Friday News: Apple Music, poetry-hating poets, UK teachers & books, and silent book clubs
Apple’s Brain Trust — Iovine, Reznor, Cue and Kondrk — on Streaming’s New World Order and Why ‘We All Should Be’ Worried – As Nate Hoffelder points out, Trent Reznor rants that YouTube is “built on . . . stolen content,” but is working as CCO for Apple Music, an interesting, uh, position for a guy with his views. I’m less concerned about how Reznor represents Apple and more surprised that artists view any of these corporate entities are into facilitating art for art’s sake. And that the music industry is still turned around when it comes to distributing digital content.
As an artist, have you found royalty checks to be growing?
Trent Reznor: I’m not looking at the financials as much, but through [the lens] of a consumer. When Jimmy and I first sat down years ago, it was very clear that the future is streaming. And I bring to that the burden and legacy of having come from the system before that, where livelihood could be made selling physical products and life made sense, you knew who the enemies were and you knew how to get your music out… And in this state of disruption, what interests me most as an artist, and what has been great about working with Jimmy before Apple and within the Apple ecosystem, is trying to bring that sense of opportunity to the musician.
The last 10 years or so have felt depressing because avenues are shutting down. Little shrines to music lovers — record shops — are disappearing… And every time there’s a new innovation, the musician is the one that didn’t have a voice at the table about how it’s presented. I thought, if I could make a place where there could be more opportunities, and it comes with more fertile ground, and music is treated with a bit more with respect, that interests me. It’s not, “Oh, I hope I get on that taco commercial.” – Billboard Magazine & The Digital Reader
Could Be Verse – A very interesting discussion of Ben Lerner’s The Hatred of Poetry, in which he addresses not only its vilification by non-poets, but also the way in which poets so often dislike poetry. Which seems almost impossibly contradictory, but Lerner’s hypothesis that poems ultimately demonstrate their own failure to manifest an idea(l) is compelling. He also talks about the problem of the “universal” in poetry, and the way such a projection can suggest a universality that “erases real differences.”
Lerner does talk in this book about the dislike ordinary readers have for poetry, which he attributes to an identification of poetry with one’s inner selfhood (not entirely jokingly, he cites the childhood rhyme “You’re a poet / and you don’t even know it”). Later, alienated from this source of value, adults denounce poetry in what he sees as an elaborate “reaction formation.” Lerner could more satisfyingly say much more here than he does—about the role of American anti-intellectualism, for instance, or about the historical specificity of current readers’ dislike, having to do with the rise of modernism and the “difficulty” of some contemporary poetry—but the book’s real focus is on why poets hate poetry.
Poets hate poetry, he argues, because the “actual” poem can never live up to what the poet and critic Allen Grossman has termed the “virtual poem,” or poetry with a capital P—“the abstract potential of the medium as felt by the poet when called upon to sing.” The poem is “always a record of failure,” evidenced here by the story of the early Anglo-Saxon poet Caedmon, who dreams of having sung an exquisite song, only to find, in daylight, that his actual songs fail to achieve such heights. “Poetry isn’t hard, it’s impossible,” Lerner provokingly asserts. – BOOKFORUM
Report: Teachers lack time to share books in classrooms – Given the fact that this “research” is tied to Oxford University Press’ “Greatest Stories” release, I don’t know how comprehensive or reliable it is, but the statistics are definitely provocative.
More than half of primary school pupils in the UK don’t have enough time to talk about books in the classroom, according to research released today (16th June) by Oxford University Press (OUP).
According to a ‘Reading for Pleasure’ survey of 349 teachers, 92% believe that reading for pleasure is essential to a pupil’s future success but 56% don’t have enough time to effectively encourage children to enjoy books.
When asked what would make the biggest difference in helping promote a love of reading, 36% of teachers said having more time to dedicate to books, whilst 33% said greater parental involvement and 17% said having access to a wide range of books. – The Bookseller
Silent Book Club in NYC This Month – This definitely seems like the year of the book club, and they are so ubiquitous now, that you don’t even need to discuss books to be part of one. The Silent Book Club, for example, is all about quietly reading together. An apparent hit in quite a few US cities, as well as Berlin and Amsterdam, it’s not even clear whether everyone needs to be reading the same book. Back in the day, we used to call this “studying.”
The group started among friends that got together to quietly sit and read at their neighborhood bar. “We loved books, and reading with friends, but most of our previous attempts at book clubs had fizzled out,” explains the website. “Often with traditional book clubs there’s the scramble to finish the assigned book, and the pressure to have something smart to say. Wouldn’t it be great to have a book club where you could just enjoy books, friends, and wine—without any homework?” – Galley Cat