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In high school, my most cultured teacher pointed out that while everybody likes the Romantic notion of an overlooked artist who dies in obscurity being discovered after his death, almost all the cases of that, such as Van Gogh, are people who died young. If Van Gogh had lived his three score and ten years, he would have been world famous for his last couple of decades.

Another aspect of this is that artists who were famously rediscovered posthumously weren’t necessarily unknown in their own lifetime.

There have been an immense number of artists who were famous during their own lifetimes but are now forgotten. Every decade a few of the forgotten are rediscovered, but it’s not like they were unknown at age 40 or whenever.

Consider J.S. Bach (1685-1750), who was famously revived by Felix Mendelssohn with a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in 1829. In his own lifetime, Bach was the top man in Lutheran church music. He was well-known and respected by everybody whose opinion Bach cared about. On the other hand, the Fame Machine wasn’t in full gear yet (perhaps Beethoven was the first really famous composer).

And, crucially, musical style underwent a huge change right around Bach’s death from his polyphonic baroque style to his sons’ symphonic style. But J.S. Bach wasn’t forgotten by the musical elite: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven all studied him. The wealthy Mendelssohn family remained devoted to his memory.

The Dutch painter Vermeer (1632-1675) died at 43 about the time the Dutch Golden Age collapsed amidst French aggression. He was a slow, careful worker so he’d mostly achieved some degree of regional fame before dying young. Vermeer was widely rediscovered almost 200 years after his death, but Paul Johnson, who considers Vermeer the best painter ever, points out that there were, in the meantime, always a thin chain of a handful of connoisseurs passed on awareness of Vermeer’s awesomeness.

I now realize that you can quantify these questions of fame going back to 1800 using Google’s Ngram viewer of mentions of text strings in books. For example, consider the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889):

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

He died in complete obscurity. His name achieved some tiny degree of renown in the decades after his death, and finally began to achieve fame about 80 years after his birth which has lasted consistently into the 21st Century.

I was going to do some more of these for you, but Ngram appears to have suddenly stopped working.

Anyway, who else should I graph when Ngram starts up again?

 
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  1. No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    • Agree: Dutch Boy
    • Thanks: Paul Jolliffe
    • Replies: @Anon
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    This type of music is popular among non-whites and ethnically dubious people, probably because they think it makes them look high-class or something.

    A quick look at the comment section and you'll see that most viewers are Koreans, Mestizos and NJ transit commuters. Actual white people can't stand this crap. Real white people listen to hip hop, house, and techno.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @mc23

    , @slumber_j
    @NJ Transit Commuter


    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
     
    The necessary lack of dynamic range here is a problem for my modern ear I gotta say, and I'm well aware that people won't like that I say it: bracing for the backlash.

    Bach was of course great, but that's often an issue with his keyboard works, as the piano was kinda still in beta testing in his day. Apparently he tried early pianos but found them wanting--probably rightly. Of course with the organ he could literally pull out all the stops, so there's that.

    Replies: @Papinian

    , @Dutch Boy
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    E. Michael Jones's book The Dangers of Beauty discusses Bach's critical role in the history of music and the great debt to him subsequent composers acknowledged. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier served as a template for composition of tonal music to this day.

    , @LP5
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    NJTC writes:


    No doubt Bach is the GOAT.
     
    Bach let to Mozart, who led to Beethoven, who led to Brahms.
    Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms acknowledge significant influence by Bach.
    Those successors had their own fascinating extensions and developments thereafter.
    The pianoforte took over from the harpsichord as the prime keyboard during Beethoven's life and he was instrumental in that shift. Liszt furthered that through a relationship with his preferred piano manufacturer.
    It all started with Bach.
    , @SunBakedSuburb
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    I play my J.S. Bach The Art of Fugue for String Quartet CD at night because it usually interprets the night and all that it brings. Bach is about the only representation of the Baroque period that I can take. I much prefer the later Romantics. But Bach is special, unique. Almost alien.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    , @Anon
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    Or this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9EN27Zh_vg

    , @Jonathan Mason
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    To my mind this would sound better on a modern piano or on an organ. That ancient piano sounds more like a harpsichord.

    Clarinet virtuoso and big band leader Artie Shaw once tried a small jazz group with a harpsichord, but it was not very popular.

    Replies: @Liza, @Pierre de Craon

    , @Bardon Kaldlan
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    Oh,I thought you meant Sebastian Bach.😉

    , @Patrick Gibbs
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    I just love how deeply autistic it is. Fascinating stuff

    , @turtle
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    IMO, BWV 565 rules the world:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEHGxpRoZQM

    JMO. YMMV.

    Replies: @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    , @Bill Jones
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    I saw the claim made, several years ago, that it would take a trained transcriptionist 40 years of 40 your weeks just to fully transcribe the totality Bach's music.
    My ignorance is such that I have no idea if that is ridiculous but if my guess of about 1200 pieces is right (long and probably falsely remembered) that's about 65 hours per.
    Either way, Bach one of the reasons to believe in a God.

    , @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    https://youtu.be/lf_cE3jMRiM

    We bombed this for the Khazars

  2. I suspect it has something to do with the consistent trend that entertainment makers tend to get infatuated with time periods 100, 50, and 20-30 years before the current year.

    100 because its a magic number in people’s minds, e.g. right now, we’re seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz, and probably will see a lot more before the decade’s out.

    50 because its when many of the people who were the movers and shakers of 50 years ago are dying off in droves and people are looking back at grandpa’s youth, e.g. in the 1990s/early 2000s there was an uptick in the number of studio movies about WW2 and the Holocaust.

    20-30 because that’s when current filmmakers were young and they have nostalgia for their youth, e.g. Michael J. Fox made his career being in Back to the Future (about an 80’s kid sent back to his parents’ youth of the 50s) and Family Ties (about 60’s hippies raising a Reaganite conservative son).

    This seems to fit into the 50-year rule.

    Steve posits a 70-80 year rule: from the time of an artist’s birth, roughly 70-80 years later they get a new burst of fame. Well, since most artists have their best years at 20-40, then 50 years later that generation is dying off/going senile.

    So there’s a tendency to look back and see what was great in grandpa’s heyday. And lookie here—an artist we’ve ignored/forgotten about, but was really a genius! So it’s really the 50-year rule in disguise.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @R.G. Camara


    100 because its a magic number in people’s minds, e.g. right now, we’re seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz, and probably will see a lot more before the decade’s out.
     
    Yes, and one more thing we are seeing - Commies crawling out of the woodwork... it's about that time, just over 100 years later.

    (I would have liked to have heard lots more Ragtime music, though. Society missed that 100 year revival.)

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @Harry Baldwin
    @R.G. Camara

    100 because its a magic number in people’s minds, e.g. right now, we’re seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz,

    When I was a kid in the early 1960s, we used to watch "The Roaring 20's," a show with many scenes taking place in a speakeasy, where Dorothy Provide sang the hits of that time. On Amazon Music, you can stream an album titled "The Very Best of the 1920s." There's a lot of great music there, very upbeat, a lot of it very funny. I enjoy listening to it.

    , @Rob
    @R.G. Camara

    These cycles are somewhat reminiscent of Agnostic at akinokure.blogspot.com cycle theory. I forget his numbers, but I think he says there’s a 15 year slutwalker to victim of the male gaze to restless warmup for girls being really outgoing.

    Do x year nostalgia cycles play out in other realms. Take a 50 year cycle in polítics. Fifty years ago was 1972. Early seventies were a crazy time. Draft bombings were common. The red osterjuden were seriously in revolutionary mode fifty years ago. Then, the vanguard of the movements were somewhat excluded from controlling many institutions. Perhaps by WASP anti-give-their-country-awayism, but perhaps by Americans of German Jewish descent were embarrassed by their lunatic cousins politics, so they kept the revolutionary sort out of power.

    But today, “Soros” district attorneys have largely legalized crime in their cities, no “revolution” needed. Chesa Boudin’s fam are revolutionary criminals, no? I don’t care about Boudin’s early life, but he fits the pattern of red diaper baby who has marched through the institutions.

    I wonder about the sciences, do poplar concepts from x years ago reliably influence today’s scientists? Like, phage therapy had a brief renaissance a few years ago. How long ago was the early work on pharmaceutical phages?

    Fifty years ago the academy tried AA of ghetto blacks. They learned their lesson and now admit athletes (who seldom are actually students) GBTQ, and biracial kids of responsible moms. And girls, of course.

    Are the integrationist ideas of 50 years ago going to hit us even harder soon? I did notice there were no widespread calls to spread the ghetto population out among the deplorables. Not that there’re no plans for that, but the are on the hush-hush.

  3. Paintings often hung in homes of the wealthy for generations. Viewed only by the inhabitants, visitors and servants, these great works could not reach the greater public until more recently. Modern museums, and later photography, opened a door for art to be appreciated by the masses, sometimes not until the artist had been deaf for centuries.

    Dutch golden age artists fall into this category. Ordinary Dutchmen had no clue some of these works even existed.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Thea

    Rembrandt was famous from an early age. More or less so was Franz Hals. Vermeer painted about two pictures per year so his reputation spread more slowly.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Cutter

    , @SIMP simp
    @Thea

    The artistic opinion of the greater public didn't matter then and doesn't matter now. People in the elite, be they wealthy patrons or artists, had access to private art collections, libraries and cabinets of curiosities which were put together to be displayed, show the wealth and taste of the collector and attract and impress notable guests.
    Even the first art museums gave less access time to the general public than to artists.
    The only paintings that were somewhat hidden were those deemed erotic like the Rokeby Venus and Boucher's Resting Girl but even those were seen by plenty of people as they were in royal palaces were public ceremonies like levee took place even in the king's bedroom.
    Sure 90% of painters didn't get displayed in the famous collections but that happens now as well.

  4. Try Gregor Mendel 1822-1884

    He wasn’t an artist, but recognition came posthumously, when the science of genetics caught up to him.

    Now we all learn about about him and his pea plants in school.

    A quick scan of Wikipedia gives us this:

    At times, Mendel must have entertained doubts about his work, but not always: “My time will come,” he reportedly told a friend, Gustav von Niessl.

    During Mendel’s lifetime, most biologists held the idea that all characteristics were passed to the next generation through blending inheritance, in which the traits from each parent are averaged.

    By 1900, research aimed at finding a successful theory of discontinuous inheritance rather than blending inheritance led to independent duplication of his work…

    Mendel’s results were quickly replicated, and genetic linkage quickly worked out. Biologists flocked to the theory…

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    @Buzz Mohawk


    During Mendel’s lifetime, most biologists held the idea that all characteristics were passed to the next generation through blending inheritance, in which the traits from each parent are averaged.
     
    It's a little weird because people say stuff like "he's got his mother's eyes" or "that nose runs in his family" and such. And pretty sure have been saying it more or less forever.

    ~~

    Specifics of the theory and mechanism aside, an interesting aspect of genetics is that even beyond observing their own families, people have been breeding livestock--with much shorter cycle times--for 10,000 years. So the normal everyman common sense about genetics--"good people", "bad seed"--has really been basically correct/solid for thousands of years.

    It's only in the last 60 or 70 years via constant pickling in propaganda from the usual suspects that I think a lot of people have been confused. And then only partially and pretty exclusively about mental traits--"failing schools"; i'm an unhappy nut because i've suppressed my father abusing me; stereotype threat; etc.

    Mostly people know--the kids will be a random mix of mom and dad.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

  5. Sometimes the myth of the starving artist/writer is a posthumous confection, but one that can also be nurtured by the subject in his lifetime.

    From an article in Counter-Currents about Kafka:

    Hawes devotes most of his book to deconstructing the K-myth piece by piece. First off, that guff about poor Kafka, working long hours at his stifling office job, living with his parents, snatching a few hours for writing his masterpieces in the late nights — the original Milennial Slacker. “Actually, Kafka was . . . an ’80s Yuppie; more Gordon Gekko than Quentin Tarantino. Far from being alone and poor, he lived with his family in upper-middle-class comfort . . .”

    Actually, even that understates the case; Kafka’s father (who, as we’ll see, takes a lot of heat from the myth-makers) was a millionaire, owning not merely an apartment to share with Franz but an apartment building (more Proust than Gregor Samsa) as well as an admittedly not well-performing asbestos factory.

    The rent-free accommodations are especially lucrative, since Kafka, holding a doctorate in Law, has scored a plum job at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute, taking home the modern equivalent of $90,000 a year for a six-hour day, most of it spent discussing Heine with his boss.

    One person very celebrated in his lifetime but now almost entirely forgotten was the English historian Henry Thomas Buckle. His goal was to establish an objective, all-encompassing “science of histoy”, to be fleshed out over a multiple-volume work that would take a lifetime to write. But he died aged 40 in 1862 with only the first volume completed, A History of Civilization in England

    According the the historian Michael Kenyon, this book was the biggest publishing event of the 1850s after The Origin of Species. Chekhov mentions it in one of his plays, as does the narrator in Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground.

    • Replies: @Joe S.Walker
    @Rob McX

    Kafka had tuberculosis, which must have detracted from his enjoyment of bourgeois life. I remember reading that he spent time in a no doubt expensive TB sanitorium where the patients walked around the gardens with everyone carrying a "sputum jar." (I've had TB myself, and take a perhaps morbid interest in famous people who died from it.)

    More seriously, his obscurity in his lifetime came from other circumstances than material ones. Most of his famous work was unfinished and unpublished (if he'd had a more obedient literary executor, it would have disappeared without trace), and when it was published, it took a couple of decades to become known in translation.

  6. Anon[486] • Disclaimer says:
    @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    This type of music is popular among non-whites and ethnically dubious people, probably because they think it makes them look high-class or something.

    A quick look at the comment section and you’ll see that most viewers are Koreans, Mestizos and NJ transit commuters. Actual white people can’t stand this crap. Real white people listen to hip hop, house, and techno.

    • Disagree: Paul Jolliffe
    • Troll: guest007, Pincher Martin
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Anon

    Top selling artists in US by digital downloads: Eminem, Drake, Rihanna, Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Top selling artists by album sales: Beatles, Garth Brooks, Elvis, Eagles and Led Zeppelin. I can only speculate but would guess that younger white people listen more to pop and hip-hop while older whites listen to classic rock. Garth Brooks is a strange outlier, but at one time he really was the biggest act in the world. I'm having a hard time think of a classical (or jazz) album or single that has been even kind of popular in the last 50 years. Maybe the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack, if you can call that classical?

    Replies: @guest007, @Anon

    , @mc23
    @Anon

    As for the Koreans, after spending 14 hours test craming with an IV in your arm I imagine listening to Bach is pure pleasure.
    I enjoy Bach even under less stressful circumstances.

  7. How about Herbert Spencer?

    He was “the single most famous European intellectual in the closing decades of the nineteenth century”.

    • Agree: BB753, PiltdownMan
    • Replies: @BB753
    @James Braxton

    French philosopher Auguste Comte also comes to mind. Highly influential in his time and credited with creating the field of sociology.

    , @SFG
    @James Braxton

    Politics. Evangelicals don’t like the Darwin, lefties don’t like the economic implications, and alt-righters don’t like the racial implications in the modern day (the master race would be some hybrid of Jews, Indians, and the remnants of the old WASP upper class; or, potentially, the Chinese).

    Replies: @James Braxton

  8. I was recently looking through Harold Bloom’s, Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages, and was shocked at the number of selections that were listed “Anonymous”.

  9. What’s just as interesting is – who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later? I think this happens to painters a lot, but maybe historians too.

    Who reads Arnold Toynbee these days, and he only died in 1975?

    ” From 1918 to 1950, Toynbee was considered a leading specialist on international affairs; from 1924 to 1954 he was the Director of Studies at Chatham House, in which position he also produced 34 volumes of the Survey of International Affairs, a “bible” for international specialists in Britain.

    With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s.”

    Perhaps this has something to do with it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee#Negative_views_of_Jews_and_Judaism:_The_%22Toynbee_heresy%22_and_the_Jew_as_%22fossil%22

    Carlyle and Macaulay were favourites of Churchill, but who reads them now, excepting The Lays Of Ancient Rome?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasional_Discourse_on_the_Negro_Question

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lays_of_Ancient_Rome

    I often pass Carlyle’s birthplace, but who visits?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle%27s_Birthplace

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I reread T.B. Macaulay's "History of England" a few months ago. It's awesome.

    Like you implied, Tom Cruise's fine 2013 sci-fi movie "Oblivion" by the same guy who directed his "Top Gun" sequel is constructed around TBM's greatest lines:

    “Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the gate:
    ‘To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his Gods,"

    Mencius Moldbug reads Carlyle.

    Replies: @AKAHorace, @Buzz Mohawk, @Reg Cæsar, @Dieter Kief

    , @Emil Nikola Richard
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I have read Macaulay and Toynbee and their books are great.

    I have read (very very briefly) Carlyle. My gosh that guy's books suck.

    Toynbee is like Frazer and Gibbon only readily available in abridgement. I haven't ever seen an unabridged version even in a library. Maybe Umberto Eco owned such things.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CbqF_OIWwAA5kHx.jpg

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Michael Meo

    , @John Pepple
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Sir William Hamilton was a 19th century Scottish philosopher who was very highly regarded during his lifetime. Not many have even heard of him today. And it is my theory that Speusippus was highly regarded for a brief time. He was Plato’s nephew, and he seemed to have a talent for poking holes in his uncle’s theory of forms. However, he was bad as a system builder and was quickly overshadowed by Aristotle.

    , @Pincher Martin
    @YetAnotherAnon


    What’s just as interesting is – who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later?
     
    I think this is a quite common and unappreciated phenomenon. A couple years ago, I read THE GREAT PIANISTS: FROM MOZART TO THE PRESENT by Harold Schonberg, and it was surprising to see how many great pianists of their day, who saw their work played with great regularity alongside those of Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, etc., simply disappeared within a generation. I'm not a student of the history of the piano, but I'm reasonably well-informed and I had never heard of many of them.
    , @Jonathan Mason
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I read the whole of Toynbee's history of civilizations series in 1980-1981. It seemed magisterial to me, but probably nobody has read it since that time.

    , @Anonymous
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Carlyle like many Victorians was a Germanophile (actually, Prussophile). This became a big problem in the 20th century. His reputation never really recovered.

    (We recently had a discussion about whether J. R. R. Tolkein's books owned anything to Wagner. Tolkein strongly denied this, or any other German influences, but it's not very convincing. But then if he had admitted such influences it would have killed his career...)

  10. Ezra Pound revived Vivaldi they say. I’d like to see the chart there.

    Am I right in remembering that Moby-Dick wasn’t considered all that great for a long time? Melville might be another.

    perhaps Beethoven was the first really famous composer

    Handel was pretty celebrated in his day, but I don’t know how to compare them.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @slumber_j

    It would be nice if Ngram went back to 1700.

    My guess is that a genius composer like Handel was considered more a figure of fashion in the 18th century, while a genius composer like Beethoven was considered more of an immortal for the ages in the 19th Century. The Romantic Era was better for artists' reputations than the Enlightenment.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    , @Matt Buckalew
    @slumber_j

    Melville’s early south seas novels were well received his gradual eclipse was driven more by people getting less and less interested in ocean based novels. Decades later when everyone wasn’t so burnt out on them he’s best novel was rediscovered.

  11. When was Emily Dickinson discovered? When did Fitzgerald get ensconced into the curriculum?
    My hero Trollope had a renaissance last century, but didn’t break into movies like Austen did, so he’ll probably fade again as he did at the end of his long life.

    The most obscure females in history are now being puffed up by the distaff humanities for some reason. I’m sure they like untrodden material, but will any of it take?

    Somerset Maugham’s Cakes and Ale deflated the whole idea of the Grand Old Man of English Letters before Maugham was old enough to be one. In addition, his acidic sendup of then-current Horace Walpole ruined Walpole’s reputation.

    • Replies: @anon
    @Ralph L

    Dickinson became modestly well-known as a popular poet in the years shortly after her death in 1886, largely because of her sister's efforts. A somewhat larger wave of fame started in the 30's when academia realized that, like her fellow New Englander Melville, she had 'pre-discovered' Modernism, basically on her own. But her real fame began with second-wave feminism in the 60's.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    , @Anon
    @Ralph L

    One of the most pointed overratings of modern female talent is Frida Kahlo. No one had heard of her a couple generations ago. She paints like a 6th grader. But Kahlo was Jewish, Communist, female, minority, self-obsessed, sickly, kind of ugly, married a man of color, was bisexual, and had unhappy relationships. This means she has become an obsession with Jewish women who are communist, ugly, self-obsessed, in unhappy relationships, etc., etc. They have elevated Frida way beyond her deserved level of fame, simply because they feel Frida represents themselves, and because she ticks off every box of SJW victimhood.

    There has been a whole literary movement to uncover unheard voices in literature among women and blacks, and though some of the white women are worth hearing, the blunt fact is that most women who wrote in the 1800s are not worth reading, and if you've read one slave narrative, you've read them all. I've tried to read a few of these, and they remind me of Florence King's remark that Southern culture is essentially pre-literate and relies on oral memory instead of the written word, because everyone repeats things 3 times. The slaves were so dumb and lived such a constricted life that they're insanely boring to read.

    Meanwhile, I've discovered many unheard voices in the form of white men who wrote excellent memoirs in the 1800s that nobody reads these days because they're not popular in academia. For example, I've read sea memoirs from Melville's time that are miles better than Moby Dick.

    Replies: @Lumpy, @Gordo

    , @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia
    @Ralph L

    Back in the day, Trollope was required reading in Victorian lit courses. Since English departments have gone full woke, he may be out of favor.

    Back in the 70s, PBS did a series on Trollope's Palliser novels, which was rather disdained by Palliser and Trollope fans, but Susan Hampshire as Glendora Palliser was, IIRC, absolutely fabulous as Glendora Palliser.

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Ralph L

    Somerset Maugham was still a pretty big name in the 1960s, when my oldest brother read several of his books, as did my older cousins. The books were still on the bookshelf and I read quite a few, a decade later, when I was in high school—Of Human Bondage, The Moon and Sixpence (modeled on the life of Paul Gauguin,) Cake and Ale, The Razor's Edge and a couple of other titles. All very good reads, and Of Human Bondage was superb, as I recall.

    One of the downsides of getting older, I'm finding is that one remembers the plots books one read in one's early years quite poorly, and sometimes not at all.

    And speaking of Paul Gauguin, he's another painter who had his 70 year renaissance, but is now beginning to fade from mention. For that matter, so are the Impressionists. I think it has been about three decades since the peaked, in the public mind. College kid's rooms used to have poster of impressionist paintings, and the retrospective shows at the great museums were major cultural events. Not any longer.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Paul_Gauguin_-_D%27ou_venons-nous.jpg

    Replies: @Alden, @Peterike

    , @Alden
    @Ralph L

    Trollope’s The Way We Live Now is on YouTube.
    So is Barchester

    , @Graveldips
    @Ralph L

    The book, "When Books Went to War" tells of the cheap editions of worthy literature printed during WW2 for servicemen. About 1100 titles were produced, and one of them was "The Great Gatsby". According to the author, Fitzgerald's inclusion made his posthumous reputation. Apparently, someone on the selection committee liked his work.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  12. OT – the Guardian and presumably all media outlets are reporting “Russian shelling” of a queue of traffic in Zaphorizia, maybe 20+ dead.

    While I have no idea who dunnit, my understanding is that these people were in a queue waiting to cross into Russian-controlled territory – i.e. likely good guys from a Russian perspective but maybe not so much from a Ukrainian one.

    We’ve seen “Russia shelling nuclear plant surrounded by Russians and under Russian control” swallowed uncritically.

    We’ve just had “Russia blew up its own pipeline”.

    Why not stick with a winning formula?

  13. graph when Ngram starts up again?

    “aspiring rapper” or “aspiring artist” or just “aspiring”

  14. @YetAnotherAnon
    What's just as interesting is - who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later? I think this happens to painters a lot, but maybe historians too.

    Who reads Arnold Toynbee these days, and he only died in 1975?

    " From 1918 to 1950, Toynbee was considered a leading specialist on international affairs; from 1924 to 1954 he was the Director of Studies at Chatham House, in which position he also produced 34 volumes of the Survey of International Affairs, a "bible" for international specialists in Britain.

    With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s."
     
    Perhaps this has something to do with it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee#Negative_views_of_Jews_and_Judaism:_The_%22Toynbee_heresy%22_and_the_Jew_as_%22fossil%22

    Carlyle and Macaulay were favourites of Churchill, but who reads them now, excepting The Lays Of Ancient Rome?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasional_Discourse_on_the_Negro_Question

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lays_of_Ancient_Rome

    I often pass Carlyle's birthplace, but who visits?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle%27s_Birthplace

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Emil Nikola Richard, @John Pepple, @Pincher Martin, @Jonathan Mason, @Anonymous

    I reread T.B. Macaulay’s “History of England” a few months ago. It’s awesome.

    Like you implied, Tom Cruise’s fine 2013 sci-fi movie “Oblivion” by the same guy who directed his “Top Gun” sequel is constructed around TBM’s greatest lines:

    “Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the gate:
    ‘To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his Gods,”

    Mencius Moldbug reads Carlyle.

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    @Steve Sailer


    I reread T.B. Macaulay’s “History of England” a few months ago. It’s awesome.
     
    It's good, but Macaulay needed an editor. It starts out quickly and moves more and more slowly the longer it goes. Certainly the first volume was one of the best things I ever read. I didn't make it through the last volume.
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Great writer. Great poem. Great movie. Great director. Great cast.

    In searching for relevant stuff, I happened upon the following quote from Lionel Trilling:

    "It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief."

    I never had heard of Lionel Trilling, but that statement impresses me so much that I have looked him up. I haven't read much about him yet; maybe he will turn out to be a bum. I don't know, but that quote is perfect.

    What he said is so very true today. Things that you, Steve, notice and write about in our time exemplify that truth. One wonders, is it possible that men have felt this way in every era? One also wonders, will Steve Sailer someday be widely known and respected for the work he is doing today?

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Known Fact

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Steve Sailer


    Mencius Moldbug reads Carlyle.
     
    Does he believe Carlyle wrote Carlyle?

    Or somebody else? The Earldom of Oxford went extinct in 1703, long before Carlyle's birth, let alone Moldbug's.

    But tradition carries on-- the last Earl's daughter married the bastard son of Charles II, who became Earl of Burford, a title which survives to Charles III's day. Today's Earl of Burford believes his ancestor was the son of Elizabeth I and knocked up his own mother , siring his own half-brother. Does Mencius go this far, too?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Beauclerk_(author)#Books

    By the way, Carlyle was born, and is buried, in Ecclefechan, which is fun to say.

    Biographers of Carlyle reckon
    he learned all in Ecclefechan.
    Thus, when end of his days beckoned,
    hesitates he not a second:
    "Where to lay my ancient neck in?
    Here, in feckin' Ecclefechan!"

    In other Caledonian news:

    Dad headbutts teacher after being called to school to pick up misbehaving child

    Cause of death and vaccination status not given in either story:

    Teenage soldier who walked by Queen's coffin at funeral found dead in army barracks

    Heartbroken girlfriend of Ayrshire dad, 23, who died in his sleep says she never imagined life without him

    , @Dieter Kief
    @Steve Sailer

    Maybe Moldbug is also a fan of Mike Batt's pro-rock-hymn Ride to Agadir? - Mike Batt might refer to Carlye in it

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7_y-F8VtSo

  15. If inventors count, there’s Tesla. While he was never obscure, he didn’t become a superstar until about 70 years after his death in 1943. He’s now celebrated both in the company name and as a sort of ultra-nerd antihero.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @prosa123

    Tesla was famous enough upon his death at age 87 in 1943 that J. Edgar Hoover sent Donald Trump's physicist uncle to search his hotel suite to make sure Tesla hadn't invented any war-winning death rays and not told anybody about it. But, yeah, Tesla didn't become a folk legend until the 21st Century.

    , @concernedcitizen
    @prosa123

    This may have happened a little earlier for Tesla. The unit of Magnetic Flux was named after him in 1960. A somewhat successful rock band was named after him in the 1980s. I read a biography of him in the eighties also.

    He is probably much better known now because of Musk and his car company but he was known in certain circles well before then.

  16. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.

    The necessary lack of dynamic range here is a problem for my modern ear I gotta say, and I’m well aware that people won’t like that I say it: bracing for the backlash.

    Bach was of course great, but that’s often an issue with his keyboard works, as the piano was kinda still in beta testing in his day. Apparently he tried early pianos but found them wanting–probably rightly. Of course with the organ he could literally pull out all the stops, so there’s that.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @Papinian
    @slumber_j

    I agree, that recording is terrible. That one is better at three times the speed, with a different set of stops. (Many harpsichords have stops too, FYI.)

    We don't need, here, another paean to Bach's genius, in response to your opinion of his keyboard works. I'd just say, learn to play any one of his fugues, if you can, and then give your opinion at that point.

  17. @YetAnotherAnon
    What's just as interesting is - who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later? I think this happens to painters a lot, but maybe historians too.

    Who reads Arnold Toynbee these days, and he only died in 1975?

    " From 1918 to 1950, Toynbee was considered a leading specialist on international affairs; from 1924 to 1954 he was the Director of Studies at Chatham House, in which position he also produced 34 volumes of the Survey of International Affairs, a "bible" for international specialists in Britain.

    With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s."
     
    Perhaps this has something to do with it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee#Negative_views_of_Jews_and_Judaism:_The_%22Toynbee_heresy%22_and_the_Jew_as_%22fossil%22

    Carlyle and Macaulay were favourites of Churchill, but who reads them now, excepting The Lays Of Ancient Rome?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasional_Discourse_on_the_Negro_Question

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lays_of_Ancient_Rome

    I often pass Carlyle's birthplace, but who visits?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle%27s_Birthplace

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Emil Nikola Richard, @John Pepple, @Pincher Martin, @Jonathan Mason, @Anonymous

    I have read Macaulay and Toynbee and their books are great.

    I have read (very very briefly) Carlyle. My gosh that guy’s books suck.

    Toynbee is like Frazer and Gibbon only readily available in abridgement. I haven’t ever seen an unabridged version even in a library. Maybe Umberto Eco owned such things.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    I have the three-volume condensation of Toynbee's A Study Of History but haven't finished it (to my shame).

    prosa123 - some of us have heard of him, those who picked up one of his books thinking it was an early work by the other guy!

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    , @Michael Meo
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    I quite agree: Carlyle is probably the greatest example of a historian whose reputation, once lost, can never be resurrected: he really is unreadable.
    I read Toynbee regularly; the unabridged Volume 12, "Reconsiderations", is a favorite.

  18. @prosa123
    If inventors count, there's Tesla. While he was never obscure, he didn't become a superstar until about 70 years after his death in 1943. He's now celebrated both in the company name and as a sort of ultra-nerd antihero.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @concernedcitizen

    Tesla was famous enough upon his death at age 87 in 1943 that J. Edgar Hoover sent Donald Trump’s physicist uncle to search his hotel suite to make sure Tesla hadn’t invented any war-winning death rays and not told anybody about it. But, yeah, Tesla didn’t become a folk legend until the 21st Century.

  19. Hopkins is excellent for casual reading.

    Google gets angry if it thinks you are using it too much and starts accusing you of “suspicious activity” and making you do captchas.

    • Replies: @Graham
    @Pixo

    Hopkins is the boss. Well done Steve for mentioning him. Not being very keen on literature as a kid, I had never heard of him until a few decades ago I heard a reading of Felix Randal the Farrier on the radio, and was immediately captivated.

  20. Herman Melville comes to mind, although I am completely stumped as to his high reputation now.

    Perhaps a special classification for Vassily
    Grossman and other Soviet Era artists.

    I recollect that Vivaldi was almost completely forgotten by 1900, but he is certainly remembered now, and to a lesser extent, Johann Baptiste Vanhal, who went from famous to forgotten to being fairly well known again. Cheap musical recordings are being very very good to classical composers.

  21. @slumber_j
    Ezra Pound revived Vivaldi they say. I'd like to see the chart there.

    Am I right in remembering that Moby-Dick wasn't considered all that great for a long time? Melville might be another.


    perhaps Beethoven was the first really famous composer
     
    Handel was pretty celebrated in his day, but I don't know how to compare them.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Matt Buckalew

    It would be nice if Ngram went back to 1700.

    My guess is that a genius composer like Handel was considered more a figure of fashion in the 18th century, while a genius composer like Beethoven was considered more of an immortal for the ages in the 19th Century. The Romantic Era was better for artists’ reputations than the Enlightenment.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Thanks: slumber_j
    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @Steve Sailer

    Ronald Knox’s conversation piece “Let Dons Delight” has a crusty Oxford don in around 1740 saying he saw a piece by Handel in the new symphonic style in London recently, “more or less just a collection of noises”.

  22. How Vermeer used the latest invention to come from diamond-grinding-and-then-applying-the-math-and-knowledge-of-refraction-reflection-to-lens-grinding Jews in Amsterdam to making Camera Obscuras as an aid to painting realistic portraits and landscapes.

    I myself (not a bad painter) used the mirror technique to paint a very, very good portrait of my cousin, from a photo. Took a couple of hours.

    A shorter version:

    • Thanks: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    @ThreeCranes

    Netherlands-dwelling Spinoza was a lens grinder. Commendable practice for intellectual Jews to also ply a trade would solve many of today's social dysfunctions, e.g. Krugman should spend part of each year digging ditches. He would argue that's a poor utilization of resources, but that's because he has a simple, linear, economist's notion of the human Self. He would become a better all-round person and make fewer epistemological mistakes.

  23. I knew the genuine item, the very archetype of the mad genius artist who worked in obscurity, achieved little or no recognition in his life, and died poor, sick, and alone. When he died in 2018, I took on the task of photographing, and archiving his life’s work. While doing this I discovered, and re-created his master work, The Lost Era, stories of his childhood in the Puente Hill in Southern California. The link at my nic goes to the Lost Canyon Project.

    JWM

  24. @Thea
    Paintings often hung in homes of the wealthy for generations. Viewed only by the inhabitants, visitors and servants, these great works could not reach the greater public until more recently. Modern museums, and later photography, opened a door for art to be appreciated by the masses, sometimes not until the artist had been deaf for centuries.


    Dutch golden age artists fall into this category. Ordinary Dutchmen had no clue some of these works even existed.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @SIMP simp

    Rembrandt was famous from an early age. More or less so was Franz Hals. Vermeer painted about two pictures per year so his reputation spread more slowly.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, but Velazquez remained unknown for literally centuries. Mostly because he served Spanish royalty and Britain managed to use its spy network to cut Spain off from European culture, promoted the Black Legend about it, and played it up as being some retread backwater instead of the largest colonial empire of its time.

    Nowadays, after he was discovered in the 19th Century, Velazquez is in the running for the greatest painter of all time. Las Meninas is widely regarded as an unsurpassed masterpiece, wowing Picasso and Dali, while Velazquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X is also regarded as near perfection.

    Replies: @martin_2, @S Johnson

    , @Cutter
    @Steve Sailer

    OT - sorry to do it here.

    The guy charged with setting the Bonhomme Richard on fire beat the charges.

  25. @YetAnotherAnon
    What's just as interesting is - who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later? I think this happens to painters a lot, but maybe historians too.

    Who reads Arnold Toynbee these days, and he only died in 1975?

    " From 1918 to 1950, Toynbee was considered a leading specialist on international affairs; from 1924 to 1954 he was the Director of Studies at Chatham House, in which position he also produced 34 volumes of the Survey of International Affairs, a "bible" for international specialists in Britain.

    With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s."
     
    Perhaps this has something to do with it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee#Negative_views_of_Jews_and_Judaism:_The_%22Toynbee_heresy%22_and_the_Jew_as_%22fossil%22

    Carlyle and Macaulay were favourites of Churchill, but who reads them now, excepting The Lays Of Ancient Rome?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasional_Discourse_on_the_Negro_Question

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lays_of_Ancient_Rome

    I often pass Carlyle's birthplace, but who visits?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle%27s_Birthplace

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Emil Nikola Richard, @John Pepple, @Pincher Martin, @Jonathan Mason, @Anonymous

    Sir William Hamilton was a 19th century Scottish philosopher who was very highly regarded during his lifetime. Not many have even heard of him today. And it is my theory that Speusippus was highly regarded for a brief time. He was Plato’s nephew, and he seemed to have a talent for poking holes in his uncle’s theory of forms. However, he was bad as a system builder and was quickly overshadowed by Aristotle.

  26. It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven’t even heard of them.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Everyone's heard of Winston Churchill the statesman, but Winston Churchill the American writer (1871-1947) has faded into almost complete obscurity even though for a couple of decades in the early 1900's he was the best-selling writer in the US.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Hypnotoad666

    , @kaganovitch
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven’t even heard of them.

    For American writers, I would nominate William Dean Howells, who was the most prominent man of letters in the late 1800's and at least as famous as Twain in his time and is obscure today.

    Replies: @GretaGonzo

    , @Colin Wright
    @Buzz Mohawk

    'It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven’t even heard of them.'

    William Merritt Chase. Then there was that German who was 'the prince of painters.'

    I suspect this is going to prove to be a very target-rich environment.

    , @Intelligent Dasein
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Perhaps, if you really want to get people going and provide some food for thought, let's ask who is mightily famous today but destined for obscurity in a generation.

    I would go with popular philosophers: Dawkins/Dennett, Peter Singer, John Rawls, Fukuyama. Nobody is going to bother with these guys in another 20 years.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief, @Art Deco, @Gordo

    , @Mark Roulo
    @Buzz Mohawk

    "It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven’t even heard of them. "

    Maybe John P. Marquand?

    Ben Jonson seems to have been well thought of back in the day, but no one cares about him now. Even the revival folks rarely put on Ben Jonson plays and finding them on video is VERY tough. This suggests a serious lack of interest.

    Boethius seems to be read MUCH less than, say, Dante. He was quite popular for a long time in the Middle Ages.

  27. Semmelweis was only recognized 20 years after his death when germ theory was more or less in place, thanks to Lister.

    Semmelweis’ caustic style (driven by personal guilt) and lack of theoretical mechanism for infection left him without the ability to win physicians over to his side during his lifetime.

    It was only posthumously that people realized “oh shit, that cranky Hungarian was really onto something. We really should have been washing our hands with chlorine solution (per Semmelweis) before inserting them into laboring mothers.”

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @MagyarOrvos

    It was the assassination of President James Garfield in 1881 that firmly established Semmelweiss's reputation. The doctors attending the president, especially the lead doctor, the stupendously incompetent Doctor Doctor Bliss - yes, his first name actually was Doctor, he usually went by his middle name Willard - insisted on probing the wound channel with their unwashed fingers, a practice which had largely but alas not completely fallen out of favor at the time. By so doing they caused a massive infection that led to an agonizing death three months later. If they had done nothing, or had followed Semmelweiss's teachings, the president would have survived.

    When Charles Guiteau went on trial he argued that it was really the doctors who had caused Garfield's death, not his bullet. It didn't save him from a necktie party, however.

    , @Anonymous
    @MagyarOrvos

    No matter how he sugar-coated it, Semmelweis was accusing doctors of mass-murder. The medical profession was never, ever going to accept that. It was necessary to wait for a whole generation of doctors to die off before his ideas became acceptable.

    (There are interesting parallels with the case of William Hamilton and his theory about AIDS origins.)

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @BB753

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @MagyarOrvos

    "We really should have been washing our hands with chlorine solution (per Semmelweis) before inserting them into laboring mothers.”

    The docs could also wear thick gloves, too, you know as well. Latex gloves were invented ca.1894 and wre used in Johns Hopkins.

  28. @ThreeCranes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPL7D0Ha1kQ

    How Vermeer used the latest invention to come from diamond-grinding-and-then-applying-the-math-and-knowledge-of-refraction-reflection-to-lens-grinding Jews in Amsterdam to making Camera Obscuras as an aid to painting realistic portraits and landscapes.

    I myself (not a bad painter) used the mirror technique to paint a very, very good portrait of my cousin, from a photo. Took a couple of hours.

    A shorter version:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoqOvUO74Gk

    Replies: @ThreeCranes

    Netherlands-dwelling Spinoza was a lens grinder. Commendable practice for intellectual Jews to also ply a trade would solve many of today’s social dysfunctions, e.g. Krugman should spend part of each year digging ditches. He would argue that’s a poor utilization of resources, but that’s because he has a simple, linear, economist’s notion of the human Self. He would become a better all-round person and make fewer epistemological mistakes.

  29. Steve sometimes mentions families in which talent seems to passed down through the generations, for example in sports. I wonder if German aristocrats were knowingly or unknowingly breeding musicians and composers with old Bach the prodigy amongst prodigies. His family tree is packed with composers. Maybe other human talents were bred for in the same way, but the lines would now be hopelessly diluted.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @astrolabe

    That’s true about the German musicians. First, unlike the Calvinists, Methodists low church Anglicans the Lutherans kept the catholic tradition of church music. Along with the choirs musicians and training centers. Those training centers produced generations of musicians and singers.

    Plus all the small kingdoms, principalities duchy and baronies all had the formal courts with various events that needed music. The German states and all the separate Italian states produced generations of trained singers and musicians. Plus plenty of patrons who supported the artists. Even the smallest barons and small towns had musicians teaching the local kids.

    Vivaldi was the music master at a girls orphanage in Venice. Many of the girls became professional musicians.

  30. @Buzz Mohawk
    It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven't even heard of them.

    Replies: @prosa123, @kaganovitch, @Colin Wright, @Intelligent Dasein, @Mark Roulo

    Everyone’s heard of Winston Churchill the statesman, but Winston Churchill the American writer (1871-1947) has faded into almost complete obscurity even though for a couple of decades in the early 1900’s he was the best-selling writer in the US.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @prosa123

    He was in fact the reason that the other Churchill’s books were published as “Winston S. Churchill”.

    , @Hypnotoad666
    @prosa123


    but Winston Churchill the American writer (1871-1947) has faded into almost complete obscurity
     
    Or what about Winston Churchill the painter? Or for that matter, Churchill the writer about Churchill the painter:

    https://www.amazon.com/Painting-Pastime-Sir-Winston-Churchill/dp/1906509336/ref=asc_df_1906509336/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312115090752&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=64642332856170105&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031201&hvtargid=pla-434734342734&psc=1
  31. George Bernard Shaw seemed to have a respectable reputation when I was young. Now he’s seen (perhaps more realistically) as a pompous bore.

    It would be an interesting study to find out if mainstream figures have more of an effect than those of the ‘underground’, when you look back a few generations. My feeling is that the underground provides the inspiration for the next generations mainstream. For instance, Will Self is a fairly mainstream figure, and he’s ripped off the canon of ‘subversive’ 60s and 70s stuff – Burroughs, Ballard etc.

  32. anon[216] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ralph L
    When was Emily Dickinson discovered? When did Fitzgerald get ensconced into the curriculum?
    My hero Trollope had a renaissance last century, but didn't break into movies like Austen did, so he'll probably fade again as he did at the end of his long life.

    The most obscure females in history are now being puffed up by the distaff humanities for some reason. I'm sure they like untrodden material, but will any of it take?

    Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale deflated the whole idea of the Grand Old Man of English Letters before Maugham was old enough to be one. In addition, his acidic sendup of then-current Horace Walpole ruined Walpole's reputation.

    Replies: @anon, @Anon, @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia, @PiltdownMan, @Alden, @Graveldips

    Dickinson became modestly well-known as a popular poet in the years shortly after her death in 1886, largely because of her sister’s efforts. A somewhat larger wave of fame started in the 30’s when academia realized that, like her fellow New Englander Melville, she had ‘pre-discovered’ Modernism, basically on her own. But her real fame began with second-wave feminism in the 60’s.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @anon

    But her real fame began with second-wave feminism in the 60’s.

    Richard B. Sewall, head of the English department at Yale, wrote The Life of Emily Dickinson, which won the National Book Award for biography in 1975.

    Replies: @Ralph L

  33. Raphael. He was considered the greatest painter ever for a couple of centuries and then took a nose dive in the twentieth.

  34. @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I reread T.B. Macaulay's "History of England" a few months ago. It's awesome.

    Like you implied, Tom Cruise's fine 2013 sci-fi movie "Oblivion" by the same guy who directed his "Top Gun" sequel is constructed around TBM's greatest lines:

    “Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the gate:
    ‘To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his Gods,"

    Mencius Moldbug reads Carlyle.

    Replies: @AKAHorace, @Buzz Mohawk, @Reg Cæsar, @Dieter Kief

    I reread T.B. Macaulay’s “History of England” a few months ago. It’s awesome.

    It’s good, but Macaulay needed an editor. It starts out quickly and moves more and more slowly the longer it goes. Certainly the first volume was one of the best things I ever read. I didn’t make it through the last volume.

  35. Anon[139] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s rather odd how popularity changes. In 1970, if you asked who the greatest painters were, people would have answered with the famous Renaissance trio of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

    Raphael has fallen out of that triumvirant these days. He has the peculiar quirk of looking vapid and boring in reproduction but terrific in real life, meaning his work doesn’t impress over the internet or in photographic reproduction.

    Also in 1970, if you asked people what the two most famous paintings in the world were, everyone would have answered the Mona Lisa and the Blue Boy by Gainsborough. Nowadays, the Blue Boy is getting to be less well known again.

    • Agree: Wendy K. Kroy
    • Replies: @Liger
    @Anon

    Georgia O'Keefes paintings make for great post cards but look flat and lifeless in person.

  36. @Emil Nikola Richard
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I have read Macaulay and Toynbee and their books are great.

    I have read (very very briefly) Carlyle. My gosh that guy's books suck.

    Toynbee is like Frazer and Gibbon only readily available in abridgement. I haven't ever seen an unabridged version even in a library. Maybe Umberto Eco owned such things.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CbqF_OIWwAA5kHx.jpg

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Michael Meo

    I have the three-volume condensation of Toynbee’s A Study Of History but haven’t finished it (to my shame).

    prosa123 – some of us have heard of him, those who picked up one of his books thinking it was an early work by the other guy!

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I have the 20 volume O.E.D., had it for 25 years, I haven't finished that yet.

  37. @James Braxton
    How about Herbert Spencer?

    He was "the single most famous European intellectual in the closing decades of the nineteenth century".

    Replies: @BB753, @SFG

    French philosopher Auguste Comte also comes to mind. Highly influential in his time and credited with creating the field of sociology.

  38. Anonymous[172] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    This type of music is popular among non-whites and ethnically dubious people, probably because they think it makes them look high-class or something.

    A quick look at the comment section and you'll see that most viewers are Koreans, Mestizos and NJ transit commuters. Actual white people can't stand this crap. Real white people listen to hip hop, house, and techno.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @mc23

    Top selling artists in US by digital downloads: Eminem, Drake, Rihanna, Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Top selling artists by album sales: Beatles, Garth Brooks, Elvis, Eagles and Led Zeppelin. I can only speculate but would guess that younger white people listen more to pop and hip-hop while older whites listen to classic rock. Garth Brooks is a strange outlier, but at one time he really was the biggest act in the world. I’m having a hard time think of a classical (or jazz) album or single that has been even kind of popular in the last 50 years. Maybe the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack, if you can call that classical?

    • Replies: @guest007
    @Anonymous

    The difference between whites and blacks is that blacks only listen to rap and hip hop performed by blacks. How many blacks are doing to a Taylor Swift or Dua Lipa concert. However, even whites to enjoy hip hop or rap also listen to other types of music. Another way to think of it is that blacks have narrow range of music interest versus whites have a wide range of music interest.

    Replies: @Peter Akuleyev

    , @Anon
    @Anonymous

    The beatles etc have had 50 years or more to sell their shit and the majority of those years were in the virtually internet-free era, meaning everyone had to buy their shit.

  39. @Steve Sailer
    @slumber_j

    It would be nice if Ngram went back to 1700.

    My guess is that a genius composer like Handel was considered more a figure of fashion in the 18th century, while a genius composer like Beethoven was considered more of an immortal for the ages in the 19th Century. The Romantic Era was better for artists' reputations than the Enlightenment.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    Ronald Knox’s conversation piece “Let Dons Delight” has a crusty Oxford don in around 1740 saying he saw a piece by Handel in the new symphonic style in London recently, “more or less just a collection of noises”.

    • LOL: slumber_j
  40. @prosa123
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Everyone's heard of Winston Churchill the statesman, but Winston Churchill the American writer (1871-1947) has faded into almost complete obscurity even though for a couple of decades in the early 1900's he was the best-selling writer in the US.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Hypnotoad666

    He was in fact the reason that the other Churchill’s books were published as “Winston S. Churchill”.

  41. @Buzz Mohawk
    It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven't even heard of them.

    Replies: @prosa123, @kaganovitch, @Colin Wright, @Intelligent Dasein, @Mark Roulo

    It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven’t even heard of them.

    For American writers, I would nominate William Dean Howells, who was the most prominent man of letters in the late 1800’s and at least as famous as Twain in his time and is obscure today.

    • Replies: @GretaGonzo
    @kaganovitch

    A lot of late 20th century writers (e.g. Mailer, Updike, and Roth) seem to have fallen by the wayside or perhaps they were never that famous.

  42. The people discussed here – painters, artists, philosophers – are all engaged in creative pursuits where the final opinion is arbitrary and subjective.

    Someone mentioned Herbert Spencer. He simply cannot be revived as long as the cultural zeitgeist is moving towards more wokism, it has little to do with the talents he had. This is a fundamental limitation of the humanities and always has been.

    I think it makes more sense to look at scientists and inventors. I can’t think of many instances of “hidden geniuses” there. Perhaps Cavendish comes to mind. He was appreciated by his peers while alive, but upon his death unpublished works revealed that he was a far greater genius than anyone had suspected.

  43. This ngram thing is fun — Shostakovich died in 1975 but has had a steep boom since 2011 (His 100th birthday would have been 2006 so that’s not the reason)

  44. A good example would be Sinclair Lewis, who was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature but who few read anymore. If someone made an new streaming series about all of his books set in Winnemac, one could see new interest.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Lewis

  45. The much-maligned Silas Marner is enjoying a huge comeback since 2012 — what’s up with that? While Catch 22 meanwhile peaked in 1979 (why then?) and has been fading badly. Of course Catch 22 is an expression as well as a title

  46. @slumber_j
    @NJ Transit Commuter


    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
     
    The necessary lack of dynamic range here is a problem for my modern ear I gotta say, and I'm well aware that people won't like that I say it: bracing for the backlash.

    Bach was of course great, but that's often an issue with his keyboard works, as the piano was kinda still in beta testing in his day. Apparently he tried early pianos but found them wanting--probably rightly. Of course with the organ he could literally pull out all the stops, so there's that.

    Replies: @Papinian

    I agree, that recording is terrible. That one is better at three times the speed, with a different set of stops. (Many harpsichords have stops too, FYI.)

    We don’t need, here, another paean to Bach’s genius, in response to your opinion of his keyboard works. I’d just say, learn to play any one of his fugues, if you can, and then give your opinion at that point.

  47. @R.G. Camara
    I suspect it has something to do with the consistent trend that entertainment makers tend to get infatuated with time periods 100, 50, and 20-30 years before the current year.

    100 because its a magic number in people's minds, e.g. right now, we're seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz, and probably will see a lot more before the decade's out.

    50 because its when many of the people who were the movers and shakers of 50 years ago are dying off in droves and people are looking back at grandpa's youth, e.g. in the 1990s/early 2000s there was an uptick in the number of studio movies about WW2 and the Holocaust.

    20-30 because that's when current filmmakers were young and they have nostalgia for their youth, e.g. Michael J. Fox made his career being in Back to the Future (about an 80's kid sent back to his parents' youth of the 50s) and Family Ties (about 60's hippies raising a Reaganite conservative son).

    This seems to fit into the 50-year rule.

    Steve posits a 70-80 year rule: from the time of an artist's birth, roughly 70-80 years later they get a new burst of fame. Well, since most artists have their best years at 20-40, then 50 years later that generation is dying off/going senile.

    So there's a tendency to look back and see what was great in grandpa's heyday. And lookie here---an artist we've ignored/forgotten about, but was really a genius! So it's really the 50-year rule in disguise.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Harry Baldwin, @Rob

    100 because its a magic number in people’s minds, e.g. right now, we’re seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz, and probably will see a lot more before the decade’s out.

    Yes, and one more thing we are seeing – Commies crawling out of the woodwork… it’s about that time, just over 100 years later.

    (I would have liked to have heard lots more Ragtime music, though. Society missed that 100 year revival.)

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Well there was a big Ragtime removal in the 1970s. I think the Ragtime score of the movie, The Sting got it going. The nice thing about that revival is that a few of the figures of the original Ragtime era (in particular Eubie Blake) were still alive and so we were able to hear the music performed live by the original artists:

    https://youtu.be/mN89vHZ414s?t=97

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @R.G. Camara

  48. ‘Anyway, who else should I graph when Ngram starts up again?’

    Cezanne. Gauguin.

  49. @Buzz Mohawk
    It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven't even heard of them.

    Replies: @prosa123, @kaganovitch, @Colin Wright, @Intelligent Dasein, @Mark Roulo

    ‘It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven’t even heard of them.’

    William Merritt Chase. Then there was that German who was ‘the prince of painters.’

    I suspect this is going to prove to be a very target-rich environment.

  50. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    E. Michael Jones’s book The Dangers of Beauty discusses Bach’s critical role in the history of music and the great debt to him subsequent composers acknowledged. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier served as a template for composition of tonal music to this day.

  51. Anon[358] • Disclaimer says:
    @Ralph L
    When was Emily Dickinson discovered? When did Fitzgerald get ensconced into the curriculum?
    My hero Trollope had a renaissance last century, but didn't break into movies like Austen did, so he'll probably fade again as he did at the end of his long life.

    The most obscure females in history are now being puffed up by the distaff humanities for some reason. I'm sure they like untrodden material, but will any of it take?

    Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale deflated the whole idea of the Grand Old Man of English Letters before Maugham was old enough to be one. In addition, his acidic sendup of then-current Horace Walpole ruined Walpole's reputation.

    Replies: @anon, @Anon, @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia, @PiltdownMan, @Alden, @Graveldips

    One of the most pointed overratings of modern female talent is Frida Kahlo. No one had heard of her a couple generations ago. She paints like a 6th grader. But Kahlo was Jewish, Communist, female, minority, self-obsessed, sickly, kind of ugly, married a man of color, was bisexual, and had unhappy relationships. This means she has become an obsession with Jewish women who are communist, ugly, self-obsessed, in unhappy relationships, etc., etc. They have elevated Frida way beyond her deserved level of fame, simply because they feel Frida represents themselves, and because she ticks off every box of SJW victimhood.

    There has been a whole literary movement to uncover unheard voices in literature among women and blacks, and though some of the white women are worth hearing, the blunt fact is that most women who wrote in the 1800s are not worth reading, and if you’ve read one slave narrative, you’ve read them all. I’ve tried to read a few of these, and they remind me of Florence King’s remark that Southern culture is essentially pre-literate and relies on oral memory instead of the written word, because everyone repeats things 3 times. The slaves were so dumb and lived such a constricted life that they’re insanely boring to read.

    Meanwhile, I’ve discovered many unheard voices in the form of white men who wrote excellent memoirs in the 1800s that nobody reads these days because they’re not popular in academia. For example, I’ve read sea memoirs from Melville’s time that are miles better than Moby Dick.

    • Replies: @Lumpy
    @Anon

    Frida Kahlo was not a Jew

    Replies: @Alden

    , @Gordo
    @Anon

    Absolutely true, if you don’t know the answer to a question on BBC’s ‘University Challenge’ just shout Frida Kahlo and you have a fair chance of being right.

  52. In order to achieve the highest stature in an art, a genius needs to be born into the right set of circumstances. Bach and Beethoven were both working musicians before their voices broke, and then afterward simply switched to working as instrumentalists, their second career (at age 11 or so). Anybody who’s ever tutored a brilliant child knows how quickly the kid can exhaust materials prepared for children less apt. And if the child exhausts the teacher’s actual resources (never to be admitted, of course—the little genius is a source of income, after all, and the foundation of the teacher’s future reputation, however ill the teacher served the child), then the child will be stunted.

    Perhaps the best teachers are those ill-served children who nevertheless persevere, in obscurity, developing resources for their own use, who meet by chance a beautiful soul in its infancy and give it all that it wants. Beethoven’s Frege; Bach’s older brother; Brahms’s Marxsen.

    Or in other words, it’s a team effort to produce a single productive genius. And he has to live among people who care, not among Philistines! So much effort is involved in prodding people out of indifference. Yes, he must be a genius born, but in the words of Housman:

    Some seeds the birds devour,
    And some the season mars,
    But here and there will flower
    The solitary stars.

  53. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    NJTC writes:

    No doubt Bach is the GOAT.

    Bach let to Mozart, who led to Beethoven, who led to Brahms.
    Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms acknowledge significant influence by Bach.
    Those successors had their own fascinating extensions and developments thereafter.
    The pianoforte took over from the harpsichord as the prime keyboard during Beethoven’s life and he was instrumental in that shift. Liszt furthered that through a relationship with his preferred piano manufacturer.
    It all started with Bach.

  54. These ngrams are fun because the number one YouTube comment for almost any rock album or classical composer is “underrated,” but now you can see who’s REALLY underrated. I’d list Ireland’s John Field as one very fine old-timey composer who deserves much more modern attention — and sure enough aside from a quick peak in 1810 his ngram profile is sadly pathetic.

    • Agree: Kylie
  55. It would make an interesting parlor game to ask artists which scenario they would prefer: (A) Have some modest artistic success and recognition while you are alive, but then be immediately and totally forgotten; or (B) Live and toil in obscurity without any recognition or success, but then — only long after you’re dead — be discovered, adored and celebrated by the entire world for generations.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Hypnotoad666

    "Artists" would take A in a heartbeat. They crave the applause, the fame, and the money, no matter how minor. The whole "they'll realize how great I was someday after I'm dead" is just some sour grapes type whine when they can't get the brass ring.

    "Artists" are the most venal people imaginable.

    , @Gordo
    @Hypnotoad666


    It would make an interesting parlor game to ask artists which scenario they would prefer: (A) Have some modest artistic success and recognition while you are alive, but then be immediately and totally forgotten; or (B) Live and toil in obscurity without any recognition or success, but then — only long after you’re dead — be discovered, adored and celebrated by the entire world for generations.
     
    I’m assuming they would wish young ladies to jump into their beds not jump into their coffins.
  56. @James Braxton
    How about Herbert Spencer?

    He was "the single most famous European intellectual in the closing decades of the nineteenth century".

    Replies: @BB753, @SFG

    Politics. Evangelicals don’t like the Darwin, lefties don’t like the economic implications, and alt-righters don’t like the racial implications in the modern day (the master race would be some hybrid of Jews, Indians, and the remnants of the old WASP upper class; or, potentially, the Chinese).

    • Replies: @James Braxton
    @SFG

    Curious to see exactly when those factors converged to plunge Spencer off the cliff of noteriety.

  57. Blake Edwards revived Ravel.

  58. @prosa123
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Everyone's heard of Winston Churchill the statesman, but Winston Churchill the American writer (1871-1947) has faded into almost complete obscurity even though for a couple of decades in the early 1900's he was the best-selling writer in the US.

    Replies: @S Johnson, @Hypnotoad666

    but Winston Churchill the American writer (1871-1947) has faded into almost complete obscurity

    Or what about Winston Churchill the painter? Or for that matter, Churchill the writer about Churchill the painter:

  59. @Achmed E. Newman
    @R.G. Camara


    100 because its a magic number in people’s minds, e.g. right now, we’re seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz, and probably will see a lot more before the decade’s out.
     
    Yes, and one more thing we are seeing - Commies crawling out of the woodwork... it's about that time, just over 100 years later.

    (I would have liked to have heard lots more Ragtime music, though. Society missed that 100 year revival.)

    Replies: @Jack D

    Well there was a big Ragtime removal in the 1970s. I think the Ragtime score of the movie, The Sting got it going. The nice thing about that revival is that a few of the figures of the original Ragtime era (in particular Eubie Blake) were still alive and so we were able to hear the music performed live by the original artists:

    • Troll: R.G. Camara
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Jack D

    Dixieland jazz came right after.

    FWIW I am one who feels a link to the past via Dixieland. My father grew up on it and played old records of it in the house. He played his trombone along with it in the living room. (He also had a lot of business trip time in New Orleans.) Thanks to that, I have a strong sense and affinity for the rhythms.

    I remember one evening in that living room, Dad seated across the room from me then, slapping his knees and bobbing forward and backward, listening to a Dixieland record with me. He had it turned up loud, and he said, "Isn't that great?! That's great music!"

    I knew then, felt it then more than ever, that my father had come of age in another era.

    Replies: @GretaGonzo

    , @R.G. Camara
    @Jack D

    Shut up, fed. Go hang out with your buddy, Ray Epps.

    https://amgreatness.com/2022/09/28/why-ray-epps-matters/

  60. @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I reread T.B. Macaulay's "History of England" a few months ago. It's awesome.

    Like you implied, Tom Cruise's fine 2013 sci-fi movie "Oblivion" by the same guy who directed his "Top Gun" sequel is constructed around TBM's greatest lines:

    “Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the gate:
    ‘To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his Gods,"

    Mencius Moldbug reads Carlyle.

    Replies: @AKAHorace, @Buzz Mohawk, @Reg Cæsar, @Dieter Kief

    Great writer. Great poem. Great movie. Great director. Great cast.

    In searching for relevant stuff, I happened upon the following quote from Lionel Trilling:

    “It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief.”

    I never had heard of Lionel Trilling, but that statement impresses me so much that I have looked him up. I haven’t read much about him yet; maybe he will turn out to be a bum. I don’t know, but that quote is perfect.

    What he said is so very true today. Things that you, Steve, notice and write about in our time exemplify that truth. One wonders, is it possible that men have felt this way in every era? One also wonders, will Steve Sailer someday be widely known and respected for the work he is doing today?

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Buzz Mohawk


    I never had heard of Lionel Trilling
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BATPzXjmV_s

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    , @Known Fact
    @Buzz Mohawk


    “It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief.”
     
    Thanks, I like that -- in the same spirit as the Twain character who notes that "Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction is obliged to stick to probability." Or the modern observation that this month's conspiracy theory is next month's truth
  61. @Steve Sailer
    @Thea

    Rembrandt was famous from an early age. More or less so was Franz Hals. Vermeer painted about two pictures per year so his reputation spread more slowly.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Cutter

    Yes, but Velazquez remained unknown for literally centuries. Mostly because he served Spanish royalty and Britain managed to use its spy network to cut Spain off from European culture, promoted the Black Legend about it, and played it up as being some retread backwater instead of the largest colonial empire of its time.

    Nowadays, after he was discovered in the 19th Century, Velazquez is in the running for the greatest painter of all time. Las Meninas is widely regarded as an unsurpassed masterpiece, wowing Picasso and Dali, while Velazquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X is also regarded as near perfection.

    • Replies: @martin_2
    @R.G. Camara

    I just had a look. Christ, why did he only paint plain women?

    , @S Johnson
    @R.G. Camara

    Spain still ruled much of the Netherlands and Italy throughout the 17th century and Velázquez visited Italy twice (where he painted the famous portrait of Pope Innocent X). If Velázquez was less known outside of Spain that was more down to the emergent phenomenon of the court painter and the Thirty Years’ War, in which England under the Stuarts wasn’t a participant. After the Napoleonic wars Wellington’s house in London became the owner of the most Velázquez paintings outside the Spanish royal collection.

  62. @Jack D
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Well there was a big Ragtime removal in the 1970s. I think the Ragtime score of the movie, The Sting got it going. The nice thing about that revival is that a few of the figures of the original Ragtime era (in particular Eubie Blake) were still alive and so we were able to hear the music performed live by the original artists:

    https://youtu.be/mN89vHZ414s?t=97

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @R.G. Camara

    Dixieland jazz came right after.

    FWIW I am one who feels a link to the past via Dixieland. My father grew up on it and played old records of it in the house. He played his trombone along with it in the living room. (He also had a lot of business trip time in New Orleans.) Thanks to that, I have a strong sense and affinity for the rhythms.

    I remember one evening in that living room, Dad seated across the room from me then, slapping his knees and bobbing forward and backward, listening to a Dixieland record with me. He had it turned up loud, and he said, “Isn’t that great?! That’s great music!”

    I knew then, felt it then more than ever, that my father had come of age in another era.

    • Replies: @GretaGonzo
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Does anyone slap their knees anymore?

