I reviewed John Carey's later book 'What Good are the Arts?' very negatively on Amazon a few years ago, and have had mostly negative comments for my pains. This book, which at least has a more intelligent premise (to examine attitudes of 20th century intellectuals towards 'the masses'), is even worse. I expect a kicking.
This is possibly the most asinine book by a tenured academic that I've read since Rudiger Imhof's 'The Modern Irish Novel', which had the great disadvantage of being written by someone for whom English is not a first language. Professor Carey's book is much better written than Professor Imhof's, but whereas Prof Imhof's took a few really stupid axioms (for… Read more
For all that Johann Sebastian Bach had a knack for memorable melodies, he was never more himself than when he was writing fugues. Thousands of hours of practice made him the greatest master of counterpoint since Palestrina, and since his death over two and a half centuries ago, composers who've wanted to understand the art of fugue have gone back to Bach. Mozart was excited by discovering his work, Beethoven studied it, Brahms revered it. Bach's fugues are so intricately designed that it can take expert commentary to reveal their true glories. That's what's provided in this excellent if all-too-short book by the late Joseph Kerman, doyen of American musicologists. Brief though the book is,… Read more
Ever since I bought a pair of JVC GUMY headphones in Sounds Direct in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago, I've been trying to think of uses for them. Here are some that I've come up with:
* Tying up a very small and weak burglar * Giving them to your nephew who owns an Action Man, telling him that he can play at gaucho and these can be the bolas * Using them to escape from a low place if you happen to have been shrunk to a tiny size * Cutting the wire off and reserving it for a home electronic project * Dangling them between your legs and pretending that your testicles have horribly withered
What you should not use them for is trying to listen to an… Read more