S&R Honors John Lennon – a great writer, a great composer, a great man

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Despite every attempt to marginalize and discredit him, John Lennon still matters and always will.

” I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.” – John Lennon

Mark Twain once described his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as “A book of mine where a sound heart and a deformed conscience come into collision and conscience suffers defeat.”

Twain’s quote sums up the complex personality of our newest Scrogue, John Lennon – a sound heart often in collision with a deformed conscience.

Lennon’s achievements as a songwriter and musician are indisputable. With his songwriting partner (and lifelong friend) Paul McCartney, he is arguably the premiere composer of the 20th century. As a solo artist he left a body of work that is alternately brilliant, haunting, and petulant. As a writer he is an experimenter of the first order, playing with language in ways that rival Joyce and Beckett.

Even as we enter an age of not just indifference but open hostility to artistic achievement, his genius is undeniable. “If there’s such a thing as a genius – I am one. And if there isn’t, I don’t care” he once said of himself.

Digression: In my undergraduate days I had an English professor for a class in the Romantic poets. He spent almost the entire semester on Wordsworth – and ignored the younger Romantic poets (Byron, Keats, Shelley) if not entirely, damned nearly so. When I went to his office one afternoon and confronted him for not giving Byron the attention that 20-21 year old me thought he deserved, he argued eloquently for his fixation on Wordsworth’s poetic achievement. I demurred and told him in no uncertain terms that Byron was as great, maybe a greater poet, than the “lonely as a cloud” mewler and puker.

By: Jim Booth

Source: Scholars and Rogues


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