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Ralph L, @Reg Cæsar

  63. @Jack D
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Well there was a big Ragtime removal in the 1970s. I think the Ragtime score of the movie, The Sting got it going. The nice thing about that revival is that a few of the figures of the original Ragtime era (in particular Eubie Blake) were still alive and so we were able to hear the music performed live by the original artists:

    https://youtu.be/mN89vHZ414s?t=97

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @R.G. Camara

    Shut up, fed. Go hang out with your buddy, Ray Epps.

    https://amgreatness.com/2022/09/28/why-ray-epps-matters/

    • Troll: Jack D
  64. I would consider looking up Franz Schubert on the ngram. He died young yet composed prolifically, and outside his circle of friends in the German/Austrian sphere he was little known for most of his life. It was those friends – the early Romantics – who vigorously promoted his works postmortem, especially Franz Liszt and Clara Schumann who broke from convention and included the works of other composers in their own recitals, when the tradition was for a performer to showcase their own compositions. Long after his life, Schubert’s setting of Ave Maria is one of the famous pieces of music ever written. So maybe it didn’t take 70 years, but I know that Pope Pius X in the early 20th century was upset that “theatrical” music such as Schubert’s Ave Maria found its way into the Mass.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Pop Warner

    Schubert's Ave Maria is the most beautiful piece of music ever written.

    https://youtu.be/ojeLyPo_Wz4

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @BB753

  65. @Steve Sailer
    @Thea

    Rembrandt was famous from an early age. More or less so was Franz Hals. Vermeer painted about two pictures per year so his reputation spread more slowly.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Cutter

    OT – sorry to do it here.

    The guy charged with setting the Bonhomme Richard on fire beat the charges.

  66. @Hypnotoad666
    It would make an interesting parlor game to ask artists which scenario they would prefer: (A) Have some modest artistic success and recognition while you are alive, but then be immediately and totally forgotten; or (B) Live and toil in obscurity without any recognition or success, but then -- only long after you're dead -- be discovered, adored and celebrated by the entire world for generations.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Gordo

    “Artists” would take A in a heartbeat. They crave the applause, the fame, and the money, no matter how minor. The whole “they’ll realize how great I was someday after I’m dead” is just some sour grapes type whine when they can’t get the brass ring.

    “Artists” are the most venal people imaginable.

  67. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    I play my J.S. Bach The Art of Fugue for String Quartet CD at night because it usually interprets the night and all that it brings. Bach is about the only representation of the Baroque period that I can take. I much prefer the later Romantics. But Bach is special, unique. Almost alien.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Speaking of Bach, there is this free-associating mumbo-jumbo that is so laughable it must be shared...

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/wasbachjewish

    Was Bach Jewish?


    Bach was quintessentially Jewish. And in seeking to break free from these laws, Beethoven was the true Christian. Might the gulf between Bach and Beethoven mirror that between Judaism and Christianity?

    By Norman Podhoretz

  68. The one day rule: if Steve Sailer doesn’t usually like what you say, your comment will show up 24 hours after you post it.

    • Agree: Peterike
  69. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Great writer. Great poem. Great movie. Great director. Great cast.

    In searching for relevant stuff, I happened upon the following quote from Lionel Trilling:

    "It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief."

    I never had heard of Lionel Trilling, but that statement impresses me so much that I have looked him up. I haven't read much about him yet; maybe he will turn out to be a bum. I don't know, but that quote is perfect.

    What he said is so very true today. Things that you, Steve, notice and write about in our time exemplify that truth. One wonders, is it possible that men have felt this way in every era? One also wonders, will Steve Sailer someday be widely known and respected for the work he is doing today?

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Known Fact

    I never had heard of Lionel Trilling

    • Thanks: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    LOL and I get it, I think.

    My reply is, "So what?" My reply to Steve is equally honest. I like the quote I shared, and I give Trilling credit for it. Oh, and if I could ever be as fancy and cultured and high-placed as the man in your clip appears to be, well then my friend, I will be happy, Trilling or not.

    I hope he got the girl, because that's all that really matters.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

  70. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Buzz Mohawk


    I never had heard of Lionel Trilling
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BATPzXjmV_s

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    LOL and I get it, I think.

    My reply is, “So what?” My reply to Steve is equally honest. I like the quote I shared, and I give Trilling credit for it. Oh, and if I could ever be as fancy and cultured and high-placed as the man in your clip appears to be, well then my friend, I will be happy, Trilling or not.

    I hope he got the girl, because that’s all that really matters.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Buzz Mohawk


    My reply is, “So what?”
     
    ’Twas but a gratuitous Metropolitan reference.

    I hope he got the girl, because that’s all that really matters.
     
    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71MmaNr8w3L._SL1500_.jpg

    Assignment: buy the Blu-ray and watch it with the missus in December (it’s a Christmas season movie).

    https://www.amazon.com/Metropolitan-Criterion-Collection-Blu-ray-Eigeman/dp/B007USWCO2/

    https://www.amazon.com/Whit-Stillman-Trilogy-Metropolitan-Collection/dp/B01AP0ASCO/

    Replies: @obwandiyag, @PiltdownMan

  71. I’d like to see the trend of mentions of the recently-deceased American poet Charles Bukowski (1920-1994): he didn’t die young, and was rather celebrated for the last few years of his life, but has disappeared from (at least, my) view in the last 30 years.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    @Michael Meo

    There are still bars named after him. I have been to „Bukowski‘s“ in both Boston and Vienna, both legacies of the 1990s I think. I doubt the 20 something hipsters working there have ever read him. Bukowski doesn’t fit a younger generation that wants to be healthy, „achieve“, and ignore white heterosexual men. I doubt he will ever really come back - he wouldn’t be a hero to a conservative backlash generation either.

  72. @Buzz Mohawk
    Try Gregor Mendel 1822-1884

    He wasn't an artist, but recognition came posthumously, when the science of genetics caught up to him.

    Now we all learn about about him and his pea plants in school.


    A quick scan of Wikipedia gives us this:


    At times, Mendel must have entertained doubts about his work, but not always: "My time will come," he reportedly told a friend, Gustav von Niessl.

    During Mendel's lifetime, most biologists held the idea that all characteristics were passed to the next generation through blending inheritance, in which the traits from each parent are averaged.

    By 1900, research aimed at finding a successful theory of discontinuous inheritance rather than blending inheritance led to independent duplication of his work...

    Mendel's results were quickly replicated, and genetic linkage quickly worked out. Biologists flocked to the theory...
     

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    During Mendel’s lifetime, most biologists held the idea that all characteristics were passed to the next generation through blending inheritance, in which the traits from each parent are averaged.

    It’s a little weird because people say stuff like “he’s got his mother’s eyes” or “that nose runs in his family” and such. And pretty sure have been saying it more or less forever.

    ~~

    Specifics of the theory and mechanism aside, an interesting aspect of genetics is that even beyond observing their own families, people have been breeding livestock–with much shorter cycle times–for 10,000 years. So the normal everyman common sense about genetics–“good people”, “bad seed”–has really been basically correct/solid for thousands of years.

    It’s only in the last 60 or 70 years via constant pickling in propaganda from the usual suspects that I think a lot of people have been confused. And then only partially and pretty exclusively about mental traits–“failing schools”; i’m an unhappy nut because i’ve suppressed my father abusing me; stereotype threat; etc.

    Mostly people know–the kids will be a random mix of mom and dad.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @AnotherDad

    Yes! Exactly. Frankly, you and I and everyone else thrives today as a result of centuries of that common sense combined with the science that grew out of it.

    Indeed, didn't modern science and engineering come about from the same kind of common sense you describe? This seems baked-into our people. And you know what? We have inherited whatever inborn characteristics participated in that progress.

    You say:


    It’s only in the last 60 or 70 years via constant pickling in propaganda from the usual suspects that I think a lot of people have been confused.
     
    And I wonder: Who benefits from such confusion? How and why?
  73. Bach was not particularly well known as a composer, in his day. However, he was very well known as an organist. So, for comparison, Handel, who lived and composed in England, was ‘famous’ enough that Bach, and all of the other Germanic composers, were well aware of, at least, some of his works, where it is unlikely that Handel knew anything that Bach had composed.

    And if we were just comparing those composers that lived in the German speaking world, that were contemporaries of Bach’s, Telemann made 4-5x as much as Bach did.

    Still, he was more well known as a composer, in his day, than, say, Schubert was in his, although Schubert died at 31.

  74. @Emil Nikola Richard
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I have read Macaulay and Toynbee and their books are great.

    I have read (very very briefly) Carlyle. My gosh that guy's books suck.

    Toynbee is like Frazer and Gibbon only readily available in abridgement. I haven't ever seen an unabridged version even in a library. Maybe Umberto Eco owned such things.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CbqF_OIWwAA5kHx.jpg

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @Michael Meo

    I quite agree: Carlyle is probably the greatest example of a historian whose reputation, once lost, can never be resurrected: he really is unreadable.
    I read Toynbee regularly; the unabridged Volume 12, “Reconsiderations”, is a favorite.

  75. @AnotherDad
    @Buzz Mohawk


    During Mendel’s lifetime, most biologists held the idea that all characteristics were passed to the next generation through blending inheritance, in which the traits from each parent are averaged.
     
    It's a little weird because people say stuff like "he's got his mother's eyes" or "that nose runs in his family" and such. And pretty sure have been saying it more or less forever.

    ~~

    Specifics of the theory and mechanism aside, an interesting aspect of genetics is that even beyond observing their own families, people have been breeding livestock--with much shorter cycle times--for 10,000 years. So the normal everyman common sense about genetics--"good people", "bad seed"--has really been basically correct/solid for thousands of years.

    It's only in the last 60 or 70 years via constant pickling in propaganda from the usual suspects that I think a lot of people have been confused. And then only partially and pretty exclusively about mental traits--"failing schools"; i'm an unhappy nut because i've suppressed my father abusing me; stereotype threat; etc.

    Mostly people know--the kids will be a random mix of mom and dad.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Yes! Exactly. Frankly, you and I and everyone else thrives today as a result of centuries of that common sense combined with the science that grew out of it.

    Indeed, didn’t modern science and engineering come about from the same kind of common sense you describe? This seems baked-into our people. And you know what? We have inherited whatever inborn characteristics participated in that progress.

    You say:

    It’s only in the last 60 or 70 years via constant pickling in propaganda from the usual suspects that I think a lot of people have been confused.

    And I wonder: Who benefits from such confusion? How and why?

  76. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    LOL and I get it, I think.

    My reply is, "So what?" My reply to Steve is equally honest. I like the quote I shared, and I give Trilling credit for it. Oh, and if I could ever be as fancy and cultured and high-placed as the man in your clip appears to be, well then my friend, I will be happy, Trilling or not.

    I hope he got the girl, because that's all that really matters.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    My reply is, “So what?”

    ’Twas but a gratuitous Metropolitan reference.

    I hope he got the girl, because that’s all that really matters.

    Assignment: buy the Blu-ray and watch it with the missus in December (it’s a Christmas season movie).

    • Thanks: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    That dumbass director is the Official Champion of the Trust Fund Degenerates. He likes Studio 54. Gaaaaaaa

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    It's impossible to picture an intellectually pretentious present day preppie trust fund couple having that conversation. They don't read that stuff in high school or college anymore.

  77. @slumber_j
    Ezra Pound revived Vivaldi they say. I'd like to see the chart there.

    Am I right in remembering that Moby-Dick wasn't considered all that great for a long time? Melville might be another.


    perhaps Beethoven was the first really famous composer
     
    Handel was pretty celebrated in his day, but I don't know how to compare them.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Matt Buckalew

    Melville’s early south seas novels were well received his gradual eclipse was driven more by people getting less and less interested in ocean based novels. Decades later when everyone wasn’t so burnt out on them he’s best novel was rediscovered.

  78. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    Or this.

  79. Fame is a fickle thing. It is rarely and definitely not inherently based on merit. Those revived aren’t sure to stay. Fame also is very skewed by the qualities of the age they are from and the age in which they are viewed. Maybe “noteworthiness” is a more apt word to use in regard to individuals whose own merits transcend their age. This would be difficult to measure, though.

  80. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Jack D

    Dixieland jazz came right after.

    FWIW I am one who feels a link to the past via Dixieland. My father grew up on it and played old records of it in the house. He played his trombone along with it in the living room. (He also had a lot of business trip time in New Orleans.) Thanks to that, I have a strong sense and affinity for the rhythms.

    I remember one evening in that living room, Dad seated across the room from me then, slapping his knees and bobbing forward and backward, listening to a Dixieland record with me. He had it turned up loud, and he said, "Isn't that great?! That's great music!"

    I knew then, felt it then more than ever, that my father had come of age in another era.

    Replies: @GretaGonzo

    Does anyone slap their knees anymore?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @GretaGonzo

    Good question.

    , @Ralph L
    @GretaGonzo

    Bavarians.

    Replies: @Kylie

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @GretaGonzo


    Does anyone slap their knees anymore?
     
    Has anybody done hambone since Soupy Sales introduced it to whites outside the South? The top three hits on YouTube all happen to be named Steve:


    https://youtu.be/_zq7TSRFUMI


    https://youtu.be/v8r5wxpa3hg

    https://youtu.be/9zGY16UCVCA&t=2m52s
  81. @kaganovitch
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven’t even heard of them.

    For American writers, I would nominate William Dean Howells, who was the most prominent man of letters in the late 1800's and at least as famous as Twain in his time and is obscure today.

    Replies: @GretaGonzo

    A lot of late 20th century writers (e.g. Mailer, Updike, and Roth) seem to have fallen by the wayside or perhaps they were never that famous.

  82. The Spanish painter, Joaquin Sorolla is a good example of this. He gained international popularity and wealth as a Spanish impressionist painter. After his death, he was overshadowed by Picasso, and subsequently forgotten everywhere but his home country. Now, there seems to be a resurgence in interest in his work internationally in art circles.

  83. Anyway, who else should I graph when Ngram starts up again?

    Here are some…

    Franz Schubert (dead at 31) – Appreciated by only his small circle of friends at the time of his death in 1828, his reputation soon grew as famous composers (particularly Liszt) began to promote his work.

    Edgar Allen Poe (dead at 40) – A well-known critic and lesser-known writer during his lifetime, and celebrated by the French before his reputation as a consequential man of letters grew in English-reading countries, Poe was not unknown when he died in 1849, but he certainly did not have the literary legacy he has today.

    Two contemporary examples:

    Jean-Michel Basquiat (dead at 27) – New York painter who died of a heroin overdose in 1988. One of his paintings recently sold for over $100 million.

    John Kennedy Toole (dead at 31) – one-hit-wonder author of the CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, which is now considered part of the literary canon of the U.S., he committed suicide in 1969.

    A non-young example of an artist unrecognized in his lifetime who after his death became famous:

    William Blake (dead at 69) – Wiki says that at the time of his death (1827), he had sold fewer than thirty copies of his most famous work, SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE, despite it being in print for nearly three decades.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Pincher Martin

    Thanks.

  84. dying young is very helpful to notable musicians. this prevents them from getting into their mid 30s and entering their natural decline. then they are remembered in their prime, and they “never put out a bad album.” Kurt Cobain’s extremely fortunate early death saved Nirvana’s reputation completely. otherwise they’d be Guns N Roses now, or less. a dysfunctional band that doesn’t get along, barely tours, hasn’t put out a single thing of note for 25 years, with an unlikeable main guy. Kurt Cobain would probably literally be a woman today, and an obvious, obnoxious leftist. “They had that one great album and that was it” would be their reputation today, if they had continued along their natural trajectory.

    although it’s common to die early in rock and rock, it’s still the case that most of them don’t die. they usually get to 35, and enter their natural decline, where they then spend the next 30 years writing music that sucks and steadily becoming irrelevant. touring eternally on the hits they wrote in their 20s is how 99% of musicians do it.

    “I liked their earlier stuff”. of course. music is exactly like sports, except sports leagues have the function of forcing 38 year old athletes to completely stop playing, now, and never come back. they don’t get to do 30 years of touring where they hit that monster home run shot over and over and over at 300 ballparks, recreating their most famous home run from when they were 27.

    in mathematics, the Fields medal is predicated on this exact same dynamic, which, like Spearman’s g, is a general principle of human performance. people peak early. mid to later life geniuses are very rare.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @prime noticer


    People peak early. Mid to later life geniuses are very rare.
     
    Only in certain fields do people peak early. Aristotle explained this phenomenon in the Nicomachean Ethics when discussing the various truth-attaining functions (i.e. art or techne, science, prudence, wisdom, and nous).

    People peak early in precisely those fields in which child prodigies are possible, notably music and mathematics. Music belongs to techne and requires little more than dexterity, a sensitive ear, and a rich imagination; consequently, there is nothing impeding a child from quickly absorbing the full breadth of the field. Likewise, mathematics, belonging to scientia (literally "that which is known through demonstration") requires no specially acquired skill nor depth of experience but only a bright mind with strong powers of concentration and memory---qualities which youth often renders in abundance and which age usually dulls. Thus, music and math prodigies appear all the time.

    But prudence, or the ability to know by what means and ends the good life can be secured in general, is not the province of children. In fact, it is just the lack of this quality that makes children so childlike. Even the prodigies (especially the prodigies) need somebody to care for them, provide for them, and protect them. This kind of ability is only acquired by long experience.

    Therefore, there are monsters of music, and there are monsters of math, but there are no monsters of prudence. The child statesmen, the child diplomat, and the child philosopher simply do not occur.

    Philosophy is particularly the field in which mastery comes quite late, past the midpoint of life. Schopenhauer likened it to the late afternoon of the day, when the sun, though already descending, produces the most heat.
    , @Pincher Martin
    @prime noticer


    mid to later life geniuses are very rare.
     
    Rare in some fields perhaps, especially math and physical science, but not uncommon in others. Great novelists often mature late (unlike most great poets). Great composers often do their best work late in life. Great painters can sometimes do great work in their fifties and beyond (Leonardo, Goya, Picasso, etc.). Great physicians and biologists aren't as age-restricted in their discoveries as their counterparts in the hard sciences.
    , @Feryl
    @prime noticer

    I also have a hunch that rockers peak really early because they obliterate their ears very fast and insist on continuing to write most or all of their material. By the time they are 30 their hearing is much worse than it was when they were 20 and they literally don't know what sounds good anymore. In pop music of all eras many hits are written by older song-writers (who haven't deafened themselves via actually performing loud rock music)*, in the rock and roll era of the late-60's-early 1990's artists generally wrote their own music and sometimes sought the help of contemporary young songwriters (music written by older people would've been seen as unhip and inauthentic). The vibrant authenticity of rock relies on youthful energy and creativity, which is typically non-existent by the time you are age 40 (if you're lucky you can do what Rush did in the 80's and make a gradual transition to cerebral and emotionally mature pop music as opposed to pathetically refusing to grow up and making 7th rate variations of what you did when you were young).

    *I would say that these days songwriters and producers are probably older than they have ever been before, a big reason modern pop sucks so much.

    WRT Nirvana, Cobain was closer to Micheal Stipe by the mid 90's than he was to his own band. Cobain told Stipe that he was losing interest in being a rock act and wanted to collaborate with Stipe on a much softer, not grungy album. In other words, Cobain to his credit was aging out fairly fast from the rock scene and was going to be very open about it. Cobain may have actually avoided the aging rockstar's fall from grace if he had lived.

    , @Anonymous
    @prime noticer

    "This one's from the new album"

    What no concert-goer wants to hear, ever.

  85. One of my favorite undiscovered (during his lifetime) artists is Nick Drake. He died in his mid twenties. One of my other favorite undiscovered artists was his mother, Molly Drake, who lived a long life (77 years.) Listening to their separate recordings gives me an eerie and beautiful sense of the familial and cultural. It’s amazing that two musical artists who come from very different generations and perspectives could share so much, not in a strict or structural sense but in terms of tone and temperament. I get the impression both were too gentle and retiring to be famous (though Nick’s sister was a well known actress.)

  86. In 2013 Teller* directed a documentary about inventor Tim Jenison in which he attempts to paint using the techniques of Johannes Vermeer. It was called Tim’s Vermeer.

    *

    [MORE]
    of Penn & Teller

  87. I live in Indiana. The Indiana author Booth Tarkington won a Literary Digest poll in the nineteen twenties as the most important American author but not many people today would pick him as the most important author of that era. His reputation may have partly declined because the film version of Magnificent Ambersons flopped. It was probably more, though, because he became more conservative as he became older and the mostly leftist literary critics decided they didn’t like him for that reason. There have been few biographies or critical studies done of him the last seventy years, unlike fellow Indiana author Theodore Dreiser. The recent Indiana author Kurt Vonnegut has written of him appreciatively, though.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    @Mark G.


    The Indiana author Booth Tarkington won a Literary Digest poll in the nineteen twenties as the most important American author but not many people today would pick him as the most important author of that era.
     
    Great writer. But ALICE ADAMS seems too precious for modern readers today, leaving just THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS as his one enduring novel.

    His reputation may have partly declined because the film version of Magnificent Ambersons flopped.
     
    It was a commercial flop, but it's also among the most critically-acclaimed movies in cinematic history. I wouldn't be surprised if many young people today only read the novel because they first saw Welles' film.

    As for the most important American author of the nineteen-twenties who is unappreciated today, Tarkington is an excellent choice, but I would give the nod to his fellow midwesterner Sinclair Lewis who published the novels MAIN STREET (1920), BABBITT (1922), ARROWSMITH (1925), and ELMER GANTRY (1927) during the decade and became the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930, but is largely forgotten today.

    , @Simon
    @Mark G.

    My favorite book growing up, read again and again, was one that combined all three of Booth Tarkington’s Penrod novels: Penrod, Penrod and Sam, and Penrod Jashber. They were like Tom Sawyer, only tamer, more modern, and much funnier.

    A few years ago, in The New Yorker, Robert Gottlieb dismissed these books — indeed, castigated them — because of their unflattering depiction of a couple of illiterate black kids. Never bothered me. If you have a smart, bookish son, say age 9 to 14, you could do worse than give him Penrod.

    , @Anonymous
    @Mark G.

    Tarkington's Seventeen was one of my favorite novels when I was in middle school. It was one of my mother's favorite when she was about that age, too. F. Scott Fitzgerald said it was the funniest book he ever read.

    And speaking of funny novels and story collections, are they being written anymore? They once were very popular. I'm thinking of books such as The Egg and I, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, See Here Private Hargrove, Now Hear This, Guys and Dolls, The Education of Hyman Kaplan and so forth.

  88. @YetAnotherAnon
    What's just as interesting is - who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later? I think this happens to painters a lot, but maybe historians too.

    Who reads Arnold Toynbee these days, and he only died in 1975?

    " From 1918 to 1950, Toynbee was considered a leading specialist on international affairs; from 1924 to 1954 he was the Director of Studies at Chatham House, in which position he also produced 34 volumes of the Survey of International Affairs, a "bible" for international specialists in Britain.

    With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s."
     
    Perhaps this has something to do with it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee#Negative_views_of_Jews_and_Judaism:_The_%22Toynbee_heresy%22_and_the_Jew_as_%22fossil%22

    Carlyle and Macaulay were favourites of Churchill, but who reads them now, excepting The Lays Of Ancient Rome?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasional_Discourse_on_the_Negro_Question

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lays_of_Ancient_Rome

    I often pass Carlyle's birthplace, but who visits?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle%27s_Birthplace

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Emil Nikola Richard, @John Pepple, @Pincher Martin, @Jonathan Mason, @Anonymous

    What’s just as interesting is – who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later?

    I think this is a quite common and unappreciated phenomenon. A couple years ago, I read THE GREAT PIANISTS: FROM MOZART TO THE PRESENT by Harold Schonberg, and it was surprising to see how many great pianists of their day, who saw their work played with great regularity alongside those of Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, etc., simply disappeared within a generation. I’m not a student of the history of the piano, but I’m reasonably well-informed and I had never heard of many of them.

  89. Do Booth Tarkington. Wildly popular in his time. Now obscure. He was too conservative and not “modern” enough for current academic taste, and he has characters using the N word all the time.

    Anyway, he’s terrific.

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
    • Replies: @Alden
    @Peterike

    Parents had a lot of Booth Tarkington books. I loved them when I was a kid. Penrod , Sam and their black playmates.

    , @Graveldips
    @Peterike

    It seems to me that a number of well-regarded American writers of the 30's and 40's, such as James Gould Cozzens and John P. Marquand, were pushed aside by New York critics in the 50's, in favor of Jewish writers. Norman Mailer, Leon Uris, Irwin Shaw, Herman Wouk, Leo Rosten, Irving Wallace, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, ad infinitum. It got to the point that John Updike was referred to as "the WASP novelist". Shouldn't most novelists have been WASPs in pre-1965 America?

    Replies: @Pierre de Craon, @Peterike

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Peterike

    Thanks.

  90. …the Romantic notion of an overlooked artist who dies in obscurity being discovered after his death, almost all the cases of that, such as Van Gogh, are people who died young.

    The ultimate instance being that of John Gillespie Magee, Jr, known for a single poem written not long before his death at 19. But, damn, it’s a good one, possibly still the best ever written about aviation in our language:

    Magee’s father was a prominent missionary known for documenting the Rape of Nanking. He had it published in an Episcopalian periodical where it caught the eye of Archibald MacLeish, Librarian of Congress– who included it in an exhibition.

    Note the Scottish link, “Gillespie” and “MacLeish”. Magee Jr was off defending his mother’s homeland, which was MacLeish’s father’s as well. (Evidently Donald Trump was Elizabeth II’s favorite president, at least on the personal level. Both had Scottish mothers. He knew how to charm her.)

    • Agree: mc23
    • Replies: @Franz
    @Reg Cæsar

    Wilfred Owen another casualty of the Great War. Died at 25 ONE WEEK before the war ended.

    Always remembered when war is on the horizon, even after a century:


    Anthem for Doomed Youth

    By Wilfred Owen

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

    What candles may be held to speed them all?
    Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
    Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
    The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
    Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blind
     

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    , @obwandiyag
    @Reg Cæsar

    They recite that poem at the funerals of all the fliers who have been dying along with the rest of the World War II generation.

    , @AnotherDad
    @Reg Cæsar

    If Magee had known what the Anglosphere's "leaders" were going to do with their "victory", he might well have said "screw this", gone to Yale, found a nice girl and just tried to find a soft job to survive the War and make babies.

    Our "elites" have sold out--disgraced--the sacrifices made by so many. Just vile, nasty stuff. Depressing.

  91. He died in complete obscurity. His name achieved some tiny degree of renown in the decades after his death, and finally began to achieve fame about 80 years after his birth which has lasted consistently into the 21st Century.

    That would put the rise of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ fame starting about 1924, two years after T. S. Eliot’s magnum opus The Waste Land, thematically centred on post wwi despair and loss of God and nation, and the poem that really put him on the map, guaranteeing fame and, most importantly, fortune!

    “It takes brains not to make money,” Colonel Cargill wrote in one of the homiletic memoranda he regularly prepared for circulation over General Peckem’s signature. “Any fool can make money these days and most of them do. But what about people with talent and brains? Name, for example, one poet who makes money.”

    “T. S. Eliot,” ex-P.F.C. Wintergreen said in his mail-sorting cubicle at Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters, and slammed down the telephone without identifying himself.

    As all good people know, God blesses those He likes best with wealth and everyone also knows to make money you follow the smart money. So, when T. S. Eliot expressed his admiration of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry citing him as a formative influence, the smart money likewise followed Hopkins, and everyone else piled on.

    That’s possibly why Hopkins’ poetry was thereafter assigned to Catholic school English Lit courses throughout the Commonwealth, and probably the USA as well, thereby cementing his fame and his publishers’ fortune, both joined at the hip.

    I’d say the same goes for art. Artist becomes famous -> cites formerly obscure artist as formative influence -> obscure artists’ works bought out by Jewish art-house -> money laundering begins in earnest.

    (*All that being said, Hopkins is a fine poet. I recommend his work, especially the self-loathing stuff.)

  92. @SFG
    @James Braxton

    Politics. Evangelicals don’t like the Darwin, lefties don’t like the economic implications, and alt-righters don’t like the racial implications in the modern day (the master race would be some hybrid of Jews, Indians, and the remnants of the old WASP upper class; or, potentially, the Chinese).

    Replies: @James Braxton

    Curious to see exactly when those factors converged to plunge Spencer off the cliff of noteriety.

  93. George Orwell (1903-1950) was certainly much better known after his death then during his lifetime, due to the enduring success of his last two works Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    Had he not died prematurely of tuberculosis at the age of 46 (which I believe he most likely picked up sleeping in homeless shelters, while studying poverty), and lived even to the age of 70, he would almost certainly have become a TV pundit, and there would be color TV footage of him on YouTube.

    As it stands, there is no existing voice or video recording of him, even though he broadcast extensively to India on radio during World war II, and there are only a dozen or so known photographs of him in existence, one of which is his journalist’s union membership card picture, which is probably his best known portrait.

    However, I wonder whether his status is even greater today because of his shadowy existence.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    @Jonathan Mason


    However, I wonder whether his status is even greater today because of his shadowy existence.
     
    This made me think of Ambrose Bierce.

    Somewhat well known as a short story writer mid 19th century, and journalist. Both were popular outlets for writers then.

    He served in the Civil War (between the States) and wrote the famous "Devil's Dictionary." Quite cynical.

    He mysteriously disappeared in Mexico in 1913. No one ever found a trace. Of course Mexico was wild and woolly then, with revolutions brewing. That ending led to a lot of speculation which is always useful for burnishing one's reputation.

    Like Amelia Earhart.
    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Jonathan Mason


    Had [Orwell] not died prematurely of tuberculosis at the age of 46... and lived even to the age of 70, he would almost certainly have become a TV pundit, and there would be color TV footage of him on YouTube.
     
    Orwell, like many of middle age, was clearly shifting to the right. The question is, to which right? There are so many to choose from. (I go by Thomas Sowell's offhand-but-perceptive definition of the right as anyone who stands up to the Left, for any reason.)

    In which piece did he praise the (rural) Englishman for keeping a gun on the wall?

    Replies: @Joe S.Walker

    , @Joe S.Walker
    @Jonathan Mason

    Orwell was an unusual case because he became famous when his health was failing. By the time 1984 was published he was in hospital and more or less bedridden. I suspect the scene where O'Brien lets Winston Smith see himself in the mirror after months of being tortured was inspired by Orwell catching sight of himself at a bad moment.

    On topic: George Gissing (1857-1903) was largely forgotten by the mid-20th century, and his revival owed a good deal to Orwell's writing . Even New Grub Street, which is now an established classic, was long out of print.

    , @Anonymous
    @Jonathan Mason

    Every age has its 'Orwell'. He was freakishly tall and this caused social problems for him in early life. However, the advantage of being very tall is that you don't care what other people think, and tend to speak your mind regardless of how much annoyance this causes to others.

    People forget now how hated Orwell became when he first began to criticize leftwing orthodoxies in the 1930s. It takes a very thick skin to endure that without losing your nerve. Most people just 'go along to get along'. They want quiet lives without drama.

    Replies: @Art Deco

  94. @GretaGonzo
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Does anyone slap their knees anymore?

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Ralph L, @Reg Cæsar

    Good question.

  95. anon[117] • Disclaimer says:

    O/T

    Your instinct was correct about the USS Bonhomme Richard. The white sailor (w/ supposed girlfriend issues) was found not guilty and it seems that the first suspect was a non-white sailor who left the navy and its jurisdiction. How the hell that works I have no idea.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11267683/Navy-recruit-not-guilty-arson-setting-USS-Bonhomme-Richard-fire.html

    “The other suspect mentioned by the defense was spotted by another sailor who was reportedly in the same vehicle storage area where the fire started.

    Testimony suggested that suspect was disgruntled and their handwriting was matched to graffiti on a port-a-potty wall which read, ‘I did it. I set the ship on fire,’ alongside a drawing of a ship on fire.”

    “During the defense’s questioning of Velasco, the sailor said he was ‘pressured’ and ‘scared’ by special agents investigating the fire.

    ‘Didn’t you tell investigators that you were not sure that the person you saw was white?’ the defense asked.

    ‘Yes, sir,’ Velasco responded.”

    “It was then that the second suspect, referred to as ‘Sailor E.M.,’ was discovered during the defense’s questioning of Special Agent Maya Kamat.

    ‘Sailor E.M.’ was seen ‘sprinting’ from the location the flame began and was subsequently interviewed by Kamat, she said.

    According to Kamat, ‘Sailor E.M.’ had searched the internet 15 minutes before the fire for ‘heat scales, fire white.’

    The sailor’s response when questioned about this search was that he was doing research for a novel about fire-breathing dragons. Kamat added she read portions of the planned novel, citing it started on a burnt warship named the ‘TB3R.’

    Further investigation into ‘Sailor E.M.’ ceased after he was discharged from the Navy, as they no longer had jurisdiction, and that ‘Sailor E.M.’ was ruled out as a suspect.”

  96. @Anonymous
    @Anon

    Top selling artists in US by digital downloads: Eminem, Drake, Rihanna, Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Top selling artists by album sales: Beatles, Garth Brooks, Elvis, Eagles and Led Zeppelin. I can only speculate but would guess that younger white people listen more to pop and hip-hop while older whites listen to classic rock. Garth Brooks is a strange outlier, but at one time he really was the biggest act in the world. I'm having a hard time think of a classical (or jazz) album or single that has been even kind of popular in the last 50 years. Maybe the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack, if you can call that classical?

