Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The youth

from Conversations with Igor Stravinsky, late '57:
I have all around me the spectacle of composers who, after their generation has had its decade of influence and fashion, seal themselves off from further development and from the next generation. Of course, it requires greater effort to learn from one's juniors, and their manners are not invariably good. ... The very people who have done the breaking through are themselves often the first to try to put a scab on their achievement. What fear tells them to cry halt? What security do they seek, and how can it be secure if it is limited? How can they forget that they once fought against what they have become?
I have to admit that it is v. difficult for me to learn from my juniors. My typical reaction to the artistic successes of freshly minted composers is envy and jealousy tempered only by rage, depression and frustration, and although, in my case, I really have very little that I am fighting for, except my own self-aggrandizement, as I am an eclectic and polyamorous lover of styles and ideas and threads of artistic development, it's hard for me to get past the pettiness that so pervades my soul. But in deference to the idol of my youth, I resolve to try.

And I was intrigued to recently discover the brief affair between the young Igor and Coco Chanel, now a motion picture, see above.

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