Outside Looking In


There’s no one to tell the adults in the language of the adults what’s happening. The only writer who comes close is Ralph Gleason in the San Francisco Chronicle. He’s been in the territory long enough so that he never says ‘pop culture.’ You won’t find any maps to that land in The New York Review of Books or Kenyon Review or Partisan Review. (Well, Leslie Fiedler has acted as a guide partway for the readers of PR… But he’s telling it from a distance. And so am I. Besides, nobody can go that route for you. You have to listen for yourself. Dig for yourself. Dig yourself.)

Nat Hentoff, “Something’s Happening and You Don’t Know What It Is, Do You, Mr. Jones,” Evergreen Review, 1966 (reprinted in The Age of Rock, Jonathan Eisen, ed.)

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