Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moral sudoku

A wonderful Verlyn Klinkenborg musing in today's NYT:

It has been nearly 40 years since the rocker Jim Morrison died. But this week — the day after Morrison would have turned 65 — he appeared in The Times in two obituaries: his father’s and that of the owner of the Los Angeles club, Whisky A Go Go, where Morrison’s band, the Doors, got its big break....


This is the kind of thing I encourage some of my students to try:

I find myself wondering how Elmer Valentine would tell his story to himself, or what George Morrison might have said to his son’s employer.

Better yet, I imagine them meeting long before the famous son came along, perhaps during World War II when Valentine was an Army Air Forces mechanic and Morrison was a young naval ensign. How would the future have looked to them? Could either have imagined Jim Morrison’s arc?


I've been on a mild anti-Doors/JM kick for the last, oh, 15 years or so—amazing that in seven short paragraphs, Klinkenborg can make me interested again...

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1 Comments:

Blogger Andrew said...

Greil Marcus's Sept. 2008 column in the Believer had a similar effect on me:

'What I really want
to do is be Edmund Wilson,
or “Interview with
the Doors,” Mojo Navigator
#14, August 1967, collected
in Bomp! Saving the
World One Record at a Time,
edited by Suzy Shaw and
Mick Farren (Ammo).
Jim Morrison: “Interviews are
good, but…”
Mojo: “Oh, they’re a drag.”
JM: “Critical essays are really
where it’s at.”'

12:47 PM  

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