Van Morrison Ken Emerson - Essay

Ken Emerson

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Like the white middle class it entertains, rock music exhibits a certain rootlessness, a lack of a living history. This is rock's greatest asset—it is spontaneous and free, contemporary and temporary—but it can also be a liability. The ever-recurrent rock revivals and our fondness for golden oldies express the absence of a past, the very word "revival" indicating that the past is dead. Many artists are exploring that past, but the then and the now are so disjunct that more often than not such efforts are camp, lifeless, effete and irrelevant, or crudely exploitative.

Van Morrison, one of the few … for whom the American musical tradition is passionate and alive, loves this tradition with the...

(The entire section is 547 words.)