I hoped to discover by means of an extended research project just how close the similarities might be, and where the differences lay. Such an endeavor could bring us nearer to an answer to the question, “What makes man human?”
The importance of music—specifically, rock and roll—cannot be overstated when considering this novel. From Iggy & the Stooges to the MC5, Beautiful Music is a veritable crash course in Detroit’s lasting legacy on the music scene; the clanging guitars and screaming singers changed the wiring of an entire generation.
In the preface to his latest book, Census, Jesse Ball tells readers the book is not about what it is about. He wanted to write a book about the loss of his brother who lived with Down syndrome; in the end, he wrote a book about a traveling, dying man who must perform a census of an unknown, magical nature.
Sometimes, when I’m stuck in traffic or lying in bed, scenes from Mad Men’s fifty-sixth episode, “Mystery Date,” play in my head like a home movie on mute.
The last year and a half, since Trump’s poorly attended inauguration, has been anything but quiet; the apocryphal “may you live in interesting times” applies. It’s been hard to keep up! A lot has happened, especially on Twitter! How is one to make sense of the lunacy? Perhaps the Iliad can help.