Monday, March 16, 2009

`A Bowl of Mush'

I love Chicago but have never been a Studs Terkel fan -- too folksy. Fortunately, the wonderful Richard G. Stern has written a beautiful sendoff for his old friend, worth reading if only for its generous expression of affection. And for this:

"Back in the Fifties, I didn’t think much of Studs. A culture snob, I didn’t think much of Brahms and delighted in such mots as Stravinsky’s `Wagner is the Puccini of music.' I championed such writers as J. F. Powers, Peter Taylor, and the Bellow of Seize the Day (Augie March seemed back then too loose-jointed for me), along with Proust, Joyce, and what Ezra Pound called `the Rooshans.' So Studs, who daily `interrupted' the music on WFMT, was for me a bowl of mush. nce, he came up to a round-table discussion at the University of Chicago, and I thought I’d never heard a gabber who couldn’t locate a verb to pin down his adverbial clauses."

Stern's half-century-old tastes and prejudices are almost precisely mine today.

1 comment:

Frank Wilson said...

Like you, Patrick, I have never been a Studs fan. The populism has always struck me as faux, like the Irishness of some people on St. Patrick's Day. I'm half Irish and all working class. There's nothing magical about either.