Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When going through Nick Hornby's articles on books he's bought/read (which are significantly more entertaining than they sound), it struck me that I can't actually think of anyone else who has written so endearingly yet accessibly about the form, in particular about what is sometimes classified as "serious" fiction. While critical barriers of objectivity have been significantly demolished in music, with books the analysis is almost always of an academic bent (if not, it's often devoid of information). There is of course a very real need for such serious and semi-academic analysis, but so too is there one for Hornby's relaxed style of writing. I don't have that much else to say, except that I am glad to have found out about these articles, else I would have surely have him pegged as yet another pop-music obsessive (a charming one, mind!). I think my own shying away from books in this blog could be in part because I've felt ill-equipped in terms of the language needed to express my reactions about them. Hornby has made me reconsider that stance: perhaps unfortunately for you, dear reader! Stay tuned, I suppose.

Tangentially, before reading his articles, I had a vague idea that went something like: perhaps the place of classical music in the scheme of things is like the place of Dickens. Something you maybe dabble with when you're young, and then all but forget until (possibly) old age sets in. But his piece on Great Expectations makes me half-tempted to buy a fresh copy of that classic and re-read some 15 years on. Although, I should probably get through Anna Karenina first. And given this new uncertainty, lord knows what future awaits for all those Haydn symphonies...

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