Yesterday, the world’s media was focused on two dissimilar events: the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth of Britain, and the unexpected passing of Prince, the performance artist and musician. My wife thought of the above headline ironically describing the two unrelated events happening on the same day.
Most of you know who “the Queen” is; some of you may not acquainted with Prince, a pop/rock artist who’s been on the music scene and in the public spotlight since the early 1980’s. Since his death, he is finally being acknowledged as one of the most innovative and creative influences in the world of popular music. This event reinforces the notion that artists get their best reviews after they’re dead.
Of course music is a very personal thing, and for what one jumps out of bed for in the morning, another sleeps till noon. But that’s art, whether its in the form of music, painting, writing, or any other creative endeavor. So why do I continue to deviate from my self appointed mission as a blogger of the paranormal with posts about writing and music? I guess because the latter are as important to me personally as investigating and writing about ghosts. More pragmatically, other than my real estate blog this is the only forum I have to rant in! So I’ll try and keep these things as connected as I can.
As anyone who’s been following me is probably sick of hearing by now, I wrote a book. Its a work of paranormal fiction, so there’s the connection to the literary world. But how do I justify music? Here’s how: my last post discussed visionary fiction, and how it has a hard time pinpointing a specific genre that publishers need when they select a hole for their literary pigeons. “Visionary” in writing and art in general is hard to define.
Prince (click for video)
But after listening to a news interview on CBSN last night, I had one of those little epiphanies. A reporter was talking to a music critic in front of the Apollo Theater in NYC about Prince’s contribution to contemporary pop music. She said Prince was a visionary, combining funk, jazz, rock n roll, gospel, and other music genres as easily as we chew gum. She concluded that visionaries defy genre (her words).
There’s my answer to the visionary aspect of the written word in fiction writing. The reason book publishers have such a hard time pigeonholing that genre is because with books (and music), visionary has no genres. It defies them.
I promise I’ll get back to ghosts soon.
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