Peter Gillette is studying trumpet — and of course all manner of other things seriously musical — over in Iowa City. Like so many of us he also keeps a blog, and I just couldn’t help passing along a link to his wonderful little post, “A Brief, Entirely Clear Thought Upon Reading Milton Babbitt“. An excerpt:

This evening, was read by me, which is to say having been read as one reads if read one must call it (that is, that which must be read or has been itself read) several articles by””or, rather, at the limits, if a name apply it we must, Milton Babbitt; eminent theorist insofar as theory itself ascribes eminence, ascribed insofar as ascription can itself be ascertained through paragraphs of two or more sentences at once, it can be said, resembling this one it can be said at its own very limit, both within and beyond that which is under and about (as far as we may be certain enough to say)…

One Response to “I Know Just How He Feels.”
  1. Great stuff. I’d like to see someone take on Boretz.

    I suppose that the needlessly esoteric rhetoric that surrounds contemporary music is coming to an end – with all of this self-conscious revisionism and what have you. Perspectives of New Music is not quite the same journal today as it was in 1967; but it seems occasionally that *being clear* is still seen by some as unfashionable.

    I think in sciences and mathematics, simple ideas/explanations are appreciated, as elegent or efficient. In humanities, I think there must be still a lot of people that suspect simple ideas/explanations as being simple-minded. The division has surely only grown wider.