    Replies: @guest007, @Anon

    The difference between whites and blacks is that blacks only listen to rap and hip hop performed by blacks. How many blacks are doing to a Taylor Swift or Dua Lipa concert. However, even whites to enjoy hip hop or rap also listen to other types of music. Another way to think of it is that blacks have narrow range of music interest versus whites have a wide range of music interest.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    @guest007

    Another way to think of it is that blacks have narrow range of music interest versus whites have a wide range of music interest.

    This statement is even true if you leave out the word „music“ entirely.

    Replies: @guest007

  97. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    To my mind this would sound better on a modern piano or on an organ. That ancient piano sounds more like a harpsichord.

    Clarinet virtuoso and big band leader Artie Shaw once tried a small jazz group with a harpsichord, but it was not very popular.

    • Replies: @Liza
    @Jonathan Mason

    There's all kinds of transcriptions that sound "better" to modern ears. We are not the same as we were in 1700. I never tire of this version of BWV 999. In this case, though, it's not just the music; it is the whole thing. There is so much going on in 1 min + 29 sec. Odd-ish characters in abundance.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g4FrGcRAIs

    , @Pierre de Craon
    @Jonathan Mason


    That ancient piano sounds more like a harpsichord.
     
    It's not an ancient piano; it's a modern two-manual harpsichord. Its builder was Joel Katzman, and it was completed in 1995 in Amsterdam, as one can read on the name board. The look and sound of the harpsichord suggest that it was modeled on a French original, perhaps an instrument built by Pascal Taskin.
  98. @Mark G.
    I live in Indiana. The Indiana author Booth Tarkington won a Literary Digest poll in the nineteen twenties as the most important American author but not many people today would pick him as the most important author of that era. His reputation may have partly declined because the film version of Magnificent Ambersons flopped. It was probably more, though, because he became more conservative as he became older and the mostly leftist literary critics decided they didn't like him for that reason. There have been few biographies or critical studies done of him the last seventy years, unlike fellow Indiana author Theodore Dreiser. The recent Indiana author Kurt Vonnegut has written of him appreciatively, though.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin, @Simon, @Anonymous

    The Indiana author Booth Tarkington won a Literary Digest poll in the nineteen twenties as the most important American author but not many people today would pick him as the most important author of that era.

    Great writer. But ALICE ADAMS seems too precious for modern readers today, leaving just THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS as his one enduring novel.

    His reputation may have partly declined because the film version of Magnificent Ambersons flopped.

    It was a commercial flop, but it’s also among the most critically-acclaimed movies in cinematic history. I wouldn’t be surprised if many young people today only read the novel because they first saw Welles’ film.

    As for the most important American author of the nineteen-twenties who is unappreciated today, Tarkington is an excellent choice, but I would give the nod to his fellow midwesterner Sinclair Lewis who published the novels MAIN STREET (1920), BABBITT (1922), ARROWSMITH (1925), and ELMER GANTRY (1927) during the decade and became the first American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1930, but is largely forgotten today.

    • Agree: Mark G.
  99. @YetAnotherAnon
    What's just as interesting is - who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later? I think this happens to painters a lot, but maybe historians too.

    Who reads Arnold Toynbee these days, and he only died in 1975?

    " From 1918 to 1950, Toynbee was considered a leading specialist on international affairs; from 1924 to 1954 he was the Director of Studies at Chatham House, in which position he also produced 34 volumes of the Survey of International Affairs, a "bible" for international specialists in Britain.

    With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s."
     
    Perhaps this has something to do with it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee#Negative_views_of_Jews_and_Judaism:_The_%22Toynbee_heresy%22_and_the_Jew_as_%22fossil%22

    Carlyle and Macaulay were favourites of Churchill, but who reads them now, excepting The Lays Of Ancient Rome?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasional_Discourse_on_the_Negro_Question

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lays_of_Ancient_Rome

    I often pass Carlyle's birthplace, but who visits?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle%27s_Birthplace

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Emil Nikola Richard, @John Pepple, @Pincher Martin, @Jonathan Mason, @Anonymous

    I read the whole of Toynbee’s history of civilizations series in 1980-1981. It seemed magisterial to me, but probably nobody has read it since that time.

  100. @Reg Cæsar

    ...the Romantic notion of an overlooked artist who dies in obscurity being discovered after his death, almost all the cases of that, such as Van Gogh, are people who died young.
     
    The ultimate instance being that of John Gillespie Magee, Jr, known for a single poem written not long before his death at 19. But, damn, it's a good one, possibly still the best ever written about aviation in our language:


    https://cvwm.images.cloud.veterans.gc.ca/2358941_9.png


    Magee's father was a prominent missionary known for documenting the Rape of Nanking. He had it published in an Episcopalian periodical where it caught the eye of Archibald MacLeish, Librarian of Congress-- who included it in an exhibition.

    Note the Scottish link, "Gillespie" and "MacLeish". Magee Jr was off defending his mother's homeland, which was MacLeish's father's as well. (Evidently Donald Trump was Elizabeth II's favorite president, at least on the personal level. Both had Scottish mothers. He knew how to charm her.)

    Replies: @Franz, @obwandiyag, @AnotherDad

    Wilfred Owen another casualty of the Great War. Died at 25 ONE WEEK before the war ended.

    Always remembered when war is on the horizon, even after a century:

    Anthem for Doomed Youth

    By Wilfred Owen

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

    What candles may be held to speed them all?
    Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
    Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
    The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
    Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blind

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    @Franz

    Chose Wilfred Owen for my HS poetry drill down, report--whatever you want to call it.

    The Great War--stupidity heaped up so high, catastrophe for the West that set the table for today. I wouldn't be here, but man a do-over on that on, please.

  101. I predict 100 years from now the only 20th-century singer that will be listened to is Frank Sinatra.

  102. If only Ed Wood, born 1924, had lived to see Ed Wood , released 1994.

  103. @R.G. Camara
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, but Velazquez remained unknown for literally centuries. Mostly because he served Spanish royalty and Britain managed to use its spy network to cut Spain off from European culture, promoted the Black Legend about it, and played it up as being some retread backwater instead of the largest colonial empire of its time.

    Nowadays, after he was discovered in the 19th Century, Velazquez is in the running for the greatest painter of all time. Las Meninas is widely regarded as an unsurpassed masterpiece, wowing Picasso and Dali, while Velazquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X is also regarded as near perfection.

    Replies: @martin_2, @S Johnson

    I just had a look. Christ, why did he only paint plain women?

  104. @Anonymous
    @Anon

    Top selling artists in US by digital downloads: Eminem, Drake, Rihanna, Kanye West and Taylor Swift. Top selling artists by album sales: Beatles, Garth Brooks, Elvis, Eagles and Led Zeppelin. I can only speculate but would guess that younger white people listen more to pop and hip-hop while older whites listen to classic rock. Garth Brooks is a strange outlier, but at one time he really was the biggest act in the world. I'm having a hard time think of a classical (or jazz) album or single that has been even kind of popular in the last 50 years. Maybe the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack, if you can call that classical?

    Replies: @guest007, @Anon

    The beatles etc have had 50 years or more to sell their shit and the majority of those years were in the virtually internet-free era, meaning everyone had to buy their shit.

  105. I look forward to the day when Ngram is supplemented by artificial intelligence so that we can add a dimensions to the mere mention of someone, like whether the mention was approving, neutral, or disapproving.

  106. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    Oh,I thought you meant Sebastian Bach.😉

  107. @GretaGonzo
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Does anyone slap their knees anymore?

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Ralph L, @Reg Cæsar

    Bavarians.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Ralph L

    Did someone say Bavarians?

    My latest obsession. Watch the whole thing. I guarantee it will not disappoint.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=ByHPs5BQAqQ&feature=share&si=EMSIkaIECMiOmarE6JChQQ

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  108. @Michael Meo
    I'd like to see the trend of mentions of the recently-deceased American poet Charles Bukowski (1920-1994): he didn't die young, and was rather celebrated for the last few years of his life, but has disappeared from (at least, my) view in the last 30 years.

    Replies: @Peter Akuleyev

    There are still bars named after him. I have been to „Bukowski‘s“ in both Boston and Vienna, both legacies of the 1990s I think. I doubt the 20 something hipsters working there have ever read him. Bukowski doesn’t fit a younger generation that wants to be healthy, „achieve“, and ignore white heterosexual men. I doubt he will ever really come back – he wouldn’t be a hero to a conservative backlash generation either.

  109. @guest007
    @Anonymous

    The difference between whites and blacks is that blacks only listen to rap and hip hop performed by blacks. How many blacks are doing to a Taylor Swift or Dua Lipa concert. However, even whites to enjoy hip hop or rap also listen to other types of music. Another way to think of it is that blacks have narrow range of music interest versus whites have a wide range of music interest.

    Replies: @Peter Akuleyev

    Another way to think of it is that blacks have narrow range of music interest versus whites have a wide range of music interest.

    This statement is even true if you leave out the word „music“ entirely.

    • Replies: @guest007
    @Peter Akuleyev

    If one wants to understand black culture, go back and watch the movie "Hoop Dreams." The broken black families will do anything to help their sons play basketball but would not take one step out of their way to help them read a book or learn anything in school.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoop_Dreams

  110. @Jonathan Mason
    George Orwell (1903-1950) was certainly much better known after his death then during his lifetime, due to the enduring success of his last two works Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    Had he not died prematurely of tuberculosis at the age of 46 (which I believe he most likely picked up sleeping in homeless shelters, while studying poverty), and lived even to the age of 70, he would almost certainly have become a TV pundit, and there would be color TV footage of him on YouTube.

    As it stands, there is no existing voice or video recording of him, even though he broadcast extensively to India on radio during World war II, and there are only a dozen or so known photographs of him in existence, one of which is his journalist's union membership card picture, which is probably his best known portrait.

    However, I wonder whether his status is even greater today because of his shadowy existence.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Reg Cæsar, @Joe S.Walker, @Anonymous

    However, I wonder whether his status is even greater today because of his shadowy existence.

    This made me think of Ambrose Bierce.

    Somewhat well known as a short story writer mid 19th century, and journalist. Both were popular outlets for writers then.

    He served in the Civil War (between the States) and wrote the famous “Devil’s Dictionary.” Quite cynical.

    He mysteriously disappeared in Mexico in 1913. No one ever found a trace. Of course Mexico was wild and woolly then, with revolutions brewing. That ending led to a lot of speculation which is always useful for burnishing one’s reputation.

    Like Amelia Earhart.

  111. Yes, had I the money to pay for it, it would be a very interesting research topic to go back over the last 100 years and do a quick Top Ten Famous “X” of the decade.

    That could be “fears”, “stars” “musicians” “writers” politicians”, etc.

    Or predictions.

    Other than in the most recent ones, I suspect nearly all of the published or surveyed answers at the time would be scarcely known today.

    And 100 years from now there would be a similar result. Someone totally obscure today might be heralded as our era’s greatest X (whatever).

    Of course assuming the media explosion continues, there is a lot more data to absorb now.

    For fun, get a National Enquirer from say, 1970 and see how many “stars” you can recognize (or possibly even remember?)

    The 2020’s will be considered the heyday of stupid fads and clueless predictions. As for me, I look forward to reading of Greta Thunberg’s frozen corpse being found in some shabby “migrant” camp where the shivering Swedish population gathers around fires, day and night, to keep warm. Probably early next year…

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @Muggles

    For fun, get a National Enquirer from say, 1970 and see how many “stars” you can recognize (or possibly even remember?)

    The great Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman wrote two books on the movie industry, Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983) and Which Lie Did I Tell? (2000). In the latter, he listed the top ten box office stars for each decade. Many or most of the stars were only on the list for a single decade. Clint Eastwood and John Wayne had the longest runs. Many of the stars are people no one even thinks about anymore, like George Segal.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @R.G. Camara

  112. @MagyarOrvos
    Semmelweis was only recognized 20 years after his death when germ theory was more or less in place, thanks to Lister.

    Semmelweis’ caustic style (driven by personal guilt) and lack of theoretical mechanism for infection left him without the ability to win physicians over to his side during his lifetime.

    It was only posthumously that people realized “oh shit, that cranky Hungarian was really onto something. We really should have been washing our hands with chlorine solution (per Semmelweis) before inserting them into laboring mothers.”

    Replies: @prosa123, @Anonymous, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    It was the assassination of President James Garfield in 1881 that firmly established Semmelweiss’s reputation. The doctors attending the president, especially the lead doctor, the stupendously incompetent Doctor Doctor Bliss – yes, his first name actually was Doctor, he usually went by his middle name Willard – insisted on probing the wound channel with their unwashed fingers, a practice which had largely but alas not completely fallen out of favor at the time. By so doing they caused a massive infection that led to an agonizing death three months later. If they had done nothing, or had followed Semmelweiss’s teachings, the president would have survived.

    When Charles Guiteau went on trial he argued that it was really the doctors who had caused Garfield’s death, not his bullet. It didn’t save him from a necktie party, however.

    • Thanks: Pincher Martin
  113. @Buzz Mohawk
    It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven't even heard of them.

    Replies: @prosa123, @kaganovitch, @Colin Wright, @Intelligent Dasein, @Mark Roulo

    Perhaps, if you really want to get people going and provide some food for thought, let’s ask who is mightily famous today but destined for obscurity in a generation.

    I would go with popular philosophers: Dawkins/Dennett, Peter Singer, John Rawls, Fukuyama. Nobody is going to bother with these guys in another 20 years.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    @Intelligent Dasein

    The death of philosophy is an ages old old prediction that is constantly profen futile.

    John Rawls made it alraedy well byond his death. Fukuyama is no philosopher. Peter Singer will be read twenty years from now, as will be Dawkins and Dennett. I'd add Jürgen Habermas and Hans Georg Gadamer.

    , @Art Deco
    @Intelligent Dasein

    Rawls wrote for students and academicians, not general audiences. Fukuyama is not a philosopher, though some study of philosophy was incorporated into his academic program.

    , @Gordo
    @Intelligent Dasein


    I would go with popular philosophers: Dawkins/Dennett, Peter Singer, John Rawls, Fukuyama. Nobody is going to bother with these guys in another 20 years.
     
    In 20 years time we might live , if we live, in a world where no-one gives a toss about any philosopher.
  114. @Buzz Mohawk
    It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven't even heard of them.

    Replies: @prosa123, @kaganovitch, @Colin Wright, @Intelligent Dasein, @Mark Roulo

    “It might be interesting to look for the converse: Artists, writers and other figures who were highly regarded sensations in their lifetimes who then faded into obscurity. Perhaps there are some and we haven’t even heard of them. ”

    Maybe John P. Marquand?

    Ben Jonson seems to have been well thought of back in the day, but no one cares about him now. Even the revival folks rarely put on Ben Jonson plays and finding them on video is VERY tough. This suggests a serious lack of interest.

    Boethius seems to be read MUCH less than, say, Dante. He was quite popular for a long time in the Middle Ages.

  115. @Anon
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    This type of music is popular among non-whites and ethnically dubious people, probably because they think it makes them look high-class or something.

    A quick look at the comment section and you'll see that most viewers are Koreans, Mestizos and NJ transit commuters. Actual white people can't stand this crap. Real white people listen to hip hop, house, and techno.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @mc23

    As for the Koreans, after spending 14 hours test craming with an IV in your arm I imagine listening to Bach is pure pleasure.
    I enjoy Bach even under less stressful circumstances.

  116. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    I just love how deeply autistic it is. Fascinating stuff

  117. Anonymous[150] • Disclaimer says:

    In high school, my most cultured teacher pointed out that while everybody likes the Romantic notion of an overlooked artist who dies in obscurity being discovered after his death, almost all the cases of that, such as Van Gogh, are people who died young.

    A terrible mischaracterization. Most romantic notions about tragic artists don’t revolve around individuals who were hardly noticed in their lifetimes and discovered only later.

    Rather, they are mostly about those who attained fame but were underappreciated or misunderstood, or appreciated or ‘understood’ for all the wrong reasons.

    Another romantic notion involves those who do great things but burn out because their mad obsession simply couldn’t tolerate compromise or moderation.

    “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long..”

    Van Gogh is an exception and also held in fascination by pessimists than romantic. Movies about him are almost always gloomy and morbid than romantic. But ones about Mozart and Beethoven are intense, as if they were rock stars of the age: famous, controversial, misunderstood.

  118. @Jonathan Mason
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    To my mind this would sound better on a modern piano or on an organ. That ancient piano sounds more like a harpsichord.

    Clarinet virtuoso and big band leader Artie Shaw once tried a small jazz group with a harpsichord, but it was not very popular.

    Replies: @Liza, @Pierre de Craon

    There’s all kinds of transcriptions that sound “better” to modern ears. We are not the same as we were in 1700. I never tire of this version of BWV 999. In this case, though, it’s not just the music; it is the whole thing. There is so much going on in 1 min + 29 sec. Odd-ish characters in abundance.

  119. @R.G. Camara
    @Steve Sailer

    Yes, but Velazquez remained unknown for literally centuries. Mostly because he served Spanish royalty and Britain managed to use its spy network to cut Spain off from European culture, promoted the Black Legend about it, and played it up as being some retread backwater instead of the largest colonial empire of its time.

    Nowadays, after he was discovered in the 19th Century, Velazquez is in the running for the greatest painter of all time. Las Meninas is widely regarded as an unsurpassed masterpiece, wowing Picasso and Dali, while Velazquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X is also regarded as near perfection.

    Replies: @martin_2, @S Johnson

    Spain still ruled much of the Netherlands and Italy throughout the 17th century and Velázquez visited Italy twice (where he painted the famous portrait of Pope Innocent X). If Velázquez was less known outside of Spain that was more down to the emergent phenomenon of the court painter and the Thirty Years’ War, in which England under the Stuarts wasn’t a participant. After the Napoleonic wars Wellington’s house in London became the owner of the most Velázquez paintings outside the Spanish royal collection.

  120. @Mark G.
    I live in Indiana. The Indiana author Booth Tarkington won a Literary Digest poll in the nineteen twenties as the most important American author but not many people today would pick him as the most important author of that era. His reputation may have partly declined because the film version of Magnificent Ambersons flopped. It was probably more, though, because he became more conservative as he became older and the mostly leftist literary critics decided they didn't like him for that reason. There have been few biographies or critical studies done of him the last seventy years, unlike fellow Indiana author Theodore Dreiser. The recent Indiana author Kurt Vonnegut has written of him appreciatively, though.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin, @Simon, @Anonymous

    My favorite book growing up, read again and again, was one that combined all three of Booth Tarkington’s Penrod novels: Penrod, Penrod and Sam, and Penrod Jashber. They were like Tom Sawyer, only tamer, more modern, and much funnier.

    A few years ago, in The New Yorker, Robert Gottlieb dismissed these books — indeed, castigated them — because of their unflattering depiction of a couple of illiterate black kids. Never bothered me. If you have a smart, bookish son, say age 9 to 14, you could do worse than give him Penrod.

  121. Pulp author Robert E. Howard was largely forgotten after his 1936 suicide and his work regarded as pulp ephemera except by a small circle of friends and aficionados until L. Sprague de Camp got his Conan stories back into print in the late 1960s and revised fragments and added ones of his own, with the work growing in popularity and leading to Marvel comics, the Arnold movie, and a certain measure of pop immortality. There was even a lovely, minor key biopic called The Whole Wide World with Vincent D’onofrio playing Howard and Renee Zellweger in an early role playing the young Texas schoolteacher he awkwardly courted.

    • Replies: @HFR
    @Earl Lemongrab

    I remember "The Whole Wide World" as the only movie I've ever seen (and I've seen thousands) in which H.L. Mencken was a topic of conversation.

    , @Anon
    @Earl Lemongrab

    H.P. Lovecraft was also destined for oblivion after his death, except August Derleth founded a little publishing house just for his sake. And now he's published in the Library of America.

    Replies: @Liger

  122. @R.G. Camara
    I suspect it has something to do with the consistent trend that entertainment makers tend to get infatuated with time periods 100, 50, and 20-30 years before the current year.

    100 because its a magic number in people's minds, e.g. right now, we're seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz, and probably will see a lot more before the decade's out.

    50 because its when many of the people who were the movers and shakers of 50 years ago are dying off in droves and people are looking back at grandpa's youth, e.g. in the 1990s/early 2000s there was an uptick in the number of studio movies about WW2 and the Holocaust.

    20-30 because that's when current filmmakers were young and they have nostalgia for their youth, e.g. Michael J. Fox made his career being in Back to the Future (about an 80's kid sent back to his parents' youth of the 50s) and Family Ties (about 60's hippies raising a Reaganite conservative son).

    This seems to fit into the 50-year rule.

    Steve posits a 70-80 year rule: from the time of an artist's birth, roughly 70-80 years later they get a new burst of fame. Well, since most artists have their best years at 20-40, then 50 years later that generation is dying off/going senile.

    So there's a tendency to look back and see what was great in grandpa's heyday. And lookie here---an artist we've ignored/forgotten about, but was really a genius! So it's really the 50-year rule in disguise.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Harry Baldwin, @Rob

    100 because its a magic number in people’s minds, e.g. right now, we’re seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz,

    When I was a kid in the early 1960s, we used to watch “The Roaring 20’s,” a show with many scenes taking place in a speakeasy, where Dorothy Provide sang the hits of that time. On Amazon Music, you can stream an album titled “The Very Best of the 1920s.” There’s a lot of great music there, very upbeat, a lot of it very funny. I enjoy listening to it.

  123. @Jonathan Mason
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    To my mind this would sound better on a modern piano or on an organ. That ancient piano sounds more like a harpsichord.

    Clarinet virtuoso and big band leader Artie Shaw once tried a small jazz group with a harpsichord, but it was not very popular.

    Replies: @Liza, @Pierre de Craon

    That ancient piano sounds more like a harpsichord.

    It’s not an ancient piano; it’s a modern two-manual harpsichord. Its builder was Joel Katzman, and it was completed in 1995 in Amsterdam, as one can read on the name board. The look and sound of the harpsichord suggest that it was modeled on a French original, perhaps an instrument built by Pascal Taskin.

  124. @prime noticer
    dying young is very helpful to notable musicians. this prevents them from getting into their mid 30s and entering their natural decline. then they are remembered in their prime, and they "never put out a bad album." Kurt Cobain's extremely fortunate early death saved Nirvana's reputation completely. otherwise they'd be Guns N Roses now, or less. a dysfunctional band that doesn't get along, barely tours, hasn't put out a single thing of note for 25 years, with an unlikeable main guy. Kurt Cobain would probably literally be a woman today, and an obvious, obnoxious leftist. "They had that one great album and that was it" would be their reputation today, if they had continued along their natural trajectory.

    although it's common to die early in rock and rock, it's still the case that most of them don't die. they usually get to 35, and enter their natural decline, where they then spend the next 30 years writing music that sucks and steadily becoming irrelevant. touring eternally on the hits they wrote in their 20s is how 99% of musicians do it.

    "I liked their earlier stuff". of course. music is exactly like sports, except sports leagues have the function of forcing 38 year old athletes to completely stop playing, now, and never come back. they don't get to do 30 years of touring where they hit that monster home run shot over and over and over at 300 ballparks, recreating their most famous home run from when they were 27.

    in mathematics, the Fields medal is predicated on this exact same dynamic, which, like Spearman's g, is a general principle of human performance. people peak early. mid to later life geniuses are very rare.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein, @Pincher Martin, @Feryl, @Anonymous

    People peak early. Mid to later life geniuses are very rare.

    Only in certain fields do people peak early. Aristotle explained this phenomenon in the Nicomachean Ethics when discussing the various truth-attaining functions (i.e. art or techne, science, prudence, wisdom, and nous).

    People peak early in precisely those fields in which child prodigies are possible, notably music and mathematics. Music belongs to techne and requires little more than dexterity, a sensitive ear, and a rich imagination; consequently, there is nothing impeding a child from quickly absorbing the full breadth of the field. Likewise, mathematics, belonging to scientia (literally “that which is known through demonstration”) requires no specially acquired skill nor depth of experience but only a bright mind with strong powers of concentration and memory—qualities which youth often renders in abundance and which age usually dulls. Thus, music and math prodigies appear all the time.

    But prudence, or the ability to know by what means and ends the good life can be secured in general, is not the province of children. In fact, it is just the lack of this quality that makes children so childlike. Even the prodigies (especially the prodigies) need somebody to care for them, provide for them, and protect them. This kind of ability is only acquired by long experience.

    Therefore, there are monsters of music, and there are monsters of math, but there are no monsters of prudence. The child statesmen, the child diplomat, and the child philosopher simply do not occur.

    Philosophy is particularly the field in which mastery comes quite late, past the midpoint of life. Schopenhauer likened it to the late afternoon of the day, when the sun, though already descending, produces the most heat.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
  125. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    IMO, BWV 565 rules the world:

    JMO. YMMV.

    • Agree: Buzz Mohawk
    • Replies: @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia
    @turtle

    "Compared to Bach, we all suck."

    --Sting, interview with Rick Beato, Nov 18, 2021, on YouTube

  126. Anon[130] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    Inside Higher Ed has found the MENA version of “White people always want to touch my nappy hair”:

    I still remember the first academic orientation I attended after being hired as an assistant professor, when after I introduced myself, some colleagues asked me for a hummus recipe—as if somehow being Arab automatically meant that I was a great cook or that I had access to the secret ingredient Arabs use in their food.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2022/09/30/pervasive-ignorance-about-arab-american-community-opinion

    This is an opinion piece arguing for a MENA checkbox on the next census, because currently these poor people are “white people without any white privilege.”

  127. @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I reread T.B. Macaulay's "History of England" a few months ago. It's awesome.

    Like you implied, Tom Cruise's fine 2013 sci-fi movie "Oblivion" by the same guy who directed his "Top Gun" sequel is constructed around TBM's greatest lines:

    “Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the gate:
    ‘To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his Gods,"

    Mencius Moldbug reads Carlyle.

    Replies: @AKAHorace, @Buzz Mohawk, @Reg Cæsar, @Dieter Kief

    Mencius Moldbug reads Carlyle.

    Does he believe Carlyle wrote Carlyle?

    Or somebody else? The Earldom of Oxford went extinct in 1703, long before Carlyle’s birth, let alone Moldbug’s.

    But tradition carries on– the last Earl’s daughter married the bastard son of Charles II, who became Earl of Burford, a title which survives to Charles III’s day. Today’s Earl of Burford believes his ancestor was the son of Elizabeth I and knocked up his own mother , siring his own half-brother. Does Mencius go this far, too?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Beauclerk_(author)#Books

    By the way, Carlyle was born, and is buried, in Ecclefechan, which is fun to say.

    Biographers of Carlyle reckon
    he learned all in Ecclefechan.
    Thus, when end of his days beckoned,
    hesitates he not a second:
    “Where to lay my ancient neck in?
    Here, in feckin’ Ecclefechan!”

    In other Caledonian news:

    Dad headbutts teacher after being called to school to pick up misbehaving child

    Cause of death and vaccination status not given in either story:

    Teenage soldier who walked by Queen’s coffin at funeral found dead in army barracks

    Heartbroken girlfriend of Ayrshire dad, 23, who died in his sleep says she never imagined life without him

  128. @Ralph L
    When was Emily Dickinson discovered? When did Fitzgerald get ensconced into the curriculum?
    My hero Trollope had a renaissance last century, but didn't break into movies like Austen did, so he'll probably fade again as he did at the end of his long life.

    The most obscure females in history are now being puffed up by the distaff humanities for some reason. I'm sure they like untrodden material, but will any of it take?

    Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale deflated the whole idea of the Grand Old Man of English Letters before Maugham was old enough to be one. In addition, his acidic sendup of then-current Horace Walpole ruined Walpole's reputation.

    Replies: @anon, @Anon, @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia, @PiltdownMan, @Alden, @Graveldips

    Back in the day, Trollope was required reading in Victorian lit courses. Since English departments have gone full woke, he may be out of favor.

    Back in the 70s, PBS did a series on Trollope’s Palliser novels, which was rather disdained by Palliser and Trollope fans, but Susan Hampshire as Glendora Palliser was, IIRC, absolutely fabulous as Glendora Palliser.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  129. @Earl Lemongrab
    Pulp author Robert E. Howard was largely forgotten after his 1936 suicide and his work regarded as pulp ephemera except by a small circle of friends and aficionados until L. Sprague de Camp got his Conan stories back into print in the late 1960s and revised fragments and added ones of his own, with the work growing in popularity and leading to Marvel comics, the Arnold movie, and a certain measure of pop immortality. There was even a lovely, minor key biopic called The Whole Wide World with Vincent D'onofrio playing Howard and Renee Zellweger in an early role playing the young Texas schoolteacher he awkwardly courted.

    Replies: @HFR, @Anon

    I remember “The Whole Wide World” as the only movie I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen thousands) in which H.L. Mencken was a topic of conversation.

  130. @Ralph L
    When was Emily Dickinson discovered? When did Fitzgerald get ensconced into the curriculum?
    My hero Trollope had a renaissance last century, but didn't break into movies like Austen did, so he'll probably fade again as he did at the end of his long life.

    The most obscure females in history are now being puffed up by the distaff humanities for some reason. I'm sure they like untrodden material, but will any of it take?

    Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale deflated the whole idea of the Grand Old Man of English Letters before Maugham was old enough to be one. In addition, his acidic sendup of then-current Horace Walpole ruined Walpole's reputation.

    Replies: @anon, @Anon, @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia, @PiltdownMan, @Alden, @Graveldips

    Somerset Maugham was still a pretty big name in the 1960s, when my oldest brother read several of his books, as did my older cousins. The books were still on the bookshelf and I read quite a few, a decade later, when I was in high school—Of Human Bondage, The Moon and Sixpence (modeled on the life of Paul Gauguin,) Cake and Ale, The Razor’s Edge and a couple of other titles. All very good reads, and Of Human Bondage was superb, as I recall.

    One of the downsides of getting older, I’m finding is that one remembers the plots books one read in one’s early years quite poorly, and sometimes not at all.

    And speaking of Paul Gauguin, he’s another painter who had his 70 year renaissance, but is now beginning to fade from mention. For that matter, so are the Impressionists. I think it has been about three decades since the peaked, in the public mind. College kid’s rooms used to have poster of impressionist paintings, and the retrospective shows at the great museums were major cultural events. Not any longer.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @PiltdownMan

    In the 60s and 70s there was a whole school of decorating around Gauguin colors and themes lots of plants royal blue and apricot. I had a couch slip cover made in an abstract jade green bright blue white and apricot print . With bright blue chairs. And a seashell collection on the shelves above the couch. Not little ones, big eye catching ones. I still have them. Looked online recently the Neptune trumpets now cost about $2,000.

    I’ve read the Somerset Maugham books. Moon and Sixpence has interior covers of Gauguin paintings. The illustrations are black and white for his European life. Then his bright paintings for his Tahiti life.

    , @Peterike
    @PiltdownMan

    “And speaking of Paul Gauguin, he’s another painter who had his 70 year renaissance, but is now beginning to fade from mention.”

    Good. Because he stinks.

  131. @turtle
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    IMO, BWV 565 rules the world:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEHGxpRoZQM

    JMO. YMMV.

    Replies: @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    “Compared to Bach, we all suck.”

    –Sting, interview with Rick Beato, Nov 18, 2021, on YouTube

  132. @prime noticer
    dying young is very helpful to notable musicians. this prevents them from getting into their mid 30s and entering their natural decline. then they are remembered in their prime, and they "never put out a bad album." Kurt Cobain's extremely fortunate early death saved Nirvana's reputation completely. otherwise they'd be Guns N Roses now, or less. a dysfunctional band that doesn't get along, barely tours, hasn't put out a single thing of note for 25 years, with an unlikeable main guy. Kurt Cobain would probably literally be a woman today, and an obvious, obnoxious leftist. "They had that one great album and that was it" would be their reputation today, if they had continued along their natural trajectory.

    although it's common to die early in rock and rock, it's still the case that most of them don't die. they usually get to 35, and enter their natural decline, where they then spend the next 30 years writing music that sucks and steadily becoming irrelevant. touring eternally on the hits they wrote in their 20s is how 99% of musicians do it.

    "I liked their earlier stuff". of course. music is exactly like sports, except sports leagues have the function of forcing 38 year old athletes to completely stop playing, now, and never come back. they don't get to do 30 years of touring where they hit that monster home run shot over and over and over at 300 ballparks, recreating their most famous home run from when they were 27.

    in mathematics, the Fields medal is predicated on this exact same dynamic, which, like Spearman's g, is a general principle of human performance. people peak early. mid to later life geniuses are very rare.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein, @Pincher Martin, @Feryl, @Anonymous

    mid to later life geniuses are very rare.

