Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, July 19, 2007

For a long time, it's struck me that often with Dylan over the last 30 years, his exuberant rhyming has been at odds with his sour outlook. Exuberant rhyming is traditionally a comic rhetoric, and a lot of these sour songs weren't making it for me.

In chapter 2 of Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, Richard Rorty quotes a Philip Larkin poem -- witty rhyming in service of a sour outlook. Dylan had a predecessor. And in thinking about Larkin -- of whom I am no particular fan -- maybe there's a wry pained humor in the juxtaposition of witty rhyming and sourness that I haven't been hearing.

* * * * *

I'm not feeling confident about my Harry Potter prediction: That he will die and rise again as a young man with no wizardly powers. But I like my prediction anyway: It underlines the sense of the Potter stories as parables of adolescence.

Like the young wizards, kids are constantly stumbling over powers they didn't know they had, and chronically feeling alien to themselves and to the world at large. What better way to end the saga than to shoot Harry through a baptismal/fiery crisis, and plop him at the other end -- and maybe the whole Hogwarts scene -- into un-magical adulthood?

* * * * *

In some ways, I feel I'm aging backwards -- in some ways, I feel younger than I've felt in years -- decades, even. A false perception, I know.

* * * * *

Charles Olson knew people to whom everything matters. I'm going to bed.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?