Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."





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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

IN REPLY TO MS

No, the essay on The Color Purple has not been revised.  Why then re-post it?  For two reasons.  First, because I like it.  I wrote it, and I like it.  So I re-posted it.  Second, because the two previous postings elicited only one comment, which was not really on point, and hope springs eternal.  I trust it is obvious that no one is required to read what I post even the first time.  If I had been so inspired as to compose the B-Minor Mass, I would whistle it whenever I got the chance [although I believe, sadly, that Bach never heard it performed.  I think it was salvaged from the ash heap of history by Mendelssohn.]

8 comments:

David Palmeter said...

Your mentioning Bach's probably not hearing the B-Minor Mass reminded me of something I read years ago by Aaron Copland. He was about 20 at the time, if I recall correctly, and living in Brooklyn. An orchestral piece of his was to be performed in Manhattan. The subway taking him to the first rehearsal was behind schedule,and when he got there rehearsal had already begun. As he approached the building, he could hear he music--and that was the first time,he said, that he'd ever heard an orchestral piece of his performed. Along the same lines, I heard the other day on the radio that Schubert never heard any of his symphonies, even the ones he finished. I find that incredibly sad.

The B-Minor Mass raises a question for which I have no answer: What was a good Lutheran like Bach doing writing music for a Catholic Mass?

Jerry Fresia said...

David P.

Regarding Schubert never hearing his symphonies performed:

Some have said that the payoff is in the process of creation. Somewhat in agreement with this notion, I suppose, is Richard Bernstein who has pointed out, "Everything that is of fundamental importance in Marx's outlook depends on grasping this manner of viewing the relation of the objects that a man produces and his activity."

So maybe, it's more of a "meh" than an "incredibly sad."

Dean said...

From Christoph Wolff's (no relation, I assume) notes to the Harmonia Mundi release this year of the Mass performed by Les Arts Florissants and conducted by William Christie:

“The Missa of 1733 owes its origin to the extended mourning period after the death of the Elector and King Friedrich August I (Augustus ‘the Strong’). Since music was forbidden for six months Bach used the time purposefully for a number of projects, including the Kyrie-Gloria Mass as an homage to the new heir to the throne, combined with the special request for a court title in order to improve his status vis-a-vis his superiors in Leipzig. By choosing a Latin Mass Bach the Lutheran settled on the genre of church music both confessions had in common and hence was acceptable to the Roman Catholic court in Dresden without compromising his own faith. Even though the
granting of the court title took a while, the appointment of ‘Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon court compositeur’ came through in 1736 and the distinguished honorary title provided Bach with the desired freedom of conducting his Leipzig cantorate in the manner of a more independent capellmeister....

“The B-Minor Mass could hardly have been intended for liturgical use because the work’s overall dimensions would not fit the frame of a worship service, neither Catholic nor Lutheran. Nevertheless, since Bach would not compose anything without having performance in mind, any of the four parts within could be presented within a
single service. This happens to be well in line with the liturgical practices in Leipzig during the mid-18th century when a new interest in Latin church music occurred, but for Bach the ultimate goal seems to have been a model collection of vocal polyphony in the form of a full Mass cycle.”

The Christie/LAF recording, by the way, is radiant.

Jerry Fresia said...

PS And I forgot to mention, when I read the blog in question, it did occur to me that I may have seen it before, but for some reason, this time, I read it very carefully and was quite impressed, not only with Alice Walker, but the review itself. Maybe the 3rd's a charm.

Anonymous said...

Why not ask Alice? She's only 74 and lives in Georgia. You write that critics have apparently never bothered to ask why she chose that unfashionable genre: maybe that's a question she couldn't answer, but she probably knows why she chose the genre. The idea that critics don't ask why an author did such and such sounds like they don't do their (fact-gathering) homework--when their subjects are still around. I've not read any of Richardson's novels, but I did read (as a college sophomore, in 1968) Goethe's Sorrows of the Young Werther, which is one of the most notorious of the 18th century epistolary novels (ein Briefroman)--published in 1774, a decade and a half or so after Richardson had died. I think it engendered a raft of suicides among its young readers. It didn't have that effect on me. Times change. Anyway, it seems that the epistolary form was popular in the 18th century in places other than England. --Fritz Poebel

s. wallerstein said...

The epistolary novel becomes more entertaining and much less moralistic than Richardson with Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos (1782).

Daniel Langlois said...

I'm pretty sure that when you pine for comments, you don't mean me, but I have read The Color Purple. Nevertheless.. (I don't recall thinking much of it)

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to disagree with a literary critic? It seems that they refuse to accept that a text may be uninteresting, despite the often considerable effort devoted to its interpretation. Do they make any falsifiable statements at all?