Riding The Blues Wave   Leave a comment

Rythem Room 3-8-0300053 Wave Art blogRiding The Blues Wave — Image by kenne

Poet Kevin Young has written about the blues: 

The rise of modernism parallels the rise and reach of the blues.
This is no coincidence—after all, what critic Frederic Jameson identifies as
“the great modernist thematics of alienation,
anomie,
solitude,
social fragmentation,
and isolation,”i
could be summed up as simply having them blues.

But, as I have said elsewhere,
the blues means both a form and a feeling,
the one a cure for the other.
The blues are good-time music after all,
meant to make you tap your feet and feel,
if not better,
then at least comforted by the fact that you are in good (or deliciously bad) hands.
The blues offer company, even if only misery’s.

It is in the face of alienation and anomie that the mask,
modern and often racial, becomes necessary.
This is why the dominant mode of the modernist era is the persona—
the mask both as metaphor and means of production.
But the mask is not just T.S. Eliot‘s blackface,
Ezra Pound‘s love of Noh drama,
or Edvard Munch‘s iconic rictus of despair in The Scream,
but also the Janus mask of the blues,
which laughs and cries at the same time.

Posted August 12, 2013 by kenneturner in Blues, Education, Information, Photography, Poetry

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