Music opinions aplenty
Dr. David A. Ross is a graduate of Yale and Oxford. He is senior lecturer in English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of A Critical Companion to William Butler Yeats (2009) and the co-editor/co-translator of The Search for the Avant-Garde, 1946–1969 (2012), the descriptive catalogue of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. He edits the Southeast Review of Asian Studies and has served as president of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies. His enthusiasms include high modernism, modal jazz, Chinese ink-brush painting, and really well-made pizza. He more or less piggybacks on the aesthetic wisdom of Yeats:
And it may be that men are only able to fashion into beautiful shapes the most delicate emotions of the soul, spending their days with a patience of the middle ages in the perfect rounding of a verse, or in the perfect carving of a flower, when they are certain that the soul will not die with the body and that the gates of peace are wide, and that the watchers are at their places upon the wall. “John Eglinton and Spiritual Art,” 1898.
A style is found by sedentary toil / And by the imitation of great masters. “Ego Dominus Tuus,” 1918.
If I wrote of personal love or sorrow in free verse, or in any rhythm that left it unchanged, amid all its accident, I would be full of self-contempt because of my egotism and indiscretion, and I foresee the boredom of my reader. I must choose a traditional stanza, even what I alter must seem traditional. I commit my emotion to shepherds, herdsmen, camel-drivers, learned men, Milton’s or Shelley’s Platonist, that tower Palmer drew. Talk to me of originality and I will turn on you with rage. Indtroduction to an unpublished edition of the works, 1937.