Friday, May 22, 2009

hear ye

I reviewed Will You Take Me as I Am: Joni Mitchell's Blue Period
for this Sunday's LA Times.

"Will You Take Me" is also a work of literary criticism. Mercer references Plato's allegory of the cave and Sylvia Plath, James Joyce and Annie Dillard. She does not shy away from tangents, some successful, as when she links the dogma of folk tradition to T.S. Eliot's criticism; and some not so, such as dips into associative logic and Foucault. As she explores the distinctions among confessional, autobiographical and personal writing, Mercer uses her subject's own words (she conducted a trove of interviews with Mitchell) to illustrate her thesis that Mitchell helped make the personal songwriters of the late '60s and early '70s the literary successors to the Beats.

No comments: