Page 8- The Michigan Daily - Weekend etc. - February 11, 1993
by Joshua Keidan
Daniel J. Boorstin's latest work is
nothing if not ambitious. "The Cre-
ators," a companion to his highly-ac-
claimed "The Discoverers," takes as its
subject the history of art from the dawn
of civilization until the recent past.
Daniel J Boorstin
Subtitled "A History of Heroes of
the Imagination," this text bursts at the
seams with the effort of fitting in every-
thing, and I do mean everything -
architecture, dance, music, painting,
sculpture and writing - focusing on
but not limited to the Western incarna-
tions of these arts.
But wait, there's more. Boorstin
begins the novel by cataloguing the
world's major religions, looking at their
creation-myths in order to understand
Dating? Forget about it
why the ideaof creative arts tookrootin
some areas but not others, and why the
arts developed differently around the
Boorstin's technique differs from
that of the typical historian. He con-
cerns himself with analysis rather than
research, and his book is designed with
accessibility rather than scholarship in
mind. Instead of finding footnotes
within "The Creators," the reader will
encounter an astounding mixture of
relevant ideas and enticing trivia. For
example, in his chapter on the French
philosopherJean Jacques Rousseau and
the rise of the confessional work, along
with looking at important or well-known
passages from the "Confessions,"
Boorstin cannot resist bringing in the
following quote, which refers to
Rousseau's patroness, Mme. de
Vercellis: "Finally, when she could no
longer talk and was already in her death
agony, she broke wind loudly. 'Good,'
she said, turning over, 'a woman who
can fart is not dead.' These were the last
words she spoke."
Ofcourse, itwouldbe impossible for
Boorstin to do justice to every aspect of
his subject, the creator in historywithin
the book's 747 pages, and there are
moments when you feel one subject or
another is only being paid lip-service.
Yet for any who feel a given subject has
been glossed over, the reference notes
Boorstin provides are presented so as to
be less bibliographic and more gener-
ally informative and helpful, for the
reader seeking in-depth information.
To pick through "The Creators" in
search of what has been left out, then,
seems unfair, for the amount which
Boorstin manages to include is truly
remarkable. In the course of this book
the reader encounters subjects ranging
fromBrunelleschi toDostoyevsky, from
Stonehenge to Stravinsky, each placed
within their cultural and historical con-
text, and all tied together by the power-
ful cohesive force of Boorstin's prose.
1140 South University
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Continued from page 1
article. My friend had been on a date.
My theory was no longer valid. I was all
set to click on the erase and delete this
story from the memory bank when she
blurts out, "I'm really glad I hung out
with him tonight, maybe I'll get a group
of friends together and invite him to
hang out with us Saturday?" Nice try! I
quickly moved the mouse and clicked
on save. She was using that word again,
replacing "dating" with "hanging out."
Was she kidding? It was a date! Yet she
definitely assured me it was not. Also,
why did she have to get a group of
people together in order to invite him to
'hang out? Whatever happened to two
peopleequals one date?I thoughtmaybe
we were having a language barrier, so I
took a new approach. "Do you like
him," I asked.
"Definitely," she replied.
"Are you going to continue to (try-
ing not to insult or offend, I used a new
term) 'hang out' with him?"
"Okay, so are you seeing him?"
Alook ofpanic struckher face. What
Saffire-The Uppity Blues
The mere existence of Saffire-The
Uppity Blues Women,- two older
women singing the blues from a female
perspective- is worth at least a second
look. The result is, well, a little disap-
The musical talents of Ann Rabson
and Gaye Adegbalola are good enough.
Ann won't be confused with Dr. John,
but her piano licks are comfortable and
easy to listen to. Gaye, who does most
of the singing on Broadcasting, is the
highlight of the album. Both her and
Rabson, who also sings, belt out lyrics
and prove them deserving of a name
like "The Uppity Blues Women."
