Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Another book in the wall

While the music industry continues to bet the farm on digital delivery the publishing industry is experiencing a young demographic-driven resurgence in the physical book market. This difference in approach - daring to be different versus fearing to be different - is currently reflected in the output of the music and publishing industries; which means recently I have derived far more gratification from reading new books than listening to new music releases. Nathan Hill's novel The Nix has proved particularly rewarding. Music including a cassette of John Cage's 4'33" figures in the plot, and this exposition by one of the book's protagonists is relevant to the thread:
"You know there used to be a difference between authentic and sellout music. I'm talking about when I was young, in the sixties. Back then we knew there was a soullessness to the sellouts, and we wanted to be on the side of the artists. But now? Being a sellout is the authentic thing... The only fundamental truth is greed, and the only question is who is up front about this. That's the new authenticity.
More arcane but equally rewarding is Sufism and Politics in Morocco: Activism and Dissent by Abdelilah Bouasria. In it Abdelilah Bouasria recounts how he had to ponder for a long time before fully understanding a statement by his economics supervisor at Sussex University John McLean. It is an aphorism that all of would do well to ponder on at the present time:
"What people do does not explain what people do; what people do needs to be explained."
No review samples used in this post. The Nix was in fact a chance buy in Holland at Delft railway station en route to Delft University (TUDelft) where the header photo was taken in the University library. My thanks go to Avradeep Pal who was my host in Delft. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Graeme said...

My daughter has now decide to go vinyl! All her CDs are in the cloud and she only buys vinyl. Back in 1991, she told me vinyl was dead when I brought home the Fenby Legacy on 2 vinyl LPs