slow movement in symphonies and other multi-movement works that modern audiences yawn through was considered the most important, the centerpiece of the work. Now, people focus on the catchy fast movements at beginning and end. Letters has the same issue, with focus on plot and flash. And supposed non-fiction has folks like Ann Coulter with her hot points, which obscure the main point of her argument (or what she later says is the main point of her argument) and tend to blind many to the fact that she can't write her way out of a wet paper sack. But it appears ideals have changed, as well as the values of culture. In essence, I'm restating, for the most part, Brian Dunn's Danielle Steele post of not terribly long ago, only with less polished prose.

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