Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Mix-Tape Aesthetic

Commonplacing has been described in many ways. But in the following excerpt from The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005 I think Beck says it in a Gen-X way that resonates with me.

"Someday I plan to read the classics. Someday I plan to traverse their pages and see for myself what raw weight they wield.

...writers seemed to be able to tap into the profundities of daily existence.

Works sometimes speak to a moment in time or fill a need at the time. And the classics still stand unmoved. There are always those bits from some article--a weird fact, an anecdote, an image even--you pick up somewhere that become lodged in your brain, just as deeply as anything would from a great novel or film. Sometimes those things crop up outside the great canon of literature and only breathe into our awareness for a minute. If literature moves slow and we live in dog years, this book may come in handy. I've found the mix-tape aesthetic works for me. The humor and the humane, the hugeness and the miniature. It coheres into some other kind of implied story or novel that we're still living out."

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