    Rare in some fields perhaps, especially math and physical science, but not uncommon in others. Great novelists often mature late (unlike most great poets). Great composers often do their best work late in life. Great painters can sometimes do great work in their fifties and beyond (Leonardo, Goya, Picasso, etc.). Great physicians and biologists aren’t as age-restricted in their discoveries as their counterparts in the hard sciences.

    • Agree: PiltdownMan
  133. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Buzz Mohawk


    My reply is, “So what?”
     
    ’Twas but a gratuitous Metropolitan reference.

    I hope he got the girl, because that’s all that really matters.
     
    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71MmaNr8w3L._SL1500_.jpg

    Assignment: buy the Blu-ray and watch it with the missus in December (it’s a Christmas season movie).

    https://www.amazon.com/Metropolitan-Criterion-Collection-Blu-ray-Eigeman/dp/B007USWCO2/

    https://www.amazon.com/Whit-Stillman-Trilogy-Metropolitan-Collection/dp/B01AP0ASCO/

    Replies: @obwandiyag, @PiltdownMan

    That dumbass director is the Official Champion of the Trust Fund Degenerates. He likes Studio 54. Gaaaaaaa

  134. @Reg Cæsar

    ...the Romantic notion of an overlooked artist who dies in obscurity being discovered after his death, almost all the cases of that, such as Van Gogh, are people who died young.
     
    The ultimate instance being that of John Gillespie Magee, Jr, known for a single poem written not long before his death at 19. But, damn, it's a good one, possibly still the best ever written about aviation in our language:


    https://cvwm.images.cloud.veterans.gc.ca/2358941_9.png


    Magee's father was a prominent missionary known for documenting the Rape of Nanking. He had it published in an Episcopalian periodical where it caught the eye of Archibald MacLeish, Librarian of Congress-- who included it in an exhibition.

    Note the Scottish link, "Gillespie" and "MacLeish". Magee Jr was off defending his mother's homeland, which was MacLeish's father's as well. (Evidently Donald Trump was Elizabeth II's favorite president, at least on the personal level. Both had Scottish mothers. He knew how to charm her.)

    Replies: @Franz, @obwandiyag, @AnotherDad

    They recite that poem at the funerals of all the fliers who have been dying along with the rest of the World War II generation.

  135. @Rob McX
    Sometimes the myth of the starving artist/writer is a posthumous confection, but one that can also be nurtured by the subject in his lifetime.

    From an article in Counter-Currents about Kafka:

    Hawes devotes most of his book to deconstructing the K-myth piece by piece. First off, that guff about poor Kafka, working long hours at his stifling office job, living with his parents, snatching a few hours for writing his masterpieces in the late nights — the original Milennial Slacker. “Actually, Kafka was . . . an ’80s Yuppie; more Gordon Gekko than Quentin Tarantino. Far from being alone and poor, he lived with his family in upper-middle-class comfort . . .”

    Actually, even that understates the case; Kafka’s father (who, as we’ll see, takes a lot of heat from the myth-makers) was a millionaire, owning not merely an apartment to share with Franz but an apartment building (more Proust than Gregor Samsa) as well as an admittedly not well-performing asbestos factory.

    The rent-free accommodations are especially lucrative, since Kafka, holding a doctorate in Law, has scored a plum job at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute, taking home the modern equivalent of $90,000 a year for a six-hour day, most of it spent discussing Heine with his boss.
     

    One person very celebrated in his lifetime but now almost entirely forgotten was the English historian Henry Thomas Buckle. His goal was to establish an objective, all-encompassing "science of histoy", to be fleshed out over a multiple-volume work that would take a lifetime to write. But he died aged 40 in 1862 with only the first volume completed, A History of Civilization in England

    According the the historian Michael Kenyon, this book was the biggest publishing event of the 1850s after The Origin of Species. Chekhov mentions it in one of his plays, as does the narrator in Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground.

    Replies: @Joe S.Walker

    Kafka had tuberculosis, which must have detracted from his enjoyment of bourgeois life. I remember reading that he spent time in a no doubt expensive TB sanitorium where the patients walked around the gardens with everyone carrying a “sputum jar.” (I’ve had TB myself, and take a perhaps morbid interest in famous people who died from it.)

    More seriously, his obscurity in his lifetime came from other circumstances than material ones. Most of his famous work was unfinished and unpublished (if he’d had a more obedient literary executor, it would have disappeared without trace), and when it was published, it took a couple of decades to become known in translation.

    • Thanks: Rob McX
  136. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Buzz Mohawk


    My reply is, “So what?”
     
    ’Twas but a gratuitous Metropolitan reference.

    I hope he got the girl, because that’s all that really matters.
     
    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71MmaNr8w3L._SL1500_.jpg

    Assignment: buy the Blu-ray and watch it with the missus in December (it’s a Christmas season movie).

    https://www.amazon.com/Metropolitan-Criterion-Collection-Blu-ray-Eigeman/dp/B007USWCO2/

    https://www.amazon.com/Whit-Stillman-Trilogy-Metropolitan-Collection/dp/B01AP0ASCO/

    Replies: @obwandiyag, @PiltdownMan

    It’s impossible to picture an intellectually pretentious present day preppie trust fund couple having that conversation. They don’t read that stuff in high school or college anymore.

  137. Gerard Manley Hopkins. A popular poet at Hillsdale College according to my daughter.

  138. @Franz
    @Reg Cæsar

    Wilfred Owen another casualty of the Great War. Died at 25 ONE WEEK before the war ended.

    Always remembered when war is on the horizon, even after a century:


    Anthem for Doomed Youth

    By Wilfred Owen

    What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
    Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
    The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

    What candles may be held to speed them all?
    Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
    Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
    The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
    Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blind
     

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    Chose Wilfred Owen for my HS poetry drill down, report–whatever you want to call it.

    The Great War–stupidity heaped up so high, catastrophe for the West that set the table for today. I wouldn’t be here, but man a do-over on that on, please.

    • Agree: Captain Tripps
  139. @Ralph L
    @GretaGonzo

    Bavarians.

    Replies: @Kylie

    Did someone say Bavarians?

    My latest obsession. Watch the whole thing. I guarantee it will not disappoint.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=ByHPs5BQAqQ&feature=share&si=EMSIkaIECMiOmarE6JChQQ

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Kylie

    https://youtu.be/8s22PZRXAIY

  140. @Reg Cæsar

    ...the Romantic notion of an overlooked artist who dies in obscurity being discovered after his death, almost all the cases of that, such as Van Gogh, are people who died young.
     
    The ultimate instance being that of John Gillespie Magee, Jr, known for a single poem written not long before his death at 19. But, damn, it's a good one, possibly still the best ever written about aviation in our language:


    https://cvwm.images.cloud.veterans.gc.ca/2358941_9.png


    Magee's father was a prominent missionary known for documenting the Rape of Nanking. He had it published in an Episcopalian periodical where it caught the eye of Archibald MacLeish, Librarian of Congress-- who included it in an exhibition.

    Note the Scottish link, "Gillespie" and "MacLeish". Magee Jr was off defending his mother's homeland, which was MacLeish's father's as well. (Evidently Donald Trump was Elizabeth II's favorite president, at least on the personal level. Both had Scottish mothers. He knew how to charm her.)

    Replies: @Franz, @obwandiyag, @AnotherDad

    If Magee had known what the Anglosphere’s “leaders” were going to do with their “victory”, he might well have said “screw this”, gone to Yale, found a nice girl and just tried to find a soft job to survive the War and make babies.

    Our “elites” have sold out–disgraced–the sacrifices made by so many. Just vile, nasty stuff. Depressing.

    • Agree: fish
  141. @R.G. Camara
    I suspect it has something to do with the consistent trend that entertainment makers tend to get infatuated with time periods 100, 50, and 20-30 years before the current year.

    100 because its a magic number in people's minds, e.g. right now, we're seeing an uptick in entertainment about flappers, Prohibition, and jazz, and probably will see a lot more before the decade's out.

    50 because its when many of the people who were the movers and shakers of 50 years ago are dying off in droves and people are looking back at grandpa's youth, e.g. in the 1990s/early 2000s there was an uptick in the number of studio movies about WW2 and the Holocaust.

    20-30 because that's when current filmmakers were young and they have nostalgia for their youth, e.g. Michael J. Fox made his career being in Back to the Future (about an 80's kid sent back to his parents' youth of the 50s) and Family Ties (about 60's hippies raising a Reaganite conservative son).

    This seems to fit into the 50-year rule.

    Steve posits a 70-80 year rule: from the time of an artist's birth, roughly 70-80 years later they get a new burst of fame. Well, since most artists have their best years at 20-40, then 50 years later that generation is dying off/going senile.

    So there's a tendency to look back and see what was great in grandpa's heyday. And lookie here---an artist we've ignored/forgotten about, but was really a genius! So it's really the 50-year rule in disguise.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @Harry Baldwin, @Rob

    These cycles are somewhat reminiscent of Agnostic at akinokure.blogspot.com cycle theory. I forget his numbers, but I think he says there’s a 15 year slutwalker to victim of the male gaze to restless warmup for girls being really outgoing.

    Do x year nostalgia cycles play out in other realms. Take a 50 year cycle in polítics. Fifty years ago was 1972. Early seventies were a crazy time. Draft bombings were common. The red osterjuden were seriously in revolutionary mode fifty years ago. Then, the vanguard of the movements were somewhat excluded from controlling many institutions. Perhaps by WASP anti-give-their-country-awayism, but perhaps by Americans of German Jewish descent were embarrassed by their lunatic cousins politics, so they kept the revolutionary sort out of power.

    But today, “Soros” district attorneys have largely legalized crime in their cities, no “revolution” needed. Chesa Boudin’s fam are revolutionary criminals, no? I don’t care about Boudin’s early life, but he fits the pattern of red diaper baby who has marched through the institutions.

    I wonder about the sciences, do poplar concepts from x years ago reliably influence today’s scientists? Like, phage therapy had a brief renaissance a few years ago. How long ago was the early work on pharmaceutical phages?

    Fifty years ago the academy tried AA of ghetto blacks. They learned their lesson and now admit athletes (who seldom are actually students) GBTQ, and biracial kids of responsible moms. And girls, of course.

    Are the integrationist ideas of 50 years ago going to hit us even harder soon? I did notice there were no widespread calls to spread the ghetto population out among the deplorables. Not that there’re no plans for that, but the are on the hush-hush.

  142. @Muggles
    Yes, had I the money to pay for it, it would be a very interesting research topic to go back over the last 100 years and do a quick Top Ten Famous "X" of the decade.

    That could be "fears", "stars" "musicians" "writers" politicians", etc.

    Or predictions.

    Other than in the most recent ones, I suspect nearly all of the published or surveyed answers at the time would be scarcely known today.

    And 100 years from now there would be a similar result. Someone totally obscure today might be heralded as our era's greatest X (whatever).

    Of course assuming the media explosion continues, there is a lot more data to absorb now.

    For fun, get a National Enquirer from say, 1970 and see how many "stars" you can recognize (or possibly even remember?)

    The 2020's will be considered the heyday of stupid fads and clueless predictions. As for me, I look forward to reading of Greta Thunberg's frozen corpse being found in some shabby "migrant" camp where the shivering Swedish population gathers around fires, day and night, to keep warm. Probably early next year...

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    For fun, get a National Enquirer from say, 1970 and see how many “stars” you can recognize (or possibly even remember?)

    The great Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman wrote two books on the movie industry, Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983) and Which Lie Did I Tell? (2000). In the latter, he listed the top ten box office stars for each decade. Many or most of the stars were only on the list for a single decade. Clint Eastwood and John Wayne had the longest runs. Many of the stars are people no one even thinks about anymore, like George Segal.

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Harry Baldwin

    In 1960s Hollywood put together three epic big budget large ensemble movies: The Longest Day (1962); How the West Was Won (1962), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).

    All three were about vastly different subjects: The Longest Day was a WW2 film about the D-Day invasion; How the West Was Won was a multi-generational film about the conquest of the American West, and The Greatest Story Ever Told was a Biblical Jesus epic.

    One of the selling points of the films was how many Hollywood stars/names of the time were in the films. Practically every star of the day was present in at least one of those films, and some in multiple (e.g. Henry Fonda). In fact, the movies were so bloated with talent, many of the stars had little more than cameos.

    Critics liked the films overall, but at the time criticized the cameos as distracting. Most famously, in The Greatest Story Every Told, John Wayne appears as the Roman soldier who says "Truly this man was the Son of God." and critics thought it took you right out of the picture --because it seemed to be stunt casting of John Wayne (still a major star of the day), not an attempt at artistry or entertainment. Imagine Denzel Washington or Keeanu Reeves repeating the line today and you'd get the same jarring effect.

    Now, however, if a later-born person goes back and watch the movies now, you get a different impression. Sure, I recognize John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart and Sean Connery, but most of the cast is unknown these days. Thus, I can judge the films a bit more on the artistic/entertainment scale rather than be distracted by all the famous faces as contemporary critics were. Spoiler alert: the two I've seen hold up; e.g. The Greatest Story Ever Told is an excellent Jesus movie, and an excellent movie overall (as you'd expect from a movie directed by the same guy who directed Shane).

    What is more, it makes it a little fun to try to suss out which characters were played by then-famous folks who have faded into obscurity. The films are very close to time capsules of the pop culture of their day.

    , @R.G. Camara
    @Harry Baldwin


    Many of the stars are people no one even thinks about anymore, like George Segal.
     
    When The Onion was funny and not merely corporate Deep State propaganda, it released a book of fake headlines from previous decades. For the 1970s one, one of the ads was for teenyboppers : "Win a dream date with Eliot Gould!"

    I always laughed when I saw it. Yes, for some strange reason, wussy plain-faced whiny-voiced Eliot Gould was a major movie star in the 1970s, and no one knows why.

    Replies: @Alden, @The Germ Theory of Disease

  143. @Jonathan Mason
    George Orwell (1903-1950) was certainly much better known after his death then during his lifetime, due to the enduring success of his last two works Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    Had he not died prematurely of tuberculosis at the age of 46 (which I believe he most likely picked up sleeping in homeless shelters, while studying poverty), and lived even to the age of 70, he would almost certainly have become a TV pundit, and there would be color TV footage of him on YouTube.

    As it stands, there is no existing voice or video recording of him, even though he broadcast extensively to India on radio during World war II, and there are only a dozen or so known photographs of him in existence, one of which is his journalist's union membership card picture, which is probably his best known portrait.

    However, I wonder whether his status is even greater today because of his shadowy existence.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Reg Cæsar, @Joe S.Walker, @Anonymous

    Had [Orwell] not died prematurely of tuberculosis at the age of 46… and lived even to the age of 70, he would almost certainly have become a TV pundit, and there would be color TV footage of him on YouTube.

    Orwell, like many of middle age, was clearly shifting to the right. The question is, to which right? There are so many to choose from. (I go by Thomas Sowell’s offhand-but-perceptive definition of the right as anyone who stands up to the Left, for any reason.)

    In which piece did he praise the (rural) Englishman for keeping a gun on the wall?

    • Replies: @Joe S.Walker
    @Reg Cæsar


    In which piece did he praise the (rural) Englishman for keeping a gun on the wall?
     
    None. What he actually said, in a newspaper article during the war, was that the totalitarian states could do a lot of things, but one thing they could never do was give the average urban working man or farm labourer a rifle and tell him to keep it at home. He was himself a member of the Home Guard.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  144. @Ralph L
    When was Emily Dickinson discovered? When did Fitzgerald get ensconced into the curriculum?
    My hero Trollope had a renaissance last century, but didn't break into movies like Austen did, so he'll probably fade again as he did at the end of his long life.

    The most obscure females in history are now being puffed up by the distaff humanities for some reason. I'm sure they like untrodden material, but will any of it take?

    Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale deflated the whole idea of the Grand Old Man of English Letters before Maugham was old enough to be one. In addition, his acidic sendup of then-current Horace Walpole ruined Walpole's reputation.

    Replies: @anon, @Anon, @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia, @PiltdownMan, @Alden, @Graveldips

    Trollope’s The Way We Live Now is on YouTube.
    So is Barchester

  145. You should chart when the usage of the term “Ukrainian Mafia” went out of fashion.

  146. @astrolabe
    Steve sometimes mentions families in which talent seems to passed down through the generations, for example in sports. I wonder if German aristocrats were knowingly or unknowingly breeding musicians and composers with old Bach the prodigy amongst prodigies. His family tree is packed with composers. Maybe other human talents were bred for in the same way, but the lines would now be hopelessly diluted.

    Replies: @Alden

    That’s true about the German musicians. First, unlike the Calvinists, Methodists low church Anglicans the Lutherans kept the catholic tradition of church music. Along with the choirs musicians and training centers. Those training centers produced generations of musicians and singers.

    Plus all the small kingdoms, principalities duchy and baronies all had the formal courts with various events that needed music. The German states and all the separate Italian states produced generations of trained singers and musicians. Plus plenty of patrons who supported the artists. Even the smallest barons and small towns had musicians teaching the local kids.

    Vivaldi was the music master at a girls orphanage in Venice. Many of the girls became professional musicians.

  147. @GretaGonzo
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Does anyone slap their knees anymore?

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Ralph L, @Reg Cæsar

    Does anyone slap their knees anymore?

    Has anybody done hambone since Soupy Sales introduced it to whites outside the South? The top three hits on YouTube all happen to be named Steve:

  148. @Kylie
    @Ralph L

    Did someone say Bavarians?

    My latest obsession. Watch the whole thing. I guarantee it will not disappoint.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=ByHPs5BQAqQ&feature=share&si=EMSIkaIECMiOmarE6JChQQ

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    • LOL: Kylie
  149. @PiltdownMan
    @Ralph L

    Somerset Maugham was still a pretty big name in the 1960s, when my oldest brother read several of his books, as did my older cousins. The books were still on the bookshelf and I read quite a few, a decade later, when I was in high school—Of Human Bondage, The Moon and Sixpence (modeled on the life of Paul Gauguin,) Cake and Ale, The Razor's Edge and a couple of other titles. All very good reads, and Of Human Bondage was superb, as I recall.

    One of the downsides of getting older, I'm finding is that one remembers the plots books one read in one's early years quite poorly, and sometimes not at all.

    And speaking of Paul Gauguin, he's another painter who had his 70 year renaissance, but is now beginning to fade from mention. For that matter, so are the Impressionists. I think it has been about three decades since the peaked, in the public mind. College kid's rooms used to have poster of impressionist paintings, and the retrospective shows at the great museums were major cultural events. Not any longer.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Paul_Gauguin_-_D%27ou_venons-nous.jpg

    Replies: @Alden, @Peterike

    In the 60s and 70s there was a whole school of decorating around Gauguin colors and themes lots of plants royal blue and apricot. I had a couch slip cover made in an abstract jade green bright blue white and apricot print . With bright blue chairs. And a seashell collection on the shelves above the couch. Not little ones, big eye catching ones. I still have them. Looked online recently the Neptune trumpets now cost about $2,000.

    I’ve read the Somerset Maugham books. Moon and Sixpence has interior covers of Gauguin paintings. The illustrations are black and white for his European life. Then his bright paintings for his Tahiti life.

    • Thanks: PiltdownMan
  150. @PiltdownMan
    @Ralph L

    Somerset Maugham was still a pretty big name in the 1960s, when my oldest brother read several of his books, as did my older cousins. The books were still on the bookshelf and I read quite a few, a decade later, when I was in high school—Of Human Bondage, The Moon and Sixpence (modeled on the life of Paul Gauguin,) Cake and Ale, The Razor's Edge and a couple of other titles. All very good reads, and Of Human Bondage was superb, as I recall.

    One of the downsides of getting older, I'm finding is that one remembers the plots books one read in one's early years quite poorly, and sometimes not at all.

    And speaking of Paul Gauguin, he's another painter who had his 70 year renaissance, but is now beginning to fade from mention. For that matter, so are the Impressionists. I think it has been about three decades since the peaked, in the public mind. College kid's rooms used to have poster of impressionist paintings, and the retrospective shows at the great museums were major cultural events. Not any longer.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Paul_Gauguin_-_D%27ou_venons-nous.jpg

    Replies: @Alden, @Peterike

    “And speaking of Paul Gauguin, he’s another painter who had his 70 year renaissance, but is now beginning to fade from mention.”

    Good. Because he stinks.

    • Agree: Thea
  151. @Harry Baldwin
    @Muggles

    For fun, get a National Enquirer from say, 1970 and see how many “stars” you can recognize (or possibly even remember?)

    The great Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman wrote two books on the movie industry, Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983) and Which Lie Did I Tell? (2000). In the latter, he listed the top ten box office stars for each decade. Many or most of the stars were only on the list for a single decade. Clint Eastwood and John Wayne had the longest runs. Many of the stars are people no one even thinks about anymore, like George Segal.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @R.G. Camara

    In 1960s Hollywood put together three epic big budget large ensemble movies: The Longest Day (1962); How the West Was Won (1962), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).

    All three were about vastly different subjects: The Longest Day was a WW2 film about the D-Day invasion; How the West Was Won was a multi-generational film about the conquest of the American West, and The Greatest Story Ever Told was a Biblical Jesus epic.

    One of the selling points of the films was how many Hollywood stars/names of the time were in the films. Practically every star of the day was present in at least one of those films, and some in multiple (e.g. Henry Fonda). In fact, the movies were so bloated with talent, many of the stars had little more than cameos.

    Critics liked the films overall, but at the time criticized the cameos as distracting. Most famously, in The Greatest Story Every Told, John Wayne appears as the Roman soldier who says “Truly this man was the Son of God.” and critics thought it took you right out of the picture –because it seemed to be stunt casting of John Wayne (still a major star of the day), not an attempt at artistry or entertainment. Imagine Denzel Washington or Keeanu Reeves repeating the line today and you’d get the same jarring effect.

    Now, however, if a later-born person goes back and watch the movies now, you get a different impression. Sure, I recognize John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart and Sean Connery, but most of the cast is unknown these days. Thus, I can judge the films a bit more on the artistic/entertainment scale rather than be distracted by all the famous faces as contemporary critics were. Spoiler alert: the two I’ve seen hold up; e.g. The Greatest Story Ever Told is an excellent Jesus movie, and an excellent movie overall (as you’d expect from a movie directed by the same guy who directed Shane).

    What is more, it makes it a little fun to try to suss out which characters were played by then-famous folks who have faded into obscurity. The films are very close to time capsules of the pop culture of their day.

  152. @Harry Baldwin
    @Muggles

    For fun, get a National Enquirer from say, 1970 and see how many “stars” you can recognize (or possibly even remember?)

    The great Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman wrote two books on the movie industry, Adventures in the Screen Trade (1983) and Which Lie Did I Tell? (2000). In the latter, he listed the top ten box office stars for each decade. Many or most of the stars were only on the list for a single decade. Clint Eastwood and John Wayne had the longest runs. Many of the stars are people no one even thinks about anymore, like George Segal.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @R.G. Camara

    Many of the stars are people no one even thinks about anymore, like George Segal.

    When The Onion was funny and not merely corporate Deep State propaganda, it released a book of fake headlines from previous decades. For the 1970s one, one of the ads was for teenyboppers : “Win a dream date with Eliot Gould!”

    I always laughed when I saw it. Yes, for some strange reason, wussy plain-faced whiny-voiced Eliot Gould was a major movie star in the 1970s, and no one knows why.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @R.G. Camara

    Elliot Gould was married to Barbara Streisand. Might have had something to do with his success.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    , @The Germ Theory of Disease
    @R.G. Camara

    Altman's "California Split" with Gould and George Segal is a pretty good movie.

    and this is totally OT but I just happen to be listening to it while I'm writing this: one of the funniest songs ever. Only Christopher Walken has a better deadpan.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0iA_rOcn9Y&list=RDMM&index=3

  153. @Earl Lemongrab
    Pulp author Robert E. Howard was largely forgotten after his 1936 suicide and his work regarded as pulp ephemera except by a small circle of friends and aficionados until L. Sprague de Camp got his Conan stories back into print in the late 1960s and revised fragments and added ones of his own, with the work growing in popularity and leading to Marvel comics, the Arnold movie, and a certain measure of pop immortality. There was even a lovely, minor key biopic called The Whole Wide World with Vincent D'onofrio playing Howard and Renee Zellweger in an early role playing the young Texas schoolteacher he awkwardly courted.

    Replies: @HFR, @Anon

    H.P. Lovecraft was also destined for oblivion after his death, except August Derleth founded a little publishing house just for his sake. And now he’s published in the Library of America.

    • Replies: @Liger
    @Anon

    1 love>100,000 likes.

  154. Shakespeare was famously revived from obscurity by Samuel Johnson. (As well as by one or two others before him but it seems those didn’t quite take.)

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
    @Anon

    Shakespeare was revived by a UK seeking a "national playwright" to compete culturally with France and all the other nations the UK was then surpassing.

    England always had an inferiority complex up to that point in terms of culture, as it kept feeling like a cultural backwater compared to older brother France, e.g. the great English kings before the end of the Hundred Years' Wars were more concerned about being in France and their lands in France than anything to do with the soggy old wool merchants on the foggy island. The promotion of Shakespeare was done deliberately by the government in the late 18th/early 19th century to reorient English history around English accomplishments rather than being the place French guys ruled but preferred being in Paris.

    Replies: @S Johnson

  155. OT — The SAFE-T Act is a nightmare and it’s time for every single white person in Illinois to either leave the state or plan their death. They want you to die and they are putting the machinery in place to kill you. War profiteer Pritzker orders universal FOID revocation.
    https://justthenews.com/nation/states/center-square/gun-owner-permits-are-being-revoked-avenue-appeals-remains-narrow

    The so-called SAFE-T Act would end cash bail and includes 12 non-detainable offences, second-degree murder, aggravated battery and arson without bail, as well as drug-induced homicide, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, intimidation, aggravated DUI, aggravated fleeing and eluding, drug offences and threatening a public official.
    All these crimes will become non-detainable offences after the act takes effect on January 1, meaning criminals will be charged with and released for these crimes without bail.

    https://thecountersignal.com/illinois-law-release-those-charged-with-second-degree-murder-without-bail/
    So they’re legalizing violence at the same time that they criminalize self-defense. This is the same living Streicher cartoon who had all the toilets removed from his mansion so he could cheat on his taxes, but not the same one who wears a dress.

  156. @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I reread T.B. Macaulay's "History of England" a few months ago. It's awesome.

    Like you implied, Tom Cruise's fine 2013 sci-fi movie "Oblivion" by the same guy who directed his "Top Gun" sequel is constructed around TBM's greatest lines:

    “Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the gate:
    ‘To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers,
    And the temples of his Gods,"

    Mencius Moldbug reads Carlyle.

    Replies: @AKAHorace, @Buzz Mohawk, @Reg Cæsar, @Dieter Kief

    Maybe Moldbug is also a fan of Mike Batt’s pro-rock-hymn Ride to Agadir? – Mike Batt might refer to Carlye in it

  157. @Peterike
    Do Booth Tarkington. Wildly popular in his time. Now obscure. He was too conservative and not “modern” enough for current academic taste, and he has characters using the N word all the time.

    Anyway, he’s terrific.

    Replies: @Alden, @Graveldips, @Steve Sailer

    Parents had a lot of Booth Tarkington books. I loved them when I was a kid. Penrod , Sam and their black playmates.

  158. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Perhaps, if you really want to get people going and provide some food for thought, let's ask who is mightily famous today but destined for obscurity in a generation.

    I would go with popular philosophers: Dawkins/Dennett, Peter Singer, John Rawls, Fukuyama. Nobody is going to bother with these guys in another 20 years.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief, @Art Deco, @Gordo

    The death of philosophy is an ages old old prediction that is constantly profen futile.

    John Rawls made it alraedy well byond his death. Fukuyama is no philosopher. Peter Singer will be read twenty years from now, as will be Dawkins and Dennett. I’d add Jürgen Habermas and Hans Georg Gadamer.

  159. @Reg Cæsar
    @Jonathan Mason


    Had [Orwell] not died prematurely of tuberculosis at the age of 46... and lived even to the age of 70, he would almost certainly have become a TV pundit, and there would be color TV footage of him on YouTube.
     
    Orwell, like many of middle age, was clearly shifting to the right. The question is, to which right? There are so many to choose from. (I go by Thomas Sowell's offhand-but-perceptive definition of the right as anyone who stands up to the Left, for any reason.)

    In which piece did he praise the (rural) Englishman for keeping a gun on the wall?

    Replies: @Joe S.Walker

    In which piece did he praise the (rural) Englishman for keeping a gun on the wall?

    None. What he actually said, in a newspaper article during the war, was that the totalitarian states could do a lot of things, but one thing they could never do was give the average urban working man or farm labourer a rifle and tell him to keep it at home. He was himself a member of the Home Guard.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Joe S.Walker

    Thanks.

    I spent a week or two on a Danish farm with a couple born early in the last century. The husband had been in his country's home guard and still possessed his rifle, which he proudly showed me.

    Gun Week reported back in the '90s that laws concerning automatic weapons were far more liberal in Denmark and Finland than in the US. If true (I've never looked into it), it may simply have been by default. There had never been a problem, thus they never bothered to pass a law. Kinda Vermonty, if you think about it.

    After all this time in the EU, what are those countries' gun policies today? There was a lot of blather (presumably from Germany and France, the alpha dogs in the EU, and likely the hoplophobic UK as well) about "harmonisation". I.e., " Do it our way!"

  160. @Anon
    Shakespeare was famously revived from obscurity by Samuel Johnson. (As well as by one or two others before him but it seems those didn't quite take.)

    Replies: @R.G. Camara

    Shakespeare was revived by a UK seeking a “national playwright” to compete culturally with France and all the other nations the UK was then surpassing.

    England always had an inferiority complex up to that point in terms of culture, as it kept feeling like a cultural backwater compared to older brother France, e.g. the great English kings before the end of the Hundred Years’ Wars were more concerned about being in France and their lands in France than anything to do with the soggy old wool merchants on the foggy island. The promotion of Shakespeare was done deliberately by the government in the late 18th/early 19th century to reorient English history around English accomplishments rather than being the place French guys ruled but preferred being in Paris.

    • Replies: @S Johnson
    @R.G. Camara

    No, Shakespeare was revived in Restoration England as soon as the Cromwellian interregnum was over. John Dryden worked on revisions of his plays and Samuel Pepys saw them staged. In the next century bringing out new editions of Shakespeare was seen as a worthy project for both the premier poet (Alexander Pope, 1725) and the rising man of letters (Johnson, 1745-65). Assessments of the true level of his genius have changed over time, being cemented by the Romantics, but there was pretty much no time at which he wasn’t seen as top theater guy.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Keypusher

  161. @Jonathan Mason
    George Orwell (1903-1950) was certainly much better known after his death then during his lifetime, due to the enduring success of his last two works Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    Had he not died prematurely of tuberculosis at the age of 46 (which I believe he most likely picked up sleeping in homeless shelters, while studying poverty), and lived even to the age of 70, he would almost certainly have become a TV pundit, and there would be color TV footage of him on YouTube.

    As it stands, there is no existing voice or video recording of him, even though he broadcast extensively to India on radio during World war II, and there are only a dozen or so known photographs of him in existence, one of which is his journalist's union membership card picture, which is probably his best known portrait.

    However, I wonder whether his status is even greater today because of his shadowy existence.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Reg Cæsar, @Joe S.Walker, @Anonymous

    Orwell was an unusual case because he became famous when his health was failing. By the time 1984 was published he was in hospital and more or less bedridden. I suspect the scene where O’Brien lets Winston Smith see himself in the mirror after months of being tortured was inspired by Orwell catching sight of himself at a bad moment.

    On topic: George Gissing (1857-1903) was largely forgotten by the mid-20th century, and his revival owed a good deal to Orwell’s writing . Even New Grub Street, which is now an established classic, was long out of print.

  162. Anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @YetAnotherAnon
    What's just as interesting is - who was really really famous in their lifetime, but forgotten 70 years later? I think this happens to painters a lot, but maybe historians too.

    Who reads Arnold Toynbee these days, and he only died in 1975?

    " From 1918 to 1950, Toynbee was considered a leading specialist on international affairs; from 1924 to 1954 he was the Director of Studies at Chatham House, in which position he also produced 34 volumes of the Survey of International Affairs, a "bible" for international specialists in Britain.

    With his prodigious output of papers, articles, speeches and presentations, and numerous books translated into many languages, Toynbee was a widely read and discussed scholar in the 1940s and 1950s."
     
    Perhaps this has something to do with it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee#Negative_views_of_Jews_and_Judaism:_The_%22Toynbee_heresy%22_and_the_Jew_as_%22fossil%22

    Carlyle and Macaulay were favourites of Churchill, but who reads them now, excepting The Lays Of Ancient Rome?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasional_Discourse_on_the_Negro_Question

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lays_of_Ancient_Rome

    I often pass Carlyle's birthplace, but who visits?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Carlyle%27s_Birthplace

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Emil Nikola Richard, @John Pepple, @Pincher Martin, @Jonathan Mason, @Anonymous

    Carlyle like many Victorians was a Germanophile (actually, Prussophile). This became a big problem in the 20th century. His reputation never really recovered.

