What does the term salad days mean?

Time fonts : Green the mind, red the blood

The memory of the youth has many names. "My salad days" is what she calls the title tragedy of Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra", an expression that has survived to this day. “My salad days / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood”, which in Schlegel / Tiecks translation becomes the “milk time”, “when my mind was still green and my blood cold”. Despite the often frugal meals, the writers, actors, musicians and painters who commemorate their “Days of Yore”, as it is called in a phrase saved from Middle English, which Astri from Arbin Ahlander's interview blog www.thedaysofyore.com gave the name , at least not report of years of starvation. The time before her fame knows bleak canned food in back rooms and basements, hours of shabby loneliness, but also moments of happy stay in a teaching, latency and transition zone, even moments of inner jubilee. Nothing, they all know, leads back there, but everything started from there.

The well over 100 conversations that the Swedish translator and literary agent, who has lived in the USA for almost a decade, has collected since May 2010 are an unparalleled wealth of experience - and a more enjoyable one: the respondents' desire to remember their salad days jumps up Readers over. If the majority of the interviewees are contemporary American authors - prominent exceptions are the performance artist Marina Abramovic, the Israeli novelist David Grossman or Ernest Hemingway, who answers in a bogus encounter - this is due to the natural prey scheme of the operators.

From Gary Shteyngart to Nathan Englander, from John D’Agata to David Shields, from Jonathan Lethem to Ben Marcus: many well-known names are represented. In addition, a literary panorama is created that includes the "Paris Review" editor Lorin Stein or the "Atlantic" editor and blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates. This has never happened before with this programmatic consistency.

This also applies to the basic idea of ​​www.thetalkhouse.com: "Musicians talk music". Between pop, rock, hip-hop and jazz, editor-in-chief Michael Azerrad lets musicians write about the new albums of their colleagues - and hopes that they will then also express themselves. Lou Reed unexpectedly praises Kanye West, Dinosaur Jr. guitarist Lou Barlow is delighted with Black Sabbath, and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer gets involved in the electronic rap thunderstorms of Flying Lotus.

The cast against the grain (or some no longer secret passion) sometimes brings amazing things to light. In order to work, the project needs more than the spontaneity of blindfold tests, as has made "Downbeat Magazine" an art form. It calls for an idea of ​​critical justice. And here musicians are not necessarily superior to thorough reviewers.

A particularly striking example is Matthew Shipp's destruction of Keith Jarrett's trio album "Somewhere". Shipp, himself a pianist, but in much more radical jazz realms, first steps Jarrett's solo improvisations, including their spiritual superstructure, into the bin of the pretentious, and then dismisses the three-way format with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette as conceptually antiquated and powerless.

Especially gods are allowed to drive to the cart at any time. But there is more to successful blasphemy than the maliciousness of taste judgments. Shipp, who to make matters worse, also draws the African-American card against Jarrett, would have to analytically substantiate his suspicions that it is watered-down impressionism and bland vamps and develop an idea of ​​what it actually means to improvise freely in a largely tonal language . Instead, he explains, “I'm not a music writer, just a musician's ass, so I don't emphasize my taste. It's just that - my taste. ”Let's not talk about a dialogue: even invitations to an exchange of blows look different.

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