Download Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World by John Szwed PDF

By John Szwed

The definitive biography of Alan Lomax-from John Szwed,"the top track biographer within the business" (L.A. Weekly).

One of the main extraordinary figures of the 20th century, Alan Lomax was once most sensible identified for bringing mythical musicians like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Muddy Waters, Lead abdominal, and Burl Ives to the radio and introducing people song to a mass viewers. Now John Szwed, the acclaimed biographer of Miles Davis and sunlight Ra, offers the 1st biography of Lomax, a guy who was once as influential as he used to be controversial-trailed for years via the FBI, criticized for his folks- song-collecting practices, denounced by way of a few as a purist and via others as a popularizer. This authoritative paintings finds how Lomax replaced now not simply the way in which everybody within the state heard song but in addition the way in which they considered the USA itself.

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The very first sentence of the Studien critically re-reads Fichte’s proposition that the Ich determines its identity through its own productive activity. The very fact that the subject must self-define was, for Novalis, proof of its inability to define or capture the essence of itself. An act of definition occurring within the finite structure of reflection cannot enclose or fix the absolute nature of identity, but merely figure its possibility. Importantly for Novalis, the figuration is not identical with the essence of that being figured, but at most a statement of equivalence: “Das Wesen der Identität läßt sich nur in einem Scheinsatz aufstellen.

T. A. Hoffmann, Fantasie- und Nachtstücke, ed. Walter Müller-Seidel (Munich: Winkler, 1960), 295. 1 Mention of any great knowledge or appreciation of music, of specific composers and musical works, and evidence of any practical musical skill are, nevertheless, absent from the corpus of his writing. It is of no slight significance, however, that the conference from which this volume grew should have heralded itself with reference to Novalis’s formulation “Unsere Sprache [. ] muß wieder Gesang werden” (SN3:284:245), which is typical of the many abstract references to song and music strewn throughout his theoretical and literary writings.

The superhuman force of music is, so to speak, ethically neutral. We do not know whether the “Wunder der Tonkunst” are by provenance and intent benevolent or malevolent. The phoenix impresses the onlooker, but is its indestructibility divine or uncanny? The disembodied soul of the child experiences eternal bliss, but the heaven it inhabits is conspicuously not identified with a state of explicitly Christian redemption. The sensual delights of the island are at best amoral, and at worst, orgiastic.

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