    (We recently had a discussion about whether J. R. R. Tolkein’s books owned anything to Wagner. Tolkein strongly denied this, or any other German influences, but it’s not very convincing. But then if he had admitted such influences it would have killed his career…)

  163. @Peter Akuleyev
    @guest007

    Another way to think of it is that blacks have narrow range of music interest versus whites have a wide range of music interest.

    This statement is even true if you leave out the word „music“ entirely.

    Replies: @guest007

    If one wants to understand black culture, go back and watch the movie “Hoop Dreams.” The broken black families will do anything to help their sons play basketball but would not take one step out of their way to help them read a book or learn anything in school.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoop_Dreams

    • Agree: Mark G.
  164. @Anon
    @Ralph L

    One of the most pointed overratings of modern female talent is Frida Kahlo. No one had heard of her a couple generations ago. She paints like a 6th grader. But Kahlo was Jewish, Communist, female, minority, self-obsessed, sickly, kind of ugly, married a man of color, was bisexual, and had unhappy relationships. This means she has become an obsession with Jewish women who are communist, ugly, self-obsessed, in unhappy relationships, etc., etc. They have elevated Frida way beyond her deserved level of fame, simply because they feel Frida represents themselves, and because she ticks off every box of SJW victimhood.

    There has been a whole literary movement to uncover unheard voices in literature among women and blacks, and though some of the white women are worth hearing, the blunt fact is that most women who wrote in the 1800s are not worth reading, and if you've read one slave narrative, you've read them all. I've tried to read a few of these, and they remind me of Florence King's remark that Southern culture is essentially pre-literate and relies on oral memory instead of the written word, because everyone repeats things 3 times. The slaves were so dumb and lived such a constricted life that they're insanely boring to read.

    Meanwhile, I've discovered many unheard voices in the form of white men who wrote excellent memoirs in the 1800s that nobody reads these days because they're not popular in academia. For example, I've read sea memoirs from Melville's time that are miles better than Moby Dick.

    Replies: @Lumpy, @Gordo

    Frida Kahlo was not a Jew

    • Replies: @Alden
    @Lumpy

    Frida Kahlo’s father was a communist Jewish immigrant to Mexico. Who sought and married a dark skinned Indian Mexican woman in the hopes of igniting a communist revolution. Just one more operative of the communist Jew immigrants to the Americas.

  165. Anonymous[426] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason
    George Orwell (1903-1950) was certainly much better known after his death then during his lifetime, due to the enduring success of his last two works Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    Had he not died prematurely of tuberculosis at the age of 46 (which I believe he most likely picked up sleeping in homeless shelters, while studying poverty), and lived even to the age of 70, he would almost certainly have become a TV pundit, and there would be color TV footage of him on YouTube.

    As it stands, there is no existing voice or video recording of him, even though he broadcast extensively to India on radio during World war II, and there are only a dozen or so known photographs of him in existence, one of which is his journalist's union membership card picture, which is probably his best known portrait.

    However, I wonder whether his status is even greater today because of his shadowy existence.

    Replies: @Muggles, @Reg Cæsar, @Joe S.Walker, @Anonymous

    Every age has its ‘Orwell’. He was freakishly tall and this caused social problems for him in early life. However, the advantage of being very tall is that you don’t care what other people think, and tend to speak your mind regardless of how much annoyance this causes to others.

    People forget now how hated Orwell became when he first began to criticize leftwing orthodoxies in the 1930s. It takes a very thick skin to endure that without losing your nerve. Most people just ‘go along to get along’. They want quiet lives without drama.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    @Anonymous

    He was uninterested in being comfortable. He couldn't be bought.

  166. @Ralph L
    When was Emily Dickinson discovered? When did Fitzgerald get ensconced into the curriculum?
    My hero Trollope had a renaissance last century, but didn't break into movies like Austen did, so he'll probably fade again as he did at the end of his long life.

    The most obscure females in history are now being puffed up by the distaff humanities for some reason. I'm sure they like untrodden material, but will any of it take?

    Somerset Maugham's Cakes and Ale deflated the whole idea of the Grand Old Man of English Letters before Maugham was old enough to be one. In addition, his acidic sendup of then-current Horace Walpole ruined Walpole's reputation.

    Replies: @anon, @Anon, @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia, @PiltdownMan, @Alden, @Graveldips

    The book, “When Books Went to War” tells of the cheap editions of worthy literature printed during WW2 for servicemen. About 1100 titles were produced, and one of them was “The Great Gatsby”. According to the author, Fitzgerald’s inclusion made his posthumous reputation. Apparently, someone on the selection committee liked his work.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Graveldips

    Fitzgerald was a huge celebrity in the 1920s, but 1925's "The Great Gatsby" was a rare Fitzgerald dud in the marketplace. But soldiers at war years later were enthralled by it. They came back, majored in English on the G.I. Bill, became English teachers, and assigned their favorite book. Personally, I think "The Great Gatsby" is quite good, but not all that. On the other hand, I read it in my backyard, not in a foxhole on Okinawa, so I'm willing to defer to their judgment.

    The impact of WWII on our cultural judgments is an underexplored topic. The best explanation I've heard for the high regard of "Citizen Kane" is that top Hollywood men employed making combat documentaries (I'm guessing ultra-alpha male John Huston among them) in Italy and the like would spend their evenings drinking and debating the question of The Best Movie Ever. Over time, the consensus among them emerged that it was "Citizen Kane." Eventually, a bunch of hard men came back to Hollywood from the front and informed the 4-F pansies that the best movie ever was "Citizen Kane" and do you want to make anything of it?

    No, sir, they did not.

    Similarly, the curious cultural dominance of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby for 30+ years after the War had a lot to do with them being the top dogs in comedy and music during the War. Hope's shtick about being a coward was less relevant after the War, although Woody Allen got endless mileage out of it, but older Americans still found it hilarious because ... well, you had to be there during The Big One.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

  167. @Graveldips
    @Ralph L

    The book, "When Books Went to War" tells of the cheap editions of worthy literature printed during WW2 for servicemen. About 1100 titles were produced, and one of them was "The Great Gatsby". According to the author, Fitzgerald's inclusion made his posthumous reputation. Apparently, someone on the selection committee liked his work.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Fitzgerald was a huge celebrity in the 1920s, but 1925’s “The Great Gatsby” was a rare Fitzgerald dud in the marketplace. But soldiers at war years later were enthralled by it. They came back, majored in English on the G.I. Bill, became English teachers, and assigned their favorite book. Personally, I think “The Great Gatsby” is quite good, but not all that. On the other hand, I read it in my backyard, not in a foxhole on Okinawa, so I’m willing to defer to their judgment.

    The impact of WWII on our cultural judgments is an underexplored topic. The best explanation I’ve heard for the high regard of “Citizen Kane” is that top Hollywood men employed making combat documentaries (I’m guessing ultra-alpha male John Huston among them) in Italy and the like would spend their evenings drinking and debating the question of The Best Movie Ever. Over time, the consensus among them emerged that it was “Citizen Kane.” Eventually, a bunch of hard men came back to Hollywood from the front and informed the 4-F pansies that the best movie ever was “Citizen Kane” and do you want to make anything of it?

    No, sir, they did not.

    Similarly, the curious cultural dominance of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby for 30+ years after the War had a lot to do with them being the top dogs in comedy and music during the War. Hope’s shtick about being a coward was less relevant after the War, although Woody Allen got endless mileage out of it, but older Americans still found it hilarious because … well, you had to be there during The Big One.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Fitzgerald ran his car into a tree at the local Golfocaust club I mentioned. More local lore.

    Of WWII, my father admitted to me that he remembered it as a good period in America. He said everyone was together in spirit. He and his "greatest" generation preferred the way it was.

    Replies: @Kylie

  168. @Peterike
    Do Booth Tarkington. Wildly popular in his time. Now obscure. He was too conservative and not “modern” enough for current academic taste, and he has characters using the N word all the time.

    Anyway, he’s terrific.

    Replies: @Alden, @Graveldips, @Steve Sailer

    It seems to me that a number of well-regarded American writers of the 30’s and 40’s, such as James Gould Cozzens and John P. Marquand, were pushed aside by New York critics in the 50’s, in favor of Jewish writers. Norman Mailer, Leon Uris, Irwin Shaw, Herman Wouk, Leo Rosten, Irving Wallace, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, ad infinitum. It got to the point that John Updike was referred to as “the WASP novelist”. Shouldn’t most novelists have been WASPs in pre-1965 America?

    • Replies: @Pierre de Craon
    @Graveldips


    Shouldn’t most novelists have been WASPs in pre-1965 America?
     
    Indeed. Would to God they were now!

    Cozzens was, I think, a better writer than all the Jewish writers you list, with the sole exception of Joseph Heller in the one good book he wrote: Covid-19 (or something of the sort). Even if I didn't care for his work, however, I would still admire the guy for saying, "I can't read ten pages of Steinbeck without throwing up." The world will be a better place when more people react to Steinbeck as Cozzens did.
    , @Peterike
    @Graveldips


    It seems to me that a number of well-regarded American writers of the 30’s and 40’s, such as James Gould Cozzens and John P. Marquand, were pushed aside by New York critics in the 50’s, in favor of Jewish writers.
     
    100% true. Jews had essentially taken over the world of high- and mid-brow literary criticism and publishing as well, and after that it was Jews everywhere being promoted (same with TV and movies). That said, there's a lot of good writing out there that is more or less lost. For example, Betty Smith who wrote "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" is terrific.

    Norman Mailer, Leon Uris, Irwin Shaw, Herman Wouk, Leo Rosten, Irving Wallace, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, ad infinitum.
     
    Most of these writers are hugely overrated, for the same ethno-centric reasons. Not a one of them is as good as John O'Hara.

    It got to the point that John Updike was referred to as “the WASP novelist”.

     

    I think Updike was kept in the "elite" writers group because he was dirty minded, which served other uniquely Jewish interests in terms of corrupting society. A lot of the Jewish writers were dirty minded. Try finding something dirty in Booth Tarkington.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin, @Graveldips

  169. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Perhaps, if you really want to get people going and provide some food for thought, let's ask who is mightily famous today but destined for obscurity in a generation.

    I would go with popular philosophers: Dawkins/Dennett, Peter Singer, John Rawls, Fukuyama. Nobody is going to bother with these guys in another 20 years.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief, @Art Deco, @Gordo

    Rawls wrote for students and academicians, not general audiences. Fukuyama is not a philosopher, though some study of philosophy was incorporated into his academic program.

  170. Please N-gram Antonio Vivaldi, perhaps the most relevant example of the 70YR.

  171. @Anonymous
    @Jonathan Mason

    Every age has its 'Orwell'. He was freakishly tall and this caused social problems for him in early life. However, the advantage of being very tall is that you don't care what other people think, and tend to speak your mind regardless of how much annoyance this causes to others.

    People forget now how hated Orwell became when he first began to criticize leftwing orthodoxies in the 1930s. It takes a very thick skin to endure that without losing your nerve. Most people just 'go along to get along'. They want quiet lives without drama.

    Replies: @Art Deco

    He was uninterested in being comfortable. He couldn’t be bought.

  172. @R.G. Camara
    @Anon

    Shakespeare was revived by a UK seeking a "national playwright" to compete culturally with France and all the other nations the UK was then surpassing.

    England always had an inferiority complex up to that point in terms of culture, as it kept feeling like a cultural backwater compared to older brother France, e.g. the great English kings before the end of the Hundred Years' Wars were more concerned about being in France and their lands in France than anything to do with the soggy old wool merchants on the foggy island. The promotion of Shakespeare was done deliberately by the government in the late 18th/early 19th century to reorient English history around English accomplishments rather than being the place French guys ruled but preferred being in Paris.

    Replies: @S Johnson

    No, Shakespeare was revived in Restoration England as soon as the Cromwellian interregnum was over. John Dryden worked on revisions of his plays and Samuel Pepys saw them staged. In the next century bringing out new editions of Shakespeare was seen as a worthy project for both the premier poet (Alexander Pope, 1725) and the rising man of letters (Johnson, 1745-65). Assessments of the true level of his genius have changed over time, being cemented by the Romantics, but there was pretty much no time at which he wasn’t seen as top theater guy.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @S Johnson


    Assessments of the true level of his genius have changed over time, being cemented by the Romantics, but there was pretty much no time at which he wasn’t seen as top theater guy.
     
    And not just in England.

    The world’s oldest scholarly Shakespeare society is based not in Stratford-upon-Avon nor London, but in Weimar.

    https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/deutschland-ist-hamlet-shakespeare-in-germany
     
    Goethe on Shakespeare, A Tribute (1771)


    https://sbt-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/sbt-sr-47-81002785-german-complete-works-1778-.width-770.jpg



    https://www.wfmt.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Macbeth-meets_the_witches.jpg

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81llMpO9KrL._SL1258_.jpg


    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61z7TQ8DX7L.jpg


    https://www.opera-online.com/media/images/avatar/work/41/xl_avatar.jpg

    https://assets.classicfm.com/2014/18/otello-rossini-opera-rara-1399538045-view-0.jpg

    Replies: @Kylie

    , @Keypusher
    @S Johnson

    Right. Also, Shakespeare’s plays and poems were continuously being reprinted throughout the 17th century. See Shakespeare and the Book Trade by Lucas Erne.

    The funny thing is there’s another conspiracy theory that Shakespeare was puffed up by German critics also trying to resist French cultural dominance.

  173. @SunBakedSuburb
    @NJ Transit Commuter

    I play my J.S. Bach The Art of Fugue for String Quartet CD at night because it usually interprets the night and all that it brings. Bach is about the only representation of the Baroque period that I can take. I much prefer the later Romantics. But Bach is special, unique. Almost alien.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    Speaking of Bach, there is this free-associating mumbo-jumbo that is so laughable it must be shared…

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/wasbachjewish

    Was Bach Jewish?

    Bach was quintessentially Jewish. And in seeking to break free from these laws, Beethoven was the true Christian. Might the gulf between Bach and Beethoven mirror that between Judaism and Christianity?

    By Norman Podhoretz

  174. @Steve Sailer
    @Graveldips

    Fitzgerald was a huge celebrity in the 1920s, but 1925's "The Great Gatsby" was a rare Fitzgerald dud in the marketplace. But soldiers at war years later were enthralled by it. They came back, majored in English on the G.I. Bill, became English teachers, and assigned their favorite book. Personally, I think "The Great Gatsby" is quite good, but not all that. On the other hand, I read it in my backyard, not in a foxhole on Okinawa, so I'm willing to defer to their judgment.

    The impact of WWII on our cultural judgments is an underexplored topic. The best explanation I've heard for the high regard of "Citizen Kane" is that top Hollywood men employed making combat documentaries (I'm guessing ultra-alpha male John Huston among them) in Italy and the like would spend their evenings drinking and debating the question of The Best Movie Ever. Over time, the consensus among them emerged that it was "Citizen Kane." Eventually, a bunch of hard men came back to Hollywood from the front and informed the 4-F pansies that the best movie ever was "Citizen Kane" and do you want to make anything of it?

    No, sir, they did not.

    Similarly, the curious cultural dominance of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby for 30+ years after the War had a lot to do with them being the top dogs in comedy and music during the War. Hope's shtick about being a coward was less relevant after the War, although Woody Allen got endless mileage out of it, but older Americans still found it hilarious because ... well, you had to be there during The Big One.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Fitzgerald ran his car into a tree at the local Golfocaust club I mentioned. More local lore.

    Of WWII, my father admitted to me that he remembered it as a good period in America. He said everyone was together in spirit. He and his “greatest” generation preferred the way it was.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Buzz Mohawk

    "Of WWII, my father admitted to me that he remembered it as a good period in America. He said everyone was together in spirit. He and his “greatest” generation preferred the way it was."

    That's the impression I got from my dad, a WWII vet.

    Apparently, Bing Crosby had more to do with that than any other American civilian. I got interested in him recently and read Gary Giddins's excellent biography of a man then so prominent in American culture that the Germans had a nickname for him,"Der Bingle".

    Bing was ubiquitous in those years, on the radio, in the recording studio, in Hollywood and of course, entertaining US troops in the US and Europe. He had hit after hit, he won a Best Actor Oscar, he was voted the individual who did the most for wartime morale and most admired, even above the President and the Pope. And of course, there's "White Christmas".

    Today he's remembered, when he's remembered, as the guy who sang "White Christmas". His impact during the war years was huge and positive. It's a shame he's largely forgotten today.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

  175. @prime noticer
    dying young is very helpful to notable musicians. this prevents them from getting into their mid 30s and entering their natural decline. then they are remembered in their prime, and they "never put out a bad album." Kurt Cobain's extremely fortunate early death saved Nirvana's reputation completely. otherwise they'd be Guns N Roses now, or less. a dysfunctional band that doesn't get along, barely tours, hasn't put out a single thing of note for 25 years, with an unlikeable main guy. Kurt Cobain would probably literally be a woman today, and an obvious, obnoxious leftist. "They had that one great album and that was it" would be their reputation today, if they had continued along their natural trajectory.

    although it's common to die early in rock and rock, it's still the case that most of them don't die. they usually get to 35, and enter their natural decline, where they then spend the next 30 years writing music that sucks and steadily becoming irrelevant. touring eternally on the hits they wrote in their 20s is how 99% of musicians do it.

    "I liked their earlier stuff". of course. music is exactly like sports, except sports leagues have the function of forcing 38 year old athletes to completely stop playing, now, and never come back. they don't get to do 30 years of touring where they hit that monster home run shot over and over and over at 300 ballparks, recreating their most famous home run from when they were 27.

    in mathematics, the Fields medal is predicated on this exact same dynamic, which, like Spearman's g, is a general principle of human performance. people peak early. mid to later life geniuses are very rare.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein, @Pincher Martin, @Feryl, @Anonymous

    I also have a hunch that rockers peak really early because they obliterate their ears very fast and insist on continuing to write most or all of their material. By the time they are 30 their hearing is much worse than it was when they were 20 and they literally don’t know what sounds good anymore. In pop music of all eras many hits are written by older song-writers (who haven’t deafened themselves via actually performing loud rock music)*, in the rock and roll era of the late-60’s-early 1990’s artists generally wrote their own music and sometimes sought the help of contemporary young songwriters (music written by older people would’ve been seen as unhip and inauthentic). The vibrant authenticity of rock relies on youthful energy and creativity, which is typically non-existent by the time you are age 40 (if you’re lucky you can do what Rush did in the 80’s and make a gradual transition to cerebral and emotionally mature pop music as opposed to pathetically refusing to grow up and making 7th rate variations of what you did when you were young).

    *I would say that these days songwriters and producers are probably older than they have ever been before, a big reason modern pop sucks so much.

    WRT Nirvana, Cobain was closer to Micheal Stipe by the mid 90’s than he was to his own band. Cobain told Stipe that he was losing interest in being a rock act and wanted to collaborate with Stipe on a much softer, not grungy album. In other words, Cobain to his credit was aging out fairly fast from the rock scene and was going to be very open about it. Cobain may have actually avoided the aging rockstar’s fall from grace if he had lived.

    • Thanks: BB753
  176. @prosa123
    If inventors count, there's Tesla. While he was never obscure, he didn't become a superstar until about 70 years after his death in 1943. He's now celebrated both in the company name and as a sort of ultra-nerd antihero.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @concernedcitizen

    This may have happened a little earlier for Tesla. The unit of Magnetic Flux was named after him in 1960. A somewhat successful rock band was named after him in the 1980s. I read a biography of him in the eighties also.

    He is probably much better known now because of Musk and his car company but he was known in certain circles well before then.

  177. Nicolás Gómez Dávila should be more widely known.

    • Agree: AceDeuce
    • Replies: @Justpassingby
    @Thea

    Thea, I vote your comment #1 on the thread.

  178. Something you guys don’t seem to realize about Harvard…..

    HARVARD INTERVIEWER: OK, so you have a 4.0 from a famous high school, you have a near-perfect SAT, you speak five languages, and you’re an underground cartoonist. If you had a chance to have lunch with anybody in the world, who would it be?

    ME: John Entwistle.

    HARVARD INTERVIEWER: OK that wraps it up, you’re in.

  179. @Lumpy
    @Anon

    Frida Kahlo was not a Jew

    Replies: @Alden

    Frida Kahlo’s father was a communist Jewish immigrant to Mexico. Who sought and married a dark skinned Indian Mexican woman in the hopes of igniting a communist revolution. Just one more operative of the communist Jew immigrants to the Americas.

  180. @R.G. Camara
    @Harry Baldwin


    Many of the stars are people no one even thinks about anymore, like George Segal.
     
    When The Onion was funny and not merely corporate Deep State propaganda, it released a book of fake headlines from previous decades. For the 1970s one, one of the ads was for teenyboppers : "Win a dream date with Eliot Gould!"

    I always laughed when I saw it. Yes, for some strange reason, wussy plain-faced whiny-voiced Eliot Gould was a major movie star in the 1970s, and no one knows why.

    Replies: @Alden, @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Elliot Gould was married to Barbara Streisand. Might have had something to do with his success.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @Alden

    From what I've read Gould's career ended when he became difficult to work with, due to his heavy drinking. Being married to Barbara Streisand might have had something to do with that.

  181. One hundred years ago Elbert Hubbard and his short novel A Message to Garcia were universally known in the United States. I’ve seen mid century movies where the phrase “a message to Garcia” was used and everyone at the time understood its meaning. I doubt 1% of Americans today have heard of Elbert Hubbard or are familiar with A Message to Garcia.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
    @Rohirrimborn


    I doubt 1% of Americans today have heard of Elbert Hubbard or are familiar with A Message to Garcia.
     
    When I was in college in the seventies my college library had lots of his books including the fourteen volume Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great , some of which I read. I haven't seen any of his books, heard mention of him, or thought of him in over forty years until you bought him up.

    He was quite busy. Beside writing numerous books, he published a magazine and also started a utopian community called Roycroft which turned out products like Mission style furniture. He started out as a follower of the socialist William Morris but later became disillusioned with socialism and became an ardent promoter of the free enterprise system. He lost his popularity in the socialist circles he had been traveling in when he did this. Then he had the misfortune of booking passage on the Lusitania, which was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans.
    , @AceDeuce
    @Rohirrimborn

    The military, especially the Marine Corps, have put A Message to Garcia, on their required reading lists over the past 20-25 years. FWIW, the book (more like a booklet in length), while very good reading (I own a copy) is not very historically accurate.

    I own several of Hubbard's books. His life, of course, was cut short on the Lusitania, so he probably would have done much more.

  182. @Pixo
    Hopkins is excellent for casual reading.

    Google gets angry if it thinks you are using it too much and starts accusing you of “suspicious activity” and making you do captchas.

    Replies: @Graham

    Hopkins is the boss. Well done Steve for mentioning him. Not being very keen on literature as a kid, I had never heard of him until a few decades ago I heard a reading of Felix Randal the Farrier on the radio, and was immediately captivated.

  183. @Graveldips
    @Peterike

    It seems to me that a number of well-regarded American writers of the 30's and 40's, such as James Gould Cozzens and John P. Marquand, were pushed aside by New York critics in the 50's, in favor of Jewish writers. Norman Mailer, Leon Uris, Irwin Shaw, Herman Wouk, Leo Rosten, Irving Wallace, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, ad infinitum. It got to the point that John Updike was referred to as "the WASP novelist". Shouldn't most novelists have been WASPs in pre-1965 America?

    Replies: @Pierre de Craon, @Peterike

    Shouldn’t most novelists have been WASPs in pre-1965 America?

    Indeed. Would to God they were now!

    Cozzens was, I think, a better writer than all the Jewish writers you list, with the sole exception of Joseph Heller in the one good book he wrote: Covid-19 (or something of the sort). Even if I didn’t care for his work, however, I would still admire the guy for saying, “I can’t read ten pages of Steinbeck without throwing up.” The world will be a better place when more people react to Steinbeck as Cozzens did.

  184. @prime noticer
    dying young is very helpful to notable musicians. this prevents them from getting into their mid 30s and entering their natural decline. then they are remembered in their prime, and they "never put out a bad album." Kurt Cobain's extremely fortunate early death saved Nirvana's reputation completely. otherwise they'd be Guns N Roses now, or less. a dysfunctional band that doesn't get along, barely tours, hasn't put out a single thing of note for 25 years, with an unlikeable main guy. Kurt Cobain would probably literally be a woman today, and an obvious, obnoxious leftist. "They had that one great album and that was it" would be their reputation today, if they had continued along their natural trajectory.

    although it's common to die early in rock and rock, it's still the case that most of them don't die. they usually get to 35, and enter their natural decline, where they then spend the next 30 years writing music that sucks and steadily becoming irrelevant. touring eternally on the hits they wrote in their 20s is how 99% of musicians do it.

    "I liked their earlier stuff". of course. music is exactly like sports, except sports leagues have the function of forcing 38 year old athletes to completely stop playing, now, and never come back. they don't get to do 30 years of touring where they hit that monster home run shot over and over and over at 300 ballparks, recreating their most famous home run from when they were 27.

    in mathematics, the Fields medal is predicated on this exact same dynamic, which, like Spearman's g, is a general principle of human performance. people peak early. mid to later life geniuses are very rare.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein, @Pincher Martin, @Feryl, @Anonymous

    “This one’s from the new album”

    What no concert-goer wants to hear, ever.

    • LOL: Kylie
  185. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Fitzgerald ran his car into a tree at the local Golfocaust club I mentioned. More local lore.

    Of WWII, my father admitted to me that he remembered it as a good period in America. He said everyone was together in spirit. He and his "greatest" generation preferred the way it was.

    Replies: @Kylie

    “Of WWII, my father admitted to me that he remembered it as a good period in America. He said everyone was together in spirit. He and his “greatest” generation preferred the way it was.”

    That’s the impression I got from my dad, a WWII vet.

    Apparently, Bing Crosby had more to do with that than any other American civilian. I got interested in him recently and read Gary Giddins’s excellent biography of a man then so prominent in American culture that the Germans had a nickname for him,”Der Bingle”.

    Bing was ubiquitous in those years, on the radio, in the recording studio, in Hollywood and of course, entertaining US troops in the US and Europe. He had hit after hit, he won a Best Actor Oscar, he was voted the individual who did the most for wartime morale and most admired, even above the President and the Pope. And of course, there’s “White Christmas”.

    Today he’s remembered, when he’s remembered, as the guy who sang “White Christmas”. His impact during the war years was huge and positive. It’s a shame he’s largely forgotten today.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Kylie

    Thank you. Another couple of cool things I remember about Bing Crosby:

    He was the first or one of the very first singers to take advantage of magnetic tape to record his performances. He had a regular radio show then, and he would record his performances on tape so they could be broadcast later, thus freeing him to do other things.

    That was a new thing then, and BTW it was German technology.

    Bob Hope told a story I once caught on TV: Bob's friend Bing had a telephone installed in his car, so Bob got a phone for his own car. He called Bing's car to brag about it. Bing answered in his car, and Bob told him he was calling him from his new car phone!

    According to Bob, Bing answered and replied, "Would you hold on, my other phone is ringing."

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  186. How about chaplin?

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @pancakerachelc

    Yes, I would say Chaplin is largely forgotten now by the general public. It's hard to fathom when you realize how famous he was, with The Tramp being a symbol of Everyman.

    Today he seems mostly known for the exquisite ending to his masterpiece, "City Lights". There are several clips of it on YouTube, with a total of several million views.



    https://youtube.com/watch?v=C_vqnySNhQ0&feature=share&si=EMSIkaIECMiOmarE6JChQQ

  187. @Kylie
    @Buzz Mohawk

    "Of WWII, my father admitted to me that he remembered it as a good period in America. He said everyone was together in spirit. He and his “greatest” generation preferred the way it was."

    That's the impression I got from my dad, a WWII vet.

    Apparently, Bing Crosby had more to do with that than any other American civilian. I got interested in him recently and read Gary Giddins's excellent biography of a man then so prominent in American culture that the Germans had a nickname for him,"Der Bingle".

    Bing was ubiquitous in those years, on the radio, in the recording studio, in Hollywood and of course, entertaining US troops in the US and Europe. He had hit after hit, he won a Best Actor Oscar, he was voted the individual who did the most for wartime morale and most admired, even above the President and the Pope. And of course, there's "White Christmas".

    Today he's remembered, when he's remembered, as the guy who sang "White Christmas". His impact during the war years was huge and positive. It's a shame he's largely forgotten today.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    Thank you. Another couple of cool things I remember about Bing Crosby:

    He was the first or one of the very first singers to take advantage of magnetic tape to record his performances. He had a regular radio show then, and he would record his performances on tape so they could be broadcast later, thus freeing him to do other things.

    That was a new thing then, and BTW it was German technology.

    Bob Hope told a story I once caught on TV: Bob’s friend Bing had a telephone installed in his car, so Bob got a phone for his own car. He called Bing’s car to brag about it. Bing answered in his car, and Bob told him he was calling him from his new car phone!

    According to Bob, Bing answered and replied, “Would you hold on, my other phone is ringing.”

    • LOL: Kylie
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Buzz Mohawk

    But that doesn't answer the question: As YUGE as Bing was during the mid. 20th century, in his day, probably as big as Elvis and the Beatles combined, and yet today....he's largely forgotten.

    And yet, Elvis and the Beatles are very much remembered.

    Why is this?

    Can't just be a generational thing, that Bing's core audiences were largely pre-Baby Boomer, and Elvis and the Beatles' core audience was the Baby Boomers. And of course the Baby Boomers are still very much with us, unlike the generations that idolized Bing, since they revolted and rebelled vs their parents' generations icons, heroes, and especially vs their music, therefore, Bing had to go.

    There has to be another reason: Perhaps Bing's music has been dead and buried for decades, while Elvis and the Beatles (rock and roll, rock, etc) are still around.

    Even Bob Hope, who outlived Bing by about 26 yrs, isn't recalled anymore, and he too was YUGE. Perhaps the key to immortality is, don't master a genre that goes the way of the dodo after your time has past.

    People still recall Biggie and Tupac, far more than they recall Bing. Very telling about US society as a whole, but not quite sure what it all means. Maybe the end of the beginning.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  188. Recently, I got Bing’s autobiography, Call Me Lucky. The photos show him with various celebs, (Gary Cooper, Dorothy Lamour, Louis Armstrong, etc al) whom he names, usually with a flattering caption. In every pic of Bob Hope, Bing refers to him only as “a friend”. 😂

    I always liked him because he was a gifted singer and fine actor (excellent in “The Country Girl”). But reading about how supportive he was of his fellow performers and of the thousands of anonymous soldiers he entertained and how gracious he was to his fans (corresponded with some of them for years), I found there was much to admire in him as a public performer and private individual.

    Probably what I loathe most about the left is their selective erasure of our recent cultural history. Crosby would be better remembered today if his achievements had not been shoved down the memory hole, along with those of other worthy individuals.

    • Replies: @Ralph L
    @Kylie

    It didn't help that one or two of his sons did a Daddy Dearest.

    Replies: @BB753, @Art Deco

  189. @Joe S.Walker
    @Reg Cæsar


    In which piece did he praise the (rural) Englishman for keeping a gun on the wall?
     
    None. What he actually said, in a newspaper article during the war, was that the totalitarian states could do a lot of things, but one thing they could never do was give the average urban working man or farm labourer a rifle and tell him to keep it at home. He was himself a member of the Home Guard.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Thanks.

    I spent a week or two on a Danish farm with a couple born early in the last century. The husband had been in his country’s home guard and still possessed his rifle, which he proudly showed me.

    Gun Week reported back in the ’90s that laws concerning automatic weapons were far more liberal in Denmark and Finland than in the US. If true (I’ve never looked into it), it may simply have been by default. There had never been a problem, thus they never bothered to pass a law. Kinda Vermonty, if you think about it.

    After all this time in the EU, what are those countries’ gun policies today? There was a lot of blather (presumably from Germany and France, the alpha dogs in the EU, and likely the hoplophobic UK as well) about “harmonisation”. I.e., ” Do it our way!”

  190. @S Johnson
    @R.G. Camara

    No, Shakespeare was revived in Restoration England as soon as the Cromwellian interregnum was over. John Dryden worked on revisions of his plays and Samuel Pepys saw them staged. In the next century bringing out new editions of Shakespeare was seen as a worthy project for both the premier poet (Alexander Pope, 1725) and the rising man of letters (Johnson, 1745-65). Assessments of the true level of his genius have changed over time, being cemented by the Romantics, but there was pretty much no time at which he wasn’t seen as top theater guy.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Keypusher

    Assessments of the true level of his genius have changed over time, being cemented by the Romantics, but there was pretty much no time at which he wasn’t seen as top theater guy.

