The New Yorker : May 26, 1997
American Pastoral as Wikipedia presents it.
My California 101 Audiobook for August, American Pastoral, by Phillip Roth.
For me personally, I delighted in the great detail Roth described in the making of gloves, a working class Jewish history that celebrates craft in labor. Seymour Levov to me is a good man, a mensch as I a gentile would learn to recognize them and celebrate them too across all faiths and would come to aspire to emulate in my Boy Scout Christian Great Books Liberal Humanist 1960s myth mode.
The novel read to me in a car by the late Ron Silver in fine performance coincides with my memory road drive down 1968, when my own version of Seymour’s trials shook my Midwestern soil out from under me and threw me into an adolescence without the moorings of secure family and faith and revolution and rock and roll would throw me a rope to the sanctuary of San Francisco.
“And it was never but once a year that they were brought together anyway, and that was on the neutral, dereligionized ground of Thanksgiving, when everybody gets to eat the same thing, nobody sneaking off to eat funny stuff–no kugel, no gefilte fish, no bitter herbs, just one colossal turkey for two hundred and fifty million people–one colossal turkey feeds all. A moratorium on the three-thousand-year-old nostalgia of the Jews, a moratorium on Christ and the cross and the crucifixion of the Christians, when everyone in New Jersey and elsewhere can be more passive about their irrationalities than they are the rest of the year. A moratorium on all the grievances and resentments, and not only for the Dwyers and the Levovs but for everyone in America who is suspicious of everyone else. It is the American pastoral par excellence and it lasts twenty-four hours.”
― Philip Roth, American Pastoral
The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara provides a musical education mostly intended for young musicians at the threshold of their performance careers.
I am now one of their audiences who began musical education in our single digits with The Young People’s Concerts hosted by Leonard Bernstein.
I draw near the Maestro Bernstein’s expiration date and I am grateful tonight to at least still draw breath but even greater in my gratitude is that my old ears still get to hear new music from young people in concert. My musical education advances along with me into the third act.
New music at 27:25, performed by Conor Hanick, whose masterclass I attended and he was articulate, brilliant, and kind to the novices who clearly improved from his instruction in class before an audience of old people who themselves, self included, learned more, too.
Devouring the Light, 1968
After Martin Luther King Jr.
The day they killed Martin
we could not return to New York City
our visiting senior class stuck in Huntsville
streets blazed with suffering in that small
in the dull shroud of morning
the whole world went crazy
devouring whatever light
that lit our half-cracked windows.
“The King of Love is Dead”
Composed and performed April 1968 after the assassination of Martin Luther King
Coates Notes is ending as a journal of musings about Bay Area cinema and color.
Readers are welcome to follow that topic on my business Facebook page:
Gary Coates Motion Picture Color Finishing LLC
From now on this space is the location for my personal journal
“Humanist Pilgrim’s Progress”
The journal will carry on themes I began on Facebook.
- Words Worth: thoughtful articles in print or podcast I’ve read or heard and forward
- Toons on Tuesday: a day for graphic humor
- Wax on Wednesday: recordings of music and the spoken word
- Throwback Thursday: exploring history and this year “1968 Revisited”
- Science Friday
- The Great American Songbook
- Civilized Sundays: one day a week in celebration and in preservation of Humanism with poetry, art, architecture, dance and even religious expressions of humanism just to practice and teach tolerance and because I like some of the music from all the world’s religions.