It is in the lyrics themselves that the
album falls apart. Ann and Gaye sacri-
fice musicality and coherence for at-
tempted lyrical cuteness. Many songs
have trite lyrics and dumb titles (The
Chorus of "Dump That Chump" con-
had I said to cause such a reaction? She
denied such a charge and made me
promise never to imply to anyone that
she was seeing him. The possibilities of
what would happen if this term was
associated with her and this guy haunted
her for the rest of the night. People
might think that she actually thought he
liked her, she explained. She lost me for
aminute with this comment. Didn't she
wanthim tolikeher? Then ithitme! She
was playing games! We are ageneration
of game players.
It's a childish game - this game of
ours. It is a game full of deception and
manipulation. Sometimes it gets pretty
interesting. You see, there is this card
and if you happen to pick it, you must:
Take a walk of shame! Go directly
home! Do not pass populated sites! Do
not stop to chat with friends! The walk
of shame is, perhaps, the most ridicu-
lous part of "hanging out." Maybe it
wouldn't be so shameful to be walking
home at 10 a.m. on a Sunday in his
sweat pants, cowboy boots, a jean shirt
and a baseball hat, if you were actually
dating the person from whose house
you havejust left. Instead, itis ahumili-
ating experience because while wear-
ing this attire, you keep a straight face
and claim that, "you arejust friends who
like to hang out!"
These are the problems that we en-
counter with the term dating, but there is
also a definite lack of the actual act of
dating. When was the last time you were
courted? No, I am not talking about
gallant Knights and Victorian heroines.
But wouldn'tit be nice to have someone
actually trying to get to know you? It
seems as if the "dating process" is back-
wards here. You go to a party, hook up
and then maybe (a huge maybe) the guy
calls you and asks you out (remember,
that's to hang out). Wouldn't it be cool,
and perhaps more logical to have some-
one call you and ask you out first? Then
after you establish a mutual attraction,
you could naturally allow the relation-
ship to progress. For some reason, this
just doesn't seem to be the case. True,
there are some guys who do follow this
pattern, but girls are so skeptical of their
motives based on previous experiences,
that the problem of game playing inevi-
tably arises. It is a vicious cycle that few
seem to travel through smoothly. And
there are very few winners in this end-
So, no mom, I'm not dating. I'mjust
playing it cool and hanging out!
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sists of a small choir chanting, "Dump
that chump! Dump that chump!" to
twelve bar blues.) Their lyrical failures
could be overlooked if they didn't con-
volute and disturb the melodies them-
selves. ("I wear Queen of Shebah per-
fume, I got Cleopatra's eyes/Nefrititis'
hairdo and I'm Queen Latifah wise.")
The fact that Saffire-The Uppity
Blues Women are out making albums
instead of sweatin' to the oldies almost
makes their albums worth a listen. The
singing of AnnandGaye createdenough
bright spots to offer hope. However, on
"Broadacasting," there are too many
failed attempts at wit on "Broadcast-
ing" to make it listenable.
Se tu m'ami (If You Love Me)
In English, the title of this album
(also the title of one of the 21 tracks) of
Italian love songs of the 17th and 18th
centuries does sound sort of like some-
thing you might expect from say, Julio
Iglesias. But what the disc delivers are
perfectly elegant performances by
mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli and pia-
nist Gyorgy Fischer.
Bartoli's voice is that rare and excit-
ing mixture of voluptuousness and flu-
idity -like velvet and satin. Paisiello's
"Il mio ben quando verrt" ("When my
beloved comes") is the perfect show-
case for her voice. Her full, mellow tone
can best be savored in slower pieces like
Giordani's "Caro mio ben" ("My dear
love") and the Caldara song "Selve
amiche" ("Friendly woods").Occasion-
ally,her attempts at soft dynamics result
in breathiness, but not often enough to
be truly annoying.
Early-music purists shouldn'tbe put
off by the use of piano instead of a
period instrument, such as a harpsi-
chord. Fischer's playing is clean and
quite sensitive to Baroque sensibilities.
Both musicians exhibit the rhythmic
precision early music demands, but
without sacrificing expressive freedom.
Don't mistake the precision and el-
egance of this collection to mean dry or
boring, however; Scarlatti's fiery
"Spesso vibra per suo gioco" ("Some-
times, forhis amusement") comes across
with all (if not more) of the passion and
immediacy of its modern counterparts.
- Michelle Weger
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