Alex Ross says he is working on a new book of essays, though I won’t believe it until he sets up a blog under the book’s title.
I’m hoping he’ll one day try his hand at fiction. I could see him writing a fantastical 21st-century riposte to Mann’s Doktor Faustus. Just imagine: a critic strikes a bargain with the devil – for every great new piece unveiled, the devil is required to remove one plague from human existence. One by one, they are stricken from the ledger: acne, cancer, committee meetings, electric bills, mosquitoes, Hummers, wars, as the intrepid critic plays one terrific new piece after another for the increasingly despondent devil. In the end, the devil gives the critic his due, joining the heavenly chorus in praise of new music.
And I’d love to see the title of his new blog. The Lament of Mephistopheles? Doctor Nachmann Meets His Match? Zeitblom’s Atonement?
I’m sure he can come up with something better.