Download Beat Sound, Beat Vision: The Beat Spirit and Popular Song by Laurence Coupe PDF
By Laurence Coupe
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Extra resources for Beat Sound, Beat Vision: The Beat Spirit and Popular Song
24 It is as if Watts knew how to criticise his own methodology long before any commentator attempted to do so. His capacity for self-awareness is exemplified here by his detailed consideration of the twofold case against himself: One reason for this impression [of being a populariser] is that my style of writing does not lend itself to the tortuous course of interminable qualifications, reservations, and drawing of fine distinctions. But I am well aware of them when I leave them out, and can (and do) refer those who want the fine points to the proper sources, and can, furthermore, produce the necessary scholarly evidence for my conclusions if asked.
Men esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star, before Adam and after the last man. In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages. 4 Coupe 01 22/3/07 01:05 Page 25 ‘This is IT’ 25 Thoreau clearly follows on from Emerson, nowhere more so than in the ease with which he moves from esoteric wisdom to everyday reality.
If pressed as to whether his position was Hindu, Buddhist or Christian, Watts became increasingly evasive. What he was after was a sense of the spirit, not membership of any religious organisation. But people could be forgiven for wondering whether he was entitled to be so high-handed in his random appropriation of ideas. Watts addressed this very question in his autobiography, written in 1972 and published the following year, that of his death. He is here reflecting on his relationship with the Beat movement and with the counterculture generally: Coupe 01 22/3/07 40 01:05 Page 40 Beat sound, Beat vision What we were doing in San Francisco in the 1950s must, of course, be seen in the context of America’s military involvements in Japan, Korea, and then Vietnam, for these exploits were bound to bring the cultures of those areas back home.