Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Whoa, and Congratulations!

Not only is Alex Ross about to celebrate the paperback publication of The Rest is Noise, apparently he has recently gotten a call from the MacArthur Foundation!! Congratulations!!

Update, 1:15 p.m.: The new recipient talks about his plans, which include starting a new book next year.


Anonymous said...

Holy ---!

How nice to have some unmitigated good news.

Looking forward to whenever he cares to tell us what the next book will be on.

Joe Barron said...

The more I read him in the NEw Yorker, the more I missed Andrew Porter. And now he's being subsidized to write yet another paean to minimalism. Hide your wives and daughters.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Why do you bother reading him?

Henry Holland said...

Hide your wives and daughters

Um, that might be the dumbest thing I read on the Internet all week, considering that Alex Ross is openly gay.

Lisa, maybe he meant "the more I read him" as "the more I red him", past tense, not "the more I reed him".

I think Mr. Ross is a terrific writer and he's also a big fan of Franz Schreker, so he gets major points from me for that, but I thought the last portion of his book (say, from 1950 on) was quite thin on the ground; he obviously has no interest in a lot of the trends of European modernism post-Darmstadt and to call John Adams the best composer of those last 30 years or whatever it was is simply embarrassing. I get it, Adams rocked his world as a teenager, but really now, I've long realized that rock music moved on from Emerson Lake & Palmer ripping the top of my head off in 1974 when I was 14.

And now he's being subsidized to write yet another paean to minimalism


Joe Barron said...

Yes, I did mean "read" in past tense. Blame the wretched English system of spelling. Ross lost me as a reader long ago. He's down on Carter (condescendingly called him "America's best European composer"), which bothered me after the glory years of Porter, and as I've pointed out before, he tends to bend the truth to make his point --- at least on matters I've been able to catch him up on. If I can't trust him on things I know about, I'm not sure I can trust him on things I don't know about.

I agree with Henry: calling John Adams the best composer of the past 30 years is silly.

And to be honest, I'm just jealous that he has all that money now and I don't.

If the stupid wives and daughters line bothers you, then how about just "Hide the groceries"? It was a reference to Randy Newman.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Yeah, I'd just put Adams in the top ten. I've looked at those issues where you say he's bending the truth, and I thought they were in areas where a range of interpretation was possible, including (given the latest you pointed me to), the Ives questions. My major complaint about the book is...well, I'll leave it for a blog posting some time.

Joe Barron said...

I don;t think the thing he said about Carter was really open to interpretation. Nothing in Stravinsky's letter to Carter about the Piano Concerto suggested "bafflement," as Ross maintained.