    And not just in England.

    The world’s oldest scholarly Shakespeare society is based not in Stratford-upon-Avon nor London, but in Weimar.

    https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/deutschland-ist-hamlet-shakespeare-in-germany

    Goethe on Shakespeare, A Tribute (1771)

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Reg Cæsar

    Goethe's second "Wandrers Nachtlied" ("Ein gleiches") is amazing. As one critic said, it "wanders the cosmos" in just a few lines, going from mineral to vegetable to animal to the individual and finally widening out to the universe.

    "Über allen Gipfeln
    Ist Ruh,
    In allen Wipfeln
    Spürest du
    Kaum einen Hauch;
    Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
    Warte nur, balde
    Ruhest du auch."

    Goethe's texts inspired the young Schubert to compose some of his greatest Lieder. Though Schubert twice sent Goethe his work, the poet never acknowledged it. As a Schubertian, I admit to some Schadenfreude when I remember the composer is now better known globally than the poet.

  191. Vermeer was widely rediscovered almost 200 years after his death, but Paul Johnson, who considers Vermeer the best painter ever, points out that there were, in the meantime, always a thin chain of a handful of connoisseurs passed on awareness of Vermeer’s awesomeness.

    Oh, for goodness sakes.

    Mr. Google disagrees…

    Q:
    Who is the greatest artist of the Dutch Golden Age?

    A:
    Rembrandt was the Dutch Golden Age’s greatest portraitist, and almost modern in his emphasis on self-portraits, painted continually throughout his career.Sep 9, 2018

    Wonder what actual legitimate art experts would say re: Dutch golden age of painting?

    And if talking about greatest all time painters of the millennium, certainly ahead of Vermeer would be a fellow by name of Michelangelo

  192. @Reg Cæsar
    @S Johnson


    Assessments of the true level of his genius have changed over time, being cemented by the Romantics, but there was pretty much no time at which he wasn’t seen as top theater guy.
     
    And not just in England.

    The world’s oldest scholarly Shakespeare society is based not in Stratford-upon-Avon nor London, but in Weimar.

    https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/deutschland-ist-hamlet-shakespeare-in-germany
     
    Goethe on Shakespeare, A Tribute (1771)


    https://sbt-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/sbt-sr-47-81002785-german-complete-works-1778-.width-770.jpg



    https://www.wfmt.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Macbeth-meets_the_witches.jpg

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81llMpO9KrL._SL1258_.jpg


    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/61z7TQ8DX7L.jpg


    https://www.opera-online.com/media/images/avatar/work/41/xl_avatar.jpg

    https://assets.classicfm.com/2014/18/otello-rossini-opera-rara-1399538045-view-0.jpg

    Replies: @Kylie

    Goethe’s second “Wandrers Nachtlied” (“Ein gleiches”) is amazing. As one critic said, it “wanders the cosmos” in just a few lines, going from mineral to vegetable to animal to the individual and finally widening out to the universe.

    “Über allen Gipfeln
    Ist Ruh,
    In allen Wipfeln
    Spürest du
    Kaum einen Hauch;
    Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
    Warte nur, balde
    Ruhest du auch.”

    Goethe’s texts inspired the young Schubert to compose some of his greatest Lieder. Though Schubert twice sent Goethe his work, the poet never acknowledged it. As a Schubertian, I admit to some Schadenfreude when I remember the composer is now better known globally than the poet.

  193. @Graveldips
    @Peterike

    It seems to me that a number of well-regarded American writers of the 30's and 40's, such as James Gould Cozzens and John P. Marquand, were pushed aside by New York critics in the 50's, in favor of Jewish writers. Norman Mailer, Leon Uris, Irwin Shaw, Herman Wouk, Leo Rosten, Irving Wallace, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, ad infinitum. It got to the point that John Updike was referred to as "the WASP novelist". Shouldn't most novelists have been WASPs in pre-1965 America?

    Replies: @Pierre de Craon, @Peterike

    It seems to me that a number of well-regarded American writers of the 30’s and 40’s, such as James Gould Cozzens and John P. Marquand, were pushed aside by New York critics in the 50’s, in favor of Jewish writers.

    100% true. Jews had essentially taken over the world of high- and mid-brow literary criticism and publishing as well, and after that it was Jews everywhere being promoted (same with TV and movies). That said, there’s a lot of good writing out there that is more or less lost. For example, Betty Smith who wrote “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” is terrific.

    Norman Mailer, Leon Uris, Irwin Shaw, Herman Wouk, Leo Rosten, Irving Wallace, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, ad infinitum.

    Most of these writers are hugely overrated, for the same ethno-centric reasons. Not a one of them is as good as John O’Hara.

    It got to the point that John Updike was referred to as “the WASP novelist”.

    I think Updike was kept in the “elite” writers group because he was dirty minded, which served other uniquely Jewish interests in terms of corrupting society. A lot of the Jewish writers were dirty minded. Try finding something dirty in Booth Tarkington.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    @Peterike


    I think Updike was kept in the “elite” writers group because he was dirty minded, which served other uniquely Jewish interests in terms of corrupting society. A lot of the Jewish writers were dirty minded. Try finding something dirty in Booth Tarkington.
     
    Of course Tarkington and Updike wrote in very different periods. "Dirty" literature didn't become widely available to the public until the 1960s, which also happens to be the decade in which Updike first began publishing novels.

    If Tarkington wished his novels to be widely published and read, he could not write dirty books. His near contemporary in England, D.H. lawrence, who did write "dirty" novels, saw his books maligned, expurgated and censored. Updike had easier choices to make.


    Most of these writers are hugely overrated, for the same ethno-centric reasons. Not a one of them is as good as John O’Hara.
     
    I agree with your comment for all of the names mentioned except Bellow.

    But there are many other great (or at least interesting, readable or at least respected) goy novelists from that postwar period (1946 to 1980) that match up well with those Jewish names - Carson McCullers, William Styron, Robert Penn Warren, Wallace Stegner, William Kennedy, Larry McMurtry, Ken Kesey, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Joan Didion, Walker Percy.

    I'm sure I'm missing many others. I also haven't included what I consider the one-off group of non-Jewish authors - those who wrote one famous novel and then stopped writing for some reason. Harper Lee and John Kennedy Toole fit this bill. Many of these goy novelists were not as adept at self-promotion as the New York Jewish literary crowd, but they made their marks nevertheless.

    , @Graveldips
    @Peterike

    Jewish critics had also taken over highbrow music criticism. Jewish conductors, pianists, and violinists filled the record bins. Probably the only reason that Van Cliburne was admitted to the front rank was that he won the Tschiakovsky competition in Moscow in 1956.

  194. @Kylie
    Recently, I got Bing's autobiography, Call Me Lucky. The photos show him with various celebs, (Gary Cooper, Dorothy Lamour, Louis Armstrong, etc al) whom he names, usually with a flattering caption. In every pic of Bob Hope, Bing refers to him only as "a friend". 😂

    I always liked him because he was a gifted singer and fine actor (excellent in "The Country Girl"). But reading about how supportive he was of his fellow performers and of the thousands of anonymous soldiers he entertained and how gracious he was to his fans (corresponded with some of them for years), I found there was much to admire in him as a public performer and private individual.

    Probably what I loathe most about the left is their selective erasure of our recent cultural history. Crosby would be better remembered today if his achievements had not been shoved down the memory hole, along with those of other worthy individuals.

    Replies: @Ralph L

    It didn’t help that one or two of his sons did a Daddy Dearest.

    • Agree: Kylie
    • Replies: @BB753
    @Ralph L

    Or that one of his grandchildren, Denise Crosby, posed nude in Playboy magazine.

    Denise Crosby: Why She Really Quit Star Trek And Why She Did Playboy
    https://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/cltr/denise-crosby.html

    , @Art Deco
    @Ralph L

    One of his sons from his 1st marriage. Another son from the first marriage publicly reamed out his brother for it. Not sure what the other two had to say. One of Bing Crosby's brothers defended him and gave his take on the situation, saying Bing's disciplinary methods were those they were raised with in Tacoma, ca. 1914. Gary Crosby's account depicts is father as coldly detached, enforcing quirky standards with quirky methods, and given to tossing off insults. (Contrast that with Jerry Lewis' children hiding from their father's rages).

    Bing's first wife was an alcoholic, which may had an unsalutary effect on the dynamic. IIRC, at least two of his sons from his first marriage committed suicide in late middle age and none lived past 70. For all that he was strict with him, they were a godawful mess as adults.


    AFAIK, the 2d wife and the three children from his second marriage kept their peace on Gary Crosby's remarks. Gonna wager his second family was raised differently.

    Replies: @Kylie

  195. @Thea
    Nicolás Gómez Dávila should be more widely known.

    Replies: @Justpassingby

    Thea, I vote your comment #1 on the thread.

  196. @pancakerachelc
    How about chaplin?

    Replies: @Kylie

    Yes, I would say Chaplin is largely forgotten now by the general public. It’s hard to fathom when you realize how famous he was, with The Tramp being a symbol of Everyman.

    Today he seems mostly known for the exquisite ending to his masterpiece, “City Lights”. There are several clips of it on YouTube, with a total of several million views.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=C_vqnySNhQ0&feature=share&si=EMSIkaIECMiOmarE6JChQQ

  197. @Alden
    @R.G. Camara

    Elliot Gould was married to Barbara Streisand. Might have had something to do with his success.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    From what I’ve read Gould’s career ended when he became difficult to work with, due to his heavy drinking. Being married to Barbara Streisand might have had something to do with that.

  198. @Anon
    It's rather odd how popularity changes. In 1970, if you asked who the greatest painters were, people would have answered with the famous Renaissance trio of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

    Raphael has fallen out of that triumvirant these days. He has the peculiar quirk of looking vapid and boring in reproduction but terrific in real life, meaning his work doesn't impress over the internet or in photographic reproduction.

    Also in 1970, if you asked people what the two most famous paintings in the world were, everyone would have answered the Mona Lisa and the Blue Boy by Gainsborough. Nowadays, the Blue Boy is getting to be less well known again.

    Replies: @Liger

    Georgia O’Keefes paintings make for great post cards but look flat and lifeless in person.

  199. @Ralph L
    @Kylie

    It didn't help that one or two of his sons did a Daddy Dearest.

    Replies: @BB753, @Art Deco

    Or that one of his grandchildren, Denise Crosby, posed nude in Playboy magazine.

    Denise Crosby: Why She Really Quit Star Trek And Why She Did Playboy
    https://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/cltr/denise-crosby.html

  200. @Peterike
    @Graveldips


    It seems to me that a number of well-regarded American writers of the 30’s and 40’s, such as James Gould Cozzens and John P. Marquand, were pushed aside by New York critics in the 50’s, in favor of Jewish writers.
     
    100% true. Jews had essentially taken over the world of high- and mid-brow literary criticism and publishing as well, and after that it was Jews everywhere being promoted (same with TV and movies). That said, there's a lot of good writing out there that is more or less lost. For example, Betty Smith who wrote "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" is terrific.

    Norman Mailer, Leon Uris, Irwin Shaw, Herman Wouk, Leo Rosten, Irving Wallace, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, ad infinitum.
     
    Most of these writers are hugely overrated, for the same ethno-centric reasons. Not a one of them is as good as John O'Hara.

    It got to the point that John Updike was referred to as “the WASP novelist”.

     

    I think Updike was kept in the "elite" writers group because he was dirty minded, which served other uniquely Jewish interests in terms of corrupting society. A lot of the Jewish writers were dirty minded. Try finding something dirty in Booth Tarkington.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin, @Graveldips

    I think Updike was kept in the “elite” writers group because he was dirty minded, which served other uniquely Jewish interests in terms of corrupting society. A lot of the Jewish writers were dirty minded. Try finding something dirty in Booth Tarkington.

    Of course Tarkington and Updike wrote in very different periods. “Dirty” literature didn’t become widely available to the public until the 1960s, which also happens to be the decade in which Updike first began publishing novels.

    If Tarkington wished his novels to be widely published and read, he could not write dirty books. His near contemporary in England, D.H. lawrence, who did write “dirty” novels, saw his books maligned, expurgated and censored. Updike had easier choices to make.

    Most of these writers are hugely overrated, for the same ethno-centric reasons. Not a one of them is as good as John O’Hara.

    I agree with your comment for all of the names mentioned except Bellow.

    But there are many other great (or at least interesting, readable or at least respected) goy novelists from that postwar period (1946 to 1980) that match up well with those Jewish names – Carson McCullers, William Styron, Robert Penn Warren, Wallace Stegner, William Kennedy, Larry McMurtry, Ken Kesey, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Joan Didion, Walker Percy.

    I’m sure I’m missing many others. I also haven’t included what I consider the one-off group of non-Jewish authors – those who wrote one famous novel and then stopped writing for some reason. Harper Lee and John Kennedy Toole fit this bill. Many of these goy novelists were not as adept at self-promotion as the New York Jewish literary crowd, but they made their marks nevertheless.

  201. @Anon
    @Earl Lemongrab

    H.P. Lovecraft was also destined for oblivion after his death, except August Derleth founded a little publishing house just for his sake. And now he's published in the Library of America.

    Replies: @Liger

    1 love>100,000 likes.

  202. Christopher Smart (1722-1777)

    Jubilate Agno wasn’t published until 1939

  203. @Peterike
    @Graveldips


    It seems to me that a number of well-regarded American writers of the 30’s and 40’s, such as James Gould Cozzens and John P. Marquand, were pushed aside by New York critics in the 50’s, in favor of Jewish writers.
     
    100% true. Jews had essentially taken over the world of high- and mid-brow literary criticism and publishing as well, and after that it was Jews everywhere being promoted (same with TV and movies). That said, there's a lot of good writing out there that is more or less lost. For example, Betty Smith who wrote "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" is terrific.

    Norman Mailer, Leon Uris, Irwin Shaw, Herman Wouk, Leo Rosten, Irving Wallace, Joseph Heller, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth, ad infinitum.
     
    Most of these writers are hugely overrated, for the same ethno-centric reasons. Not a one of them is as good as John O'Hara.

    It got to the point that John Updike was referred to as “the WASP novelist”.

     

    I think Updike was kept in the "elite" writers group because he was dirty minded, which served other uniquely Jewish interests in terms of corrupting society. A lot of the Jewish writers were dirty minded. Try finding something dirty in Booth Tarkington.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin, @Graveldips

    Jewish critics had also taken over highbrow music criticism. Jewish conductors, pianists, and violinists filled the record bins. Probably the only reason that Van Cliburne was admitted to the front rank was that he won the Tschiakovsky competition in Moscow in 1956.

  204. @Ralph L
    @Kylie

    It didn't help that one or two of his sons did a Daddy Dearest.

    Replies: @BB753, @Art Deco

    One of his sons from his 1st marriage. Another son from the first marriage publicly reamed out his brother for it. Not sure what the other two had to say. One of Bing Crosby’s brothers defended him and gave his take on the situation, saying Bing’s disciplinary methods were those they were raised with in Tacoma, ca. 1914. Gary Crosby’s account depicts is father as coldly detached, enforcing quirky standards with quirky methods, and given to tossing off insults. (Contrast that with Jerry Lewis’ children hiding from their father’s rages).

    Bing’s first wife was an alcoholic, which may had an unsalutary effect on the dynamic. IIRC, at least two of his sons from his first marriage committed suicide in late middle age and none lived past 70. For all that he was strict with him, they were a godawful mess as adults.

    AFAIK, the 2d wife and the three children from his second marriage kept their peace on Gary Crosby’s remarks. Gonna wager his second family was raised differently.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Art Deco

    Bing's four sons by his first wife were all alcoholics, all slo-mo train wrecks. Two committed suicide.

    Bing's three children by his second wife are all moderately successful and seemingly well-adjusted.

    I agree his second family was raised differently. The difference was in the wives. Dixie was a mess, charming when sober but prone to alcoholic binges and refusing to accept any help. Her father urged Bing to have her involuntarily committed. She treated their sons as harshly as Bing did.

    Kathryn, by contrast, was thrilled to be Bing's wife and the mother of his children. She got her teaching certificate so she could home school their kids while they joined Bing in his travels.

    https://www.express.co.uk/celebrity-news/1216279/Bing-Crosby-son-daughter-book-Mary-Crosby-Gary-Crosby-abuse-news-latest#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=16646671894071&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.express.co.uk%2Fcelebrity-news%2F1216279%2FBing-Crosby-son-daughter-book-Mary-Crosby-Gary-Crosby-abuse-news-latest

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  205. Two literary examples. Robert E, Howard shot himself in the 1930s. His written work is still being printed and read. Movies are still made based on his writings.
    John Frederick Lange, better known as John Norman. Seventy years from now he will be still published and read while today’s “Woke” Hugo winners will be forgotten.

    • Replies: @BB753
    @p38ace

    Will John Norman be remembered for his BDSM treatise, "Imaginative Sex"?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginative_Sex

  206. @Rohirrimborn
    One hundred years ago Elbert Hubbard and his short novel A Message to Garcia were universally known in the United States. I've seen mid century movies where the phrase "a message to Garcia" was used and everyone at the time understood its meaning. I doubt 1% of Americans today have heard of Elbert Hubbard or are familiar with A Message to Garcia.

    Replies: @Mark G., @AceDeuce

    I doubt 1% of Americans today have heard of Elbert Hubbard or are familiar with A Message to Garcia.

    When I was in college in the seventies my college library had lots of his books including the fourteen volume Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great , some of which I read. I haven’t seen any of his books, heard mention of him, or thought of him in over forty years until you bought him up.

    He was quite busy. Beside writing numerous books, he published a magazine and also started a utopian community called Roycroft which turned out products like Mission style furniture. He started out as a follower of the socialist William Morris but later became disillusioned with socialism and became an ardent promoter of the free enterprise system. He lost his popularity in the socialist circles he had been traveling in when he did this. Then he had the misfortune of booking passage on the Lusitania, which was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans.

  207. Anonymous[387] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mark G.
    I live in Indiana. The Indiana author Booth Tarkington won a Literary Digest poll in the nineteen twenties as the most important American author but not many people today would pick him as the most important author of that era. His reputation may have partly declined because the film version of Magnificent Ambersons flopped. It was probably more, though, because he became more conservative as he became older and the mostly leftist literary critics decided they didn't like him for that reason. There have been few biographies or critical studies done of him the last seventy years, unlike fellow Indiana author Theodore Dreiser. The recent Indiana author Kurt Vonnegut has written of him appreciatively, though.

    Replies: @Pincher Martin, @Simon, @Anonymous

    Tarkington’s Seventeen was one of my favorite novels when I was in middle school. It was one of my mother’s favorite when she was about that age, too. F. Scott Fitzgerald said it was the funniest book he ever read.

    And speaking of funny novels and story collections, are they being written anymore? They once were very popular. I’m thinking of books such as The Egg and I, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, See Here Private Hargrove, Now Hear This, Guys and Dolls, The Education of Hyman Kaplan and so forth.

  208. @Rohirrimborn
    One hundred years ago Elbert Hubbard and his short novel A Message to Garcia were universally known in the United States. I've seen mid century movies where the phrase "a message to Garcia" was used and everyone at the time understood its meaning. I doubt 1% of Americans today have heard of Elbert Hubbard or are familiar with A Message to Garcia.

    Replies: @Mark G., @AceDeuce

    The military, especially the Marine Corps, have put A Message to Garcia, on their required reading lists over the past 20-25 years. FWIW, the book (more like a booklet in length), while very good reading (I own a copy) is not very historically accurate.

    I own several of Hubbard’s books. His life, of course, was cut short on the Lusitania, so he probably would have done much more.

  209. One writer who is obscure, although his works aren’t is Walter Tevis. He was primarily an English professor, who mainly wrote for magazines. He was also an alcoholic with a complicated love life. He did manage to write 6 novels. Four of the six were made into very popular movies/TY series.

    The Hustler
    The Man Who Fell to Earth.
    The Color of Money
    The Queen’s Gambit.

    A fifth, Mockingbird, was highly regarded, and PBS had plans to devlop it into a series, but never did.

  210. @Art Deco
    @Ralph L

    One of his sons from his 1st marriage. Another son from the first marriage publicly reamed out his brother for it. Not sure what the other two had to say. One of Bing Crosby's brothers defended him and gave his take on the situation, saying Bing's disciplinary methods were those they were raised with in Tacoma, ca. 1914. Gary Crosby's account depicts is father as coldly detached, enforcing quirky standards with quirky methods, and given to tossing off insults. (Contrast that with Jerry Lewis' children hiding from their father's rages).

    Bing's first wife was an alcoholic, which may had an unsalutary effect on the dynamic. IIRC, at least two of his sons from his first marriage committed suicide in late middle age and none lived past 70. For all that he was strict with him, they were a godawful mess as adults.


    AFAIK, the 2d wife and the three children from his second marriage kept their peace on Gary Crosby's remarks. Gonna wager his second family was raised differently.

    Replies: @Kylie

    Bing’s four sons by his first wife were all alcoholics, all slo-mo train wrecks. Two committed suicide.

    Bing’s three children by his second wife are all moderately successful and seemingly well-adjusted.

    I agree his second family was raised differently. The difference was in the wives. Dixie was a mess, charming when sober but prone to alcoholic binges and refusing to accept any help. Her father urged Bing to have her involuntarily committed. She treated their sons as harshly as Bing did.

    Kathryn, by contrast, was thrilled to be Bing’s wife and the mother of his children. She got her teaching certificate so she could home school their kids while they joined Bing in his travels.

    https://www.express.co.uk/celebrity-news/1216279/Bing-Crosby-son-daughter-book-Mary-Crosby-Gary-Crosby-abuse-news-latest#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=16646671894071&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.express.co.uk%2Fcelebrity-news%2F1216279%2FBing-Crosby-son-daughter-book-Mary-Crosby-Gary-Crosby-abuse-news-latest

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Kylie

    Let's not go full sexist rant here, and only blame Dixie for the mess that the four kids turned out to be.

    Bing also was a borderline alcoholic. He did manage to not let it beat him as it did his first wife. Bing was also a flagrant adulterer during most of his first marriage. The other two kids basically agreed with Gary's account of their father. He wasn't a model Father Knows Best.

    When he married his first wife in 1930, Bing was an up and coming crooner, while his wife was an up and coming actress in Hollywood. Sort of like A Star is Born type of thing. She probably never really wanted to be a stay at home mom, and, since her career was over by the mid. '30's, turned to drink and it got out of hand.

    Bing did two smart things for his second marriage: He moved out of Hollywood to Northern CA, and he married someone who was content to be a homemaker. By then he was pushing 60, and set in his ways. He retired from full time films in '66, and only did occasional recording and TV specials, leaving him time to focus on being more of a full time dad. And both his sons liked golf like he did, so that helped.

    At the 1971 WS, my dad interviewed Bing for the local CBS affiliate. Bing had been part owner of PIT for many years prior and was in the Galbreath's seats as a personal guest. It was also the first WS scheduled night game (Bruce Kison would get the win after pitching 6 awesome innings in relief).

    Replies: @Kylie

  211. @S Johnson
    @R.G. Camara

    No, Shakespeare was revived in Restoration England as soon as the Cromwellian interregnum was over. John Dryden worked on revisions of his plays and Samuel Pepys saw them staged. In the next century bringing out new editions of Shakespeare was seen as a worthy project for both the premier poet (Alexander Pope, 1725) and the rising man of letters (Johnson, 1745-65). Assessments of the true level of his genius have changed over time, being cemented by the Romantics, but there was pretty much no time at which he wasn’t seen as top theater guy.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Keypusher

    Right. Also, Shakespeare’s plays and poems were continuously being reprinted throughout the 17th century. See Shakespeare and the Book Trade by Lucas Erne.

    The funny thing is there’s another conspiracy theory that Shakespeare was puffed up by German critics also trying to resist French cultural dominance.

  212. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Kylie

    Thank you. Another couple of cool things I remember about Bing Crosby:

    He was the first or one of the very first singers to take advantage of magnetic tape to record his performances. He had a regular radio show then, and he would record his performances on tape so they could be broadcast later, thus freeing him to do other things.

    That was a new thing then, and BTW it was German technology.

    Bob Hope told a story I once caught on TV: Bob's friend Bing had a telephone installed in his car, so Bob got a phone for his own car. He called Bing's car to brag about it. Bing answered in his car, and Bob told him he was calling him from his new car phone!

    According to Bob, Bing answered and replied, "Would you hold on, my other phone is ringing."

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    But that doesn’t answer the question: As YUGE as Bing was during the mid. 20th century, in his day, probably as big as Elvis and the Beatles combined, and yet today….he’s largely forgotten.

    And yet, Elvis and the Beatles are very much remembered.

    Why is this?

    Can’t just be a generational thing, that Bing’s core audiences were largely pre-Baby Boomer, and Elvis and the Beatles’ core audience was the Baby Boomers. And of course the Baby Boomers are still very much with us, unlike the generations that idolized Bing, since they revolted and rebelled vs their parents’ generations icons, heroes, and especially vs their music, therefore, Bing had to go.

    There has to be another reason: Perhaps Bing’s music has been dead and buried for decades, while Elvis and the Beatles (rock and roll, rock, etc) are still around.

    Even Bob Hope, who outlived Bing by about 26 yrs, isn’t recalled anymore, and he too was YUGE. Perhaps the key to immortality is, don’t master a genre that goes the way of the dodo after your time has past.

    People still recall Biggie and Tupac, far more than they recall Bing. Very telling about US society as a whole, but not quite sure what it all means. Maybe the end of the beginning.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Crosby and Hope were the first to fully master the microphone in their fields in the early 1930s.

    But despite being a brilliant innovator in his prime, Crosby failed to master the new long-playing album when Frank Sinatra perfected it in the 1950s, even though Sinatra signed Crosby to his Reprise label. Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn't learn new tricks. -- This is from a new history of Pop Music, "Let's Do It" by Bob Stanley.

    Replies: @Anon, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Kylie

  213. @Kylie
    @Art Deco

    Bing's four sons by his first wife were all alcoholics, all slo-mo train wrecks. Two committed suicide.

    Bing's three children by his second wife are all moderately successful and seemingly well-adjusted.

    I agree his second family was raised differently. The difference was in the wives. Dixie was a mess, charming when sober but prone to alcoholic binges and refusing to accept any help. Her father urged Bing to have her involuntarily committed. She treated their sons as harshly as Bing did.

    Kathryn, by contrast, was thrilled to be Bing's wife and the mother of his children. She got her teaching certificate so she could home school their kids while they joined Bing in his travels.

    https://www.express.co.uk/celebrity-news/1216279/Bing-Crosby-son-daughter-book-Mary-Crosby-Gary-Crosby-abuse-news-latest#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&aoh=16646671894071&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.express.co.uk%2Fcelebrity-news%2F1216279%2FBing-Crosby-son-daughter-book-Mary-Crosby-Gary-Crosby-abuse-news-latest

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Let’s not go full sexist rant here, and only blame Dixie for the mess that the four kids turned out to be.

    Bing also was a borderline alcoholic. He did manage to not let it beat him as it did his first wife. Bing was also a flagrant adulterer during most of his first marriage. The other two kids basically agreed with Gary’s account of their father. He wasn’t a model Father Knows Best.

    When he married his first wife in 1930, Bing was an up and coming crooner, while his wife was an up and coming actress in Hollywood. Sort of like A Star is Born type of thing. She probably never really wanted to be a stay at home mom, and, since her career was over by the mid. ’30’s, turned to drink and it got out of hand.

    Bing did two smart things for his second marriage: He moved out of Hollywood to Northern CA, and he married someone who was content to be a homemaker. By then he was pushing 60, and set in his ways. He retired from full time films in ’66, and only did occasional recording and TV specials, leaving him time to focus on being more of a full time dad. And both his sons liked golf like he did, so that helped.

    At the 1971 WS, my dad interviewed Bing for the local CBS affiliate. Bing had been part owner of PIT for many years prior and was in the Galbreath’s seats as a personal guest. It was also the first WS scheduled night game (Bruce Kison would get the win after pitching 6 awesome innings in relief).

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    "@Kylie
    Let’s not go full sexist rant here, and only blame Dixie for the mess that the four kids turned out to be."

    Sexist rant? I'm not blaming Dixie for the mess her four kids turned out to be. You have only to look at Bing's two families to see the very stark differences between the first four and the last three. Bing was father to them all. But they had different mothers.

    Dixie apparently had severe social anxiety which contributed to her alcoholism. Those conditions were likely inherited so no blame attaches. The only thing I blame her for is her refusal to get or accept help. Bing sent a psychiatrist to their home so she'd have privacy. She refused to talk to him, refused to go to a sanatorium. Bing did his best to help her while she did nothing to help herself. She had to have servants and friends to protect her from herself, get her to the hospital when she injured herself while drunk, keep the boys away from her, etc.

    As for Bing's "flagrant adultery during most of his marriage", you must know more than his biographer. Gary Giddins says of Bing's pre-war home life, "If Bing stepped out in this period, his philandering — evident during the war but little noted before — was too incidental
    and discreet to merit attention."

    Further, the least screwed-up and longest-lived of his sons from his first marriage, Philip, disputed Gary's claims about Bing's abusive parenting.
    "My dad was not the monster my lying brother said he was, he was strict, but my father never beat us black and blue and my brother Gary was a vicious, no-good liar for saying so. I have nothing but fond memories of dad, going to studios with him, family vacations at our cabin in Idaho, boating and fishing with him. To my dying day, I'll hate Gary for dragging dad's name through the mud."

    Sadly, though he beat alcoholism, he apparently inherited Dixie's severe social anxiety. He was a virtual recluse when he died of a heart attack, age 69.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  214. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Buzz Mohawk

    But that doesn't answer the question: As YUGE as Bing was during the mid. 20th century, in his day, probably as big as Elvis and the Beatles combined, and yet today....he's largely forgotten.

    And yet, Elvis and the Beatles are very much remembered.

    Why is this?

    Can't just be a generational thing, that Bing's core audiences were largely pre-Baby Boomer, and Elvis and the Beatles' core audience was the Baby Boomers. And of course the Baby Boomers are still very much with us, unlike the generations that idolized Bing, since they revolted and rebelled vs their parents' generations icons, heroes, and especially vs their music, therefore, Bing had to go.

    There has to be another reason: Perhaps Bing's music has been dead and buried for decades, while Elvis and the Beatles (rock and roll, rock, etc) are still around.

    Even Bob Hope, who outlived Bing by about 26 yrs, isn't recalled anymore, and he too was YUGE. Perhaps the key to immortality is, don't master a genre that goes the way of the dodo after your time has past.

    People still recall Biggie and Tupac, far more than they recall Bing. Very telling about US society as a whole, but not quite sure what it all means. Maybe the end of the beginning.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Crosby and Hope were the first to fully master the microphone in their fields in the early 1930s.

    But despite being a brilliant innovator in his prime, Crosby failed to master the new long-playing album when Frank Sinatra perfected it in the 1950s, even though Sinatra signed Crosby to his Reprise label. Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn’t learn new tricks. — This is from a new history of Pop Music, “Let’s Do It” by Bob Stanley.

    • Replies: @Anon
    @Steve Sailer

    And now, with vinyl a niche interest and the young streaming most music, the idea of the LP as a concept is surely vanishing. No more Pet Sounds or LZ II?

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    "Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. "

    Bing came from a different era, when the 78 was in its prime. The first LP came out ca. 1948, when Sinatra was around 32. He immediately ditched the 78 in favor of LPs.

    Ironically, except for some prominent examples, Elvis didn't master the LP either. Or rather RCA didn't think much of making his songs coherent parts into an LP. Where Elvis's strength lay, was in selling singles, chiefly the 45. Some lists have Elvis outselling the Beatles worldwide in singles (45s), which is what I directly asked you a few months ago, when you mentioned that you bought your first record ca.1969, and I asked you if you bought a 45 or an LP?

    So the division existed in early Rock as well. '50's acts like Elvis went for the 45, while '60's bands like the Beatles went for the LP. Elvis could always compete with the Beatles with singles (45s), but LPs were not his forte (for the most part, though there were some prominent examples that suggest if he had retained Chips Moman, who was closest to an American equivalent of George Martin type producer, he'd have been fine in the field).

    For the first decade or so, RCA was the lead seller of 45s as they had taken the lead in distributing them before most record labels ca.1948/49.

    So even though Elvis was decades younger than both Sinatra and Crosby, he never thought in terms of albums. He thought in terms of individual songs that he wanted to record, which RCA, home to the 45, was more than happy to accommodate him. Also, in the '50's, 45's tended to outsell LPs, so for Elvis it was the way to go. The younger generation could afford the 45, and of course the singles were what got the most radio and jukebox time.

    Rock didn't really come round to LPs til '65/'66 with Rubber Soul/Pet Sounds/Kinks/Stones/Revolver.

    Ironically, aside from his gospel LPs, the main genre of LPs that Elvis sold were songs to his movies, the soundtrack LPs, which initially made a boatload. Blue Hawaii soundtrack was one of the '60's biggest selling LPs, and spent 20 weeks at number one on Billboard, while Sgt Pepper spent 15 weeks at number one.

    , @Kylie
    @Steve Sailer

    "Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn’t learn new tricks."

    By the 1950s, Crosby had been helping to keep up American morale first through the Depression, then through WWII. He seemed like a wise and comforting elder that could be safely ignored. By contrast, even though Sinatra was 40, he seemed young and sexual in a kind of raw way. Of course, Elvis seemed even more so. Young kids didn't want sophisticated songs with clever lyrics, they wanted their ballads simple and syrupy and their up-tempo songs simple and raw.

    By WWII, popular music had gotten about as sophisticated as it could get. Black and white musicians were composing really rather complex pieces and performing them with a high degree of polish. Post-WWII, there was a major reaction to all that. Music and lyrics became simpler, more basic. Of course, the Beatles quickly evolved into creating complex pieces but they were seen as rebels so that was okay. I don't think most of their fans even noticed all the chord and time changes.

    WWII accelerated the process of cultural devolution that WWI started. This is why I consider John Boorman's movie "Hope and Glory" about his childhood in wartime England, to be a horror film. Dads were away at war, moms held down the home front the best they could, kids ran amok. Also the Graham Greene's "The Destructors", published in 1954, to me more horrifying than anything Lovecraft write.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Jonathan Mason

  215. @Thea
    Paintings often hung in homes of the wealthy for generations. Viewed only by the inhabitants, visitors and servants, these great works could not reach the greater public until more recently. Modern museums, and later photography, opened a door for art to be appreciated by the masses, sometimes not until the artist had been deaf for centuries.


    Dutch golden age artists fall into this category. Ordinary Dutchmen had no clue some of these works even existed.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @SIMP simp

    The artistic opinion of the greater public didn’t matter then and doesn’t matter now. People in the elite, be they wealthy patrons or artists, had access to private art collections, libraries and cabinets of curiosities which were put together to be displayed, show the wealth and taste of the collector and attract and impress notable guests.
    Even the first art museums gave less access time to the general public than to artists.
    The only paintings that were somewhat hidden were those deemed erotic like the Rokeby Venus and Boucher’s Resting Girl but even those were seen by plenty of people as they were in royal palaces were public ceremonies like levee took place even in the king’s bedroom.
    Sure 90% of painters didn’t get displayed in the famous collections but that happens now as well.

  216. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Crosby and Hope were the first to fully master the microphone in their fields in the early 1930s.

    But despite being a brilliant innovator in his prime, Crosby failed to master the new long-playing album when Frank Sinatra perfected it in the 1950s, even though Sinatra signed Crosby to his Reprise label. Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn't learn new tricks. -- This is from a new history of Pop Music, "Let's Do It" by Bob Stanley.

    Replies: @Anon, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Kylie

    And now, with vinyl a niche interest and the young streaming most music, the idea of the LP as a concept is surely vanishing. No more Pet Sounds or LZ II?

  217. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Kylie

    Let's not go full sexist rant here, and only blame Dixie for the mess that the four kids turned out to be.

    Bing also was a borderline alcoholic. He did manage to not let it beat him as it did his first wife. Bing was also a flagrant adulterer during most of his first marriage. The other two kids basically agreed with Gary's account of their father. He wasn't a model Father Knows Best.

    When he married his first wife in 1930, Bing was an up and coming crooner, while his wife was an up and coming actress in Hollywood. Sort of like A Star is Born type of thing. She probably never really wanted to be a stay at home mom, and, since her career was over by the mid. '30's, turned to drink and it got out of hand.

    Bing did two smart things for his second marriage: He moved out of Hollywood to Northern CA, and he married someone who was content to be a homemaker. By then he was pushing 60, and set in his ways. He retired from full time films in '66, and only did occasional recording and TV specials, leaving him time to focus on being more of a full time dad. And both his sons liked golf like he did, so that helped.

    At the 1971 WS, my dad interviewed Bing for the local CBS affiliate. Bing had been part owner of PIT for many years prior and was in the Galbreath's seats as a personal guest. It was also the first WS scheduled night game (Bruce Kison would get the win after pitching 6 awesome innings in relief).

    Replies: @Kylie


    Let’s not go full sexist rant here, and only blame Dixie for the mess that the four kids turned out to be.”

    Sexist rant? I’m not blaming Dixie for the mess her four kids turned out to be. You have only to look at Bing’s two families to see the very stark differences between the first four and the last three. Bing was father to them all. But they had different mothers.

    Dixie apparently had severe social anxiety which contributed to her alcoholism. Those conditions were likely inherited so no blame attaches. The only thing I blame her for is her refusal to get or accept help. Bing sent a psychiatrist to their home so she’d have privacy. She refused to talk to him, refused to go to a sanatorium. Bing did his best to help her while she did nothing to help herself. She had to have servants and friends to protect her from herself, get her to the hospital when she injured herself while drunk, keep the boys away from her, etc.

    As for Bing’s “flagrant adultery during most of his marriage”, you must know more than his biographer. Gary Giddins says of Bing’s pre-war home life, “If Bing stepped out in this period, his philandering — evident during the war but little noted before — was too incidental
    and discreet to merit attention.”

    Further, the least screwed-up and longest-lived of his sons from his first marriage, Philip, disputed Gary’s claims about Bing’s abusive parenting.
    “My dad was not the monster my lying brother said he was, he was strict, but my father never beat us black and blue and my brother Gary was a vicious, no-good liar for saying so. I have nothing but fond memories of dad, going to studios with him, family vacations at our cabin in Idaho, boating and fishing with him. To my dying day, I’ll hate Gary for dragging dad’s name through the mud.”

    Sadly, though he beat alcoholism, he apparently inherited Dixie’s severe social anxiety. He was a virtual recluse when he died of a heart attack, age 69.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Kylie

    "As for Bing’s “flagrant adultery during most of his marriage”, you must know more than his biographer. Gary Giddins says of Bing’s pre-war home life, “If Bing stepped out in this period, his philandering — evident during the war but little noted before — was too incidental
    and discreet to merit attention.”

    Incidental + discreet = he was an adulterer, plain and simple. Remember, Giddins has the full cooperation of the Crosby Estate, controlled by the kids from his 2nd marriage. While Giddins is free of course to tell the full truth, there are of course ways to message it and of course that's the quid pro quo for gaining access to the private papers etc. In other words, emphasize certain aspects of a beloved icon, while deemphasizing and/or minimizing other aspects.

    Bob Hope's writers, Arthur Marx, wrote quite the book on Bob Hope in the early '90's most of which has been confirmed over time. Bing was mentioned several times in the biography as quite a willing participant in adulterous affairs. During the studio system age of Classic Hollywood, it's safe to say that 90% of Alisters cheated on their partners. Only a naive fool would believe otherwise. The studios covered up the affairs regularly, and of course Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper seldom ever went public with the information. In this sense, Bing was no different, especially as Dixie's drinking worsened over time.

    The other two kids agreed with Gary. Bing was daddy dearest. NONE of Bing's first four kids were screwed on straight, due in no small part to their parents. Bing also had a severe drinking problem for the early part of his career, which he managed to subdue, or not allow to get out of hand as Dixie's did.

  218. @Kylie
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    "@Kylie
    Let’s not go full sexist rant here, and only blame Dixie for the mess that the four kids turned out to be."

    Sexist rant? I'm not blaming Dixie for the mess her four kids turned out to be. You have only to look at Bing's two families to see the very stark differences between the first four and the last three. Bing was father to them all. But they had different mothers.

    Dixie apparently had severe social anxiety which contributed to her alcoholism. Those conditions were likely inherited so no blame attaches. The only thing I blame her for is her refusal to get or accept help. Bing sent a psychiatrist to their home so she'd have privacy. She refused to talk to him, refused to go to a sanatorium. Bing did his best to help her while she did nothing to help herself. She had to have servants and friends to protect her from herself, get her to the hospital when she injured herself while drunk, keep the boys away from her, etc.

    As for Bing's "flagrant adultery during most of his marriage", you must know more than his biographer. Gary Giddins says of Bing's pre-war home life, "If Bing stepped out in this period, his philandering — evident during the war but little noted before — was too incidental
    and discreet to merit attention."

    Further, the least screwed-up and longest-lived of his sons from his first marriage, Philip, disputed Gary's claims about Bing's abusive parenting.
    "My dad was not the monster my lying brother said he was, he was strict, but my father never beat us black and blue and my brother Gary was a vicious, no-good liar for saying so. I have nothing but fond memories of dad, going to studios with him, family vacations at our cabin in Idaho, boating and fishing with him. To my dying day, I'll hate Gary for dragging dad's name through the mud."

    Sadly, though he beat alcoholism, he apparently inherited Dixie's severe social anxiety. He was a virtual recluse when he died of a heart attack, age 69.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “As for Bing’s “flagrant adultery during most of his marriage”, you must know more than his biographer. Gary Giddins says of Bing’s pre-war home life, “If Bing stepped out in this period, his philandering — evident during the war but little noted before — was too incidental
    and discreet to merit attention.”

    Incidental + discreet = he was an adulterer, plain and simple. Remember, Giddins has the full cooperation of the Crosby Estate, controlled by the kids from his 2nd marriage. While Giddins is free of course to tell the full truth, there are of course ways to message it and of course that’s the quid pro quo for gaining access to the private papers etc. In other words, emphasize certain aspects of a beloved icon, while deemphasizing and/or minimizing other aspects.

    Bob Hope’s writers, Arthur Marx, wrote quite the book on Bob Hope in the early ’90’s most of which has been confirmed over time. Bing was mentioned several times in the biography as quite a willing participant in adulterous affairs. During the studio system age of Classic Hollywood, it’s safe to say that 90% of Alisters cheated on their partners. Only a naive fool would believe otherwise. The studios covered up the affairs regularly, and of course Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper seldom ever went public with the information. In this sense, Bing was no different, especially as Dixie’s drinking worsened over time.

    The other two kids agreed with Gary. Bing was daddy dearest. NONE of Bing’s first four kids were screwed on straight, due in no small part to their parents. Bing also had a severe drinking problem for the early part of his career, which he managed to subdue, or not allow to get out of hand as Dixie’s did.

  219. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Crosby and Hope were the first to fully master the microphone in their fields in the early 1930s.

    But despite being a brilliant innovator in his prime, Crosby failed to master the new long-playing album when Frank Sinatra perfected it in the 1950s, even though Sinatra signed Crosby to his Reprise label. Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn't learn new tricks. -- This is from a new history of Pop Music, "Let's Do It" by Bob Stanley.

    Replies: @Anon, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Kylie

    “Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. ”

    Bing came from a different era, when the 78 was in its prime. The first LP came out ca. 1948, when Sinatra was around 32. He immediately ditched the 78 in favor of LPs.

    Ironically, except for some prominent examples, Elvis didn’t master the LP either. Or rather RCA didn’t think much of making his songs coherent parts into an LP. Where Elvis’s strength lay, was in selling singles, chiefly the 45. Some lists have Elvis outselling the Beatles worldwide in singles (45s), which is what I directly asked you a few months ago, when you mentioned that you bought your first record ca.1969, and I asked you if you bought a 45 or an LP?

    So the division existed in early Rock as well. ’50’s acts like Elvis went for the 45, while ’60’s bands like the Beatles went for the LP. Elvis could always compete with the Beatles with singles (45s), but LPs were not his forte (for the most part, though there were some prominent examples that suggest if he had retained Chips Moman, who was closest to an American equivalent of George Martin type producer, he’d have been fine in the field).

    For the first decade or so, RCA was the lead seller of 45s as they had taken the lead in distributing them before most record labels ca.1948/49.

    So even though Elvis was decades younger than both Sinatra and Crosby, he never thought in terms of albums. He thought in terms of individual songs that he wanted to record, which RCA, home to the 45, was more than happy to accommodate him. Also, in the ’50’s, 45’s tended to outsell LPs, so for Elvis it was the way to go. The younger generation could afford the 45, and of course the singles were what got the most radio and jukebox time.

    Rock didn’t really come round to LPs til ’65/’66 with Rubber Soul/Pet Sounds/Kinks/Stones/Revolver.

    Ironically, aside from his gospel LPs, the main genre of LPs that Elvis sold were songs to his movies, the soundtrack LPs, which initially made a boatload. Blue Hawaii soundtrack was one of the ’60’s biggest selling LPs, and spent 20 weeks at number one on Billboard, while Sgt Pepper spent 15 weeks at number one.

  220. Anonymous[386] • Disclaimer says:
    @MagyarOrvos
    Semmelweis was only recognized 20 years after his death when germ theory was more or less in place, thanks to Lister.

    Semmelweis’ caustic style (driven by personal guilt) and lack of theoretical mechanism for infection left him without the ability to win physicians over to his side during his lifetime.

    It was only posthumously that people realized “oh shit, that cranky Hungarian was really onto something. We really should have been washing our hands with chlorine solution (per Semmelweis) before inserting them into laboring mothers.”

    Replies: @prosa123, @Anonymous, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    No matter how he sugar-coated it, Semmelweis was accusing doctors of mass-murder. The medical profession was never, ever going to accept that. It was necessary to wait for a whole generation of doctors to die off before his ideas became acceptable.

    (There are interesting parallels with the case of William Hamilton and his theory about AIDS origins.)

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anonymous

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., who was the most fashionable doctor in Massachusetts and a beloved humorist, pushed the same theory as Semmelweis at about the same time. Everybody still loved Holmes, but nobody did anything about it.

    , @BB753
    @Anonymous

    "There are interesting parallels with the case of William Hamilton and his theory about AIDS origins."

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/theoriginofaids

    Another paralell might be the high mortality of COVID ( or more broadly COVID positive) patients on ventilators. But doctors knew what they were doing.

  221. @Anonymous
    @MagyarOrvos

    No matter how he sugar-coated it, Semmelweis was accusing doctors of mass-murder. The medical profession was never, ever going to accept that. It was necessary to wait for a whole generation of doctors to die off before his ideas became acceptable.

    (There are interesting parallels with the case of William Hamilton and his theory about AIDS origins.)

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @BB753

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., who was the most fashionable doctor in Massachusetts and a beloved humorist, pushed the same theory as Semmelweis at about the same time. Everybody still loved Holmes, but nobody did anything about it.

  222. @Anonymous
    @MagyarOrvos

    No matter how he sugar-coated it, Semmelweis was accusing doctors of mass-murder. The medical profession was never, ever going to accept that. It was necessary to wait for a whole generation of doctors to die off before his ideas became acceptable.

    (There are interesting parallels with the case of William Hamilton and his theory about AIDS origins.)

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @BB753

    “There are interesting parallels with the case of William Hamilton and his theory about AIDS origins.”

    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/theoriginofaids

    Another paralell might be the high mortality of COVID ( or more broadly COVID positive) patients on ventilators. But doctors knew what they were doing.

  223. @Anon
    @Ralph L

    One of the most pointed overratings of modern female talent is Frida Kahlo. No one had heard of her a couple generations ago. She paints like a 6th grader. But Kahlo was Jewish, Communist, female, minority, self-obsessed, sickly, kind of ugly, married a man of color, was bisexual, and had unhappy relationships. This means she has become an obsession with Jewish women who are communist, ugly, self-obsessed, in unhappy relationships, etc., etc. They have elevated Frida way beyond her deserved level of fame, simply because they feel Frida represents themselves, and because she ticks off every box of SJW victimhood.

    There has been a whole literary movement to uncover unheard voices in literature among women and blacks, and though some of the white women are worth hearing, the blunt fact is that most women who wrote in the 1800s are not worth reading, and if you've read one slave narrative, you've read them all. I've tried to read a few of these, and they remind me of Florence King's remark that Southern culture is essentially pre-literate and relies on oral memory instead of the written word, because everyone repeats things 3 times. The slaves were so dumb and lived such a constricted life that they're insanely boring to read.

    Meanwhile, I've discovered many unheard voices in the form of white men who wrote excellent memoirs in the 1800s that nobody reads these days because they're not popular in academia. For example, I've read sea memoirs from Melville's time that are miles better than Moby Dick.

    Replies: @Lumpy, @Gordo

    Absolutely true, if you don’t know the answer to a question on BBC’s ‘University Challenge’ just shout Frida Kahlo and you have a fair chance of being right.

  224. @Hypnotoad666
    It would make an interesting parlor game to ask artists which scenario they would prefer: (A) Have some modest artistic success and recognition while you are alive, but then be immediately and totally forgotten; or (B) Live and toil in obscurity without any recognition or success, but then -- only long after you're dead -- be discovered, adored and celebrated by the entire world for generations.

    Replies: @R.G. Camara, @Gordo

    It would make an interesting parlor game to ask artists which scenario they would prefer: (A) Have some modest artistic success and recognition while you are alive, but then be immediately and totally forgotten; or (B) Live and toil in obscurity without any recognition or success, but then — only long after you’re dead — be discovered, adored and celebrated by the entire world for generations.

    I’m assuming they would wish young ladies to jump into their beds not jump into their coffins.

  225. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Perhaps, if you really want to get people going and provide some food for thought, let's ask who is mightily famous today but destined for obscurity in a generation.

    I would go with popular philosophers: Dawkins/Dennett, Peter Singer, John Rawls, Fukuyama. Nobody is going to bother with these guys in another 20 years.

    Replies: @Dieter Kief, @Art Deco, @Gordo

    I would go with popular philosophers: Dawkins/Dennett, Peter Singer, John Rawls, Fukuyama. Nobody is going to bother with these guys in another 20 years.

    In 20 years time we might live , if we live, in a world where no-one gives a toss about any philosopher.

  226. @anon
    @Ralph L

    Dickinson became modestly well-known as a popular poet in the years shortly after her death in 1886, largely because of her sister's efforts. A somewhat larger wave of fame started in the 30's when academia realized that, like her fellow New Englander Melville, she had 'pre-discovered' Modernism, basically on her own. But her real fame began with second-wave feminism in the 60's.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    But her real fame began with second-wave feminism in the 60’s.

    Richard B. Sewall, head of the English department at Yale, wrote The Life of Emily Dickinson, which won the National Book Award for biography in 1975.

    • Replies: @Ralph L
    @Harry Baldwin

    That would have been about the time I read a little ED in honors American Lit, thanks to the only female teacher I had in HS. But the only thing that stuck in my mind was Faulkner's macabre "A Rose for Emily." Thankfully, I read more Faulkner later for fun.

  227. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Steve Sailer

    Great writer. Great poem. Great movie. Great director. Great cast.

    In searching for relevant stuff, I happened upon the following quote from Lionel Trilling:

    "It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief."

    I never had heard of Lionel Trilling, but that statement impresses me so much that I have looked him up. I haven't read much about him yet; maybe he will turn out to be a bum. I don't know, but that quote is perfect.

    What he said is so very true today. Things that you, Steve, notice and write about in our time exemplify that truth. One wonders, is it possible that men have felt this way in every era? One also wonders, will Steve Sailer someday be widely known and respected for the work he is doing today?

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican, @Known Fact

    “It is now life and not art that requires the willing suspension of disbelief.”

    Thanks, I like that — in the same spirit as the Twain character who notes that “Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction is obliged to stick to probability.” Or the modern observation that this month’s conspiracy theory is next month’s truth

  228. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    I saw the claim made, several years ago, that it would take a trained transcriptionist 40 years of 40 your weeks just to fully transcribe the totality Bach’s music.
    My ignorance is such that I have no idea if that is ridiculous but if my guess of about 1200 pieces is right (long and probably falsely remembered) that’s about 65 hours per.
    Either way, Bach one of the reasons to believe in a God.

  229. @MagyarOrvos
    Semmelweis was only recognized 20 years after his death when germ theory was more or less in place, thanks to Lister.

    Semmelweis’ caustic style (driven by personal guilt) and lack of theoretical mechanism for infection left him without the ability to win physicians over to his side during his lifetime.

    It was only posthumously that people realized “oh shit, that cranky Hungarian was really onto something. We really should have been washing our hands with chlorine solution (per Semmelweis) before inserting them into laboring mothers.”

    Replies: @prosa123, @Anonymous, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “We really should have been washing our hands with chlorine solution (per Semmelweis) before inserting them into laboring mothers.”

    The docs could also wear thick gloves, too, you know as well. Latex gloves were invented ca.1894 and wre used in Johns Hopkins.

  230. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Emil Nikola Richard

    I have the three-volume condensation of Toynbee's A Study Of History but haven't finished it (to my shame).

    prosa123 - some of us have heard of him, those who picked up one of his books thinking it was an early work by the other guy!

    Replies: @Bill Jones

    I have the 20 volume O.E.D., had it for 25 years, I haven’t finished that yet.

  231. @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Crosby and Hope were the first to fully master the microphone in their fields in the early 1930s.

    But despite being a brilliant innovator in his prime, Crosby failed to master the new long-playing album when Frank Sinatra perfected it in the 1950s, even though Sinatra signed Crosby to his Reprise label. Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn't learn new tricks. -- This is from a new history of Pop Music, "Let's Do It" by Bob Stanley.

    Replies: @Anon, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Kylie

    “Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn’t learn new tricks.”

    By the 1950s, Crosby had been helping to keep up American morale first through the Depression, then through WWII. He seemed like a wise and comforting elder that could be safely ignored. By contrast, even though Sinatra was 40, he seemed young and sexual in a kind of raw way. Of course, Elvis seemed even more so. Young kids didn’t want sophisticated songs with clever lyrics, they wanted their ballads simple and syrupy and their up-tempo songs simple and raw.

    By WWII, popular music had gotten about as sophisticated as it could get. Black and white musicians were composing really rather complex pieces and performing them with a high degree of polish. Post-WWII, there was a major reaction to all that. Music and lyrics became simpler, more basic. Of course, the Beatles quickly evolved into creating complex pieces but they were seen as rebels so that was okay. I don’t think most of their fans even noticed all the chord and time changes.

    WWII accelerated the process of cultural devolution that WWI started. This is why I consider John Boorman’s movie “Hope and Glory” about his childhood in wartime England, to be a horror film. Dads were away at war, moms held down the home front the best they could, kids ran amok. Also the Graham Greene’s “The Destructors”, published in 1954, to me more horrifying than anything Lovecraft write.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Kylie

    "Of course, Elvis seemed even more so."

    SEEMED? He WAS. Talking about the greatest US live act of the 20th century. Everyone followed his lead.
    “Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution - the 60’s comes from it.”
    - Leonard Bernstein, 1960s

    ""Young kids didn’t want sophisticated songs with clever lyrics, they wanted their ballads simple and syrupy and their up-tempo songs simple and raw.""

    Hold up. Elvis's 1960-62 recording period saw more than its share of sophistication and cleverness.
    During this time, he recorded during this period excellent standouts as "It's now or Never"--based on "It's Now or Never" is one of two popular songs based on the Italian song of the Neapolitan language, "O Sole Mio". "Are you Lonesome Tonight"--a 1920's song made popular at the time by Jolson.
    "Surrender", based on It is an adaptation by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman of the music of a 1902 Neapolitan ballad by Giambattista and Ernesto de Curtis entitled "Torna a Surriento".
    He also recorded a gospel album during this time. "Can't help falling in Love" was also a fairly sophisticated song. and "Blue Hawaii" was first recorded by Bing back in '37. No one remembers Bing's version, while they now associate the song with Elvis.
    Point being, Elvis always responded to a challenge, and he proved up to the task.

    What I find interesting is that for all his apparent reluctance, Steve will probably have to review the film Elvis this year and Austin Butler, should he get Oscar Nominated. If the Brian Wilson documentary can be reviewed, then so can the new Elvis film. After all, everyone from the Beatles on to some extent were influenced by the King of Rock and Roll.

    , @Jonathan Mason
    @Kylie

    I dunno. I think you have to take into account changes in technology.

    During WWII big band music was the predominant form of popular music, and bands like Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman had many hits with various vocalists.

    Towards the end of World war II RCA developed the 45 RPM record, and CBS developed the 33 RPM long playing record.

    Long playing records became very popular because they could put entire musicals or soundtracks from movies onto one record, whereas previously soundtracks had been sold in sets of records at 78RPM sold in a thick book or "album".

    Prior to these two technologies, recorded music was mostly confined to the big old 78 RPM records that played for about 3 minutes maximum.

    LP's really exploded in the early 50s, particularly since big bands like Ellington and Goodman produced extended versions of songs previously recorded, and jazz musicians started to record longer compositions that would be linked around a particular sound or theme.

    Frank Sinatra produced a very good album called (something like) Live at the Sands with the Count Basie Orchestra.

    1956 may have been the apex of the LP yes, with an astonishing number of superb albums recorded. A lot of music recorded in 1956 still sounds fresh today. This album might be the best of the lot.

    https://youtu.be/tLFlJIqiMLc

  232. @R.G. Camara
    @Harry Baldwin


    Many of the stars are people no one even thinks about anymore, like George Segal.
     
    When The Onion was funny and not merely corporate Deep State propaganda, it released a book of fake headlines from previous decades. For the 1970s one, one of the ads was for teenyboppers : "Win a dream date with Eliot Gould!"

    I always laughed when I saw it. Yes, for some strange reason, wussy plain-faced whiny-voiced Eliot Gould was a major movie star in the 1970s, and no one knows why.

    Replies: @Alden, @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Altman’s “California Split” with Gould and George Segal is a pretty good movie.

    and this is totally OT but I just happen to be listening to it while I’m writing this: one of the funniest songs ever. Only Christopher Walken has a better deadpan.

  233. @Harry Baldwin
    @anon

    But her real fame began with second-wave feminism in the 60’s.

    Richard B. Sewall, head of the English department at Yale, wrote The Life of Emily Dickinson, which won the National Book Award for biography in 1975.

    Replies: @Ralph L

    That would have been about the time I read a little ED in honors American Lit, thanks to the only female teacher I had in HS. But the only thing that stuck in my mind was Faulkner’s macabre “A Rose for Emily.” Thankfully, I read more Faulkner later for fun.

  234. @Kylie
    @Steve Sailer

    "Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn’t learn new tricks."

    By the 1950s, Crosby had been helping to keep up American morale first through the Depression, then through WWII. He seemed like a wise and comforting elder that could be safely ignored. By contrast, even though Sinatra was 40, he seemed young and sexual in a kind of raw way. Of course, Elvis seemed even more so. Young kids didn't want sophisticated songs with clever lyrics, they wanted their ballads simple and syrupy and their up-tempo songs simple and raw.

    By WWII, popular music had gotten about as sophisticated as it could get. Black and white musicians were composing really rather complex pieces and performing them with a high degree of polish. Post-WWII, there was a major reaction to all that. Music and lyrics became simpler, more basic. Of course, the Beatles quickly evolved into creating complex pieces but they were seen as rebels so that was okay. I don't think most of their fans even noticed all the chord and time changes.

    WWII accelerated the process of cultural devolution that WWI started. This is why I consider John Boorman's movie "Hope and Glory" about his childhood in wartime England, to be a horror film. Dads were away at war, moms held down the home front the best they could, kids ran amok. Also the Graham Greene's "The Destructors", published in 1954, to me more horrifying than anything Lovecraft write.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Jonathan Mason

    “Of course, Elvis seemed even more so.”

    SEEMED? He WAS. Talking about the greatest US live act of the 20th century. Everyone followed his lead.
    “Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it’s a whole new social revolution – the 60’s comes from it.”
    – Leonard Bernstein, 1960s

    “”Young kids didn’t want sophisticated songs with clever lyrics, they wanted their ballads simple and syrupy and their up-tempo songs simple and raw.””

    Hold up. Elvis’s 1960-62 recording period saw more than its share of sophistication and cleverness.
    During this time, he recorded during this period excellent standouts as “It’s now or Never”–based on “It’s Now or Never” is one of two popular songs based on the Italian song of the Neapolitan language, “O Sole Mio”. “Are you Lonesome Tonight”–a 1920’s song made popular at the time by Jolson.
    “Surrender”, based on It is an adaptation by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman of the music of a 1902 Neapolitan ballad by Giambattista and Ernesto de Curtis entitled “Torna a Surriento”.
    He also recorded a gospel album during this time. “Can’t help falling in Love” was also a fairly sophisticated song. and “Blue Hawaii” was first recorded by Bing back in ’37. No one remembers Bing’s version, while they now associate the song with Elvis.
    Point being, Elvis always responded to a challenge, and he proved up to the task.

    What I find interesting is that for all his apparent reluctance, Steve will probably have to review the film Elvis this year and Austin Butler, should he get Oscar Nominated. If the Brian Wilson documentary can be reviewed, then so can the new Elvis film. After all, everyone from the Beatles on to some extent were influenced by the King of Rock and Roll.

  235. @NJ Transit Commuter
    No doubt Bach is the GOAT. The closest to perfect music has ever been, whether you listen to it or play it.
    For my money, stuff like this prelude is 1:30 of paradise on earth.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_DFyOgtCzw

    Replies: @Anon, @slumber_j, @Dutch Boy, @LP5, @SunBakedSuburb, @Anon, @Jonathan Mason, @Bardon Kaldlan, @Patrick Gibbs, @turtle, @Bill Jones, @Bloodthirsty Tribal Deity

    We bombed this for the Khazars

  236. @Pincher Martin

    Anyway, who else should I graph when Ngram starts up again?
     
    Here are some...

    Franz Schubert (dead at 31) - Appreciated by only his small circle of friends at the time of his death in 1828, his reputation soon grew as famous composers (particularly Liszt) began to promote his work.

    Edgar Allen Poe (dead at 40) - A well-known critic and lesser-known writer during his lifetime, and celebrated by the French before his reputation as a consequential man of letters grew in English-reading countries, Poe was not unknown when he died in 1849, but he certainly did not have the literary legacy he has today.

    Two contemporary examples:

    Jean-Michel Basquiat (dead at 27) - New York painter who died of a heroin overdose in 1988. One of his paintings recently sold for over $100 million.

    John Kennedy Toole (dead at 31) - one-hit-wonder author of the CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, which is now considered part of the literary canon of the U.S., he committed suicide in 1969.

    A non-young example of an artist unrecognized in his lifetime who after his death became famous:

    William Blake (dead at 69) - Wiki says that at the time of his death (1827), he had sold fewer than thirty copies of his most famous work, SONGS OF INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE, despite it being in print for nearly three decades.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Thanks.

  237. @Peterike
    Do Booth Tarkington. Wildly popular in his time. Now obscure. He was too conservative and not “modern” enough for current academic taste, and he has characters using the N word all the time.

    Anyway, he’s terrific.

    Replies: @Alden, @Graveldips, @Steve Sailer

    Thanks.

  238. @p38ace
    Two literary examples. Robert E, Howard shot himself in the 1930s. His written work is still being printed and read. Movies are still made based on his writings.
    John Frederick Lange, better known as John Norman. Seventy years from now he will be still published and read while today's "Woke" Hugo winners will be forgotten.

    Replies: @BB753

    Will John Norman be remembered for his BDSM treatise, “Imaginative Sex”?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginative_Sex

  239. @Pop Warner
    I would consider looking up Franz Schubert on the ngram. He died young yet composed prolifically, and outside his circle of friends in the German/Austrian sphere he was little known for most of his life. It was those friends - the early Romantics - who vigorously promoted his works postmortem, especially Franz Liszt and Clara Schumann who broke from convention and included the works of other composers in their own recitals, when the tradition was for a performer to showcase their own compositions. Long after his life, Schubert's setting of Ave Maria is one of the famous pieces of music ever written. So maybe it didn't take 70 years, but I know that Pope Pius X in the early 20th century was upset that "theatrical" music such as Schubert's Ave Maria found its way into the Mass.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    Schubert’s Ave Maria is the most beautiful piece of music ever written.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Jim Don Bob

    "Ave Maria" bats clean-up in "Fantasia."

    , @BB753
    @Jim Don Bob

    I beg to differ. Praise the Lord, by Sergej Rachmaninov.
    https://youtu.be/oYvw7jm-lsw

  240. @Jim Don Bob
    @Pop Warner

    Schubert's Ave Maria is the most beautiful piece of music ever written.

    https://youtu.be/ojeLyPo_Wz4

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @BB753

    “Ave Maria” bats clean-up in “Fantasia.”

  241. @Jim Don Bob
    @Pop Warner

    Schubert's Ave Maria is the most beautiful piece of music ever written.

    https://youtu.be/ojeLyPo_Wz4

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @BB753

    I beg to differ. Praise the Lord, by Sergej Rachmaninov.

  242. @Kylie
    @Steve