Ph.D. Octopus

Politics, media, music, capitalism, scholarship, and ephemera since 2010

Death, don’t come to the house tonight (RIP J.D. Salinger)

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So far this emerging web-log has been (almost) entirely devoted to death; being of a superstitious bent, I see no cause to depart from this nascent trend. To wit, I draw your attention to this supremely well-observed “Appraisal” of the newly-lamented J.D. Salinger by the Times’ Michiko Kakutani. Along with the following arresting thought from Franny – “everything everybody does is so — I don’t know — not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and — sad-making” – Kakutani also uses one of my favourite under-employed verbs: limn (from the OED: 1878 GLADSTONE Prim. Homer 130 The Odusseus is limned with..incomparable art).

The Times’ full-length obit is also very much worth the read.

Now, I was also going to muse about my recent re-discovery of Song to the Siren by This Mortal Coil (and my discovery tout court of the original version of the song by Tim Buckley, father to Jeff – hmm, more death), but, for the moment, This Mortal Coil just seems rather too morbid.

To quote from Buckley’s lyrics (which I’ve remembered since my older brother put TMC’s version on a slow-dance mix tape called ‘Matthew’s Mood Music’ he made for a party I hosted in grade 8):  “I’m as puzzled as a newborn child / I’m as riddled as the time.”


Written by (wotty)

January 29, 2010 at 20:11

One Response

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  1. Tim Buckley’s a nice catch. “Phantasmagoria in Two” is good tune as well, as well as “Pleasant Street” and “Aren’t you that Girl.” On a related note, John Frusciante, formerly of Red Hot Chili fame, a guitarist and songwriter, the long hair, well he also covered “Song to the Siren” on his 2009 album The Empyrean.


    January 31, 2010 at 01:29

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