Sunday, October 11, 2009

Basman on the Below

After quite liking the last diarist entry read by me on Burke and faux Burkeans, amongst whom George Will is not to be counted, I thought Wieseltier and I had solved our problems and I could go on to enjoy his pieces. But then he drops this piece of shit on us and stinks up the joint unbearably. Here and there I can glean some sense, but overall it is febrile in its desperate attempt at aphoristic conciseness. Wallowing in incomprehensibility, Wieseltier turns consciseness into reconditeness.

Loving Skip James, I liked this quote from him, which must be heard sung by the great man to be truly appreciated:

“I ain't gonna cry no more
Because down this road every traveler must go.”

These lines put me in mind to contrast briefly Wieseltier with the great and relatively unheralded genius of Skip James. Consider this for example:, also a brilliantly weird song on death, albeit from a perspective altogether different from the puzzling fragments of premises that Weiseltier proceeds from.

Consider the high falutin Wiesletier who emerges from this diarist piece. For all its erudition and skip skipping from one learned reference to the next, it all comes to a self aggrandizing, complicated and rather preening hodge podge of a near nothing transposed over its underlying cliche—one more curmudgeon’s whack at the emptiness of celebrity: it’s been done to death.

Meanwhile an untutored genius just in the three and a bit minutes of Cypress Grove Blues creates a shattering work of art that makes mockery of Wieseltier’s convoluted emptiness. He should think on the probability that when the dust of time settles, Skip James’s genius will endure for the discerning, while Wieseltier for all his outpourings will be nary an unread and unreadable footnote in the intellectual history of these times.

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