BookForum Critical Geek Alert

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September 15, 2011 by admin

Simon Reynolds points towards the index of the latest BookForum, which contains his twin review of Chuck Eddy’s RARAF and Marcus’s upcoming Doors book (not to mention that the same issue also contains a review of James Wolcott’s upcoming memoir and a piece on Dwight MacDonald — of these, only the MacDonald piece is available online) (but yeah: critical geek alert, for sure). I will buy BookForum when I can find a copy, and review at great length Reynold’s review of Eddy and Marcus (just kidding. I think). In the meantime, Reynolds chimes in with a few thoughts on GM and his version of the Doors:

This narrative arc of the Doors oeuvre — explosive entrance, rapid fading of powers, belated resurgence — is the standard critical shape for the group’s output and probably representative of how people of Marcus’s generation responded in real-time. You might say that this is the Historical Truth of the Doors. But why should listeners who discover the band subsequently, long after the fact, feel obliged to keep faith with that historical truth as it unfolded so many years ago? More to the point, how could they stay faithful to it even if they wanted to? The way music listening is now organized and freed up by digital archiving systems, trying to abide by that Truth would entail a great deal of effort: not just listening to things in exact sequence, but trying to keep out of your mind what happened next to the band. It’s impossible and probably pointless.

Two reasons I look forward to Marcus’s book:
1) there’s not been a lot of worthwhile criticism about the Doors (too often they’ve been under-served, unfairly dismissed, ridiculously misunderstood); I look forward to a fresh approach, and am genuinely curious about GM’s perspective, given how little he has previously written about them.
2) um, see last line in previous point: they are fresh material for GM. As I’ve written elsewhere, and probably ad nauseum, I tend to prefer Marcus when he’s exploring stuff that exists (or anyway, appears to exist) more around the edges of his usual obsessions, if that makes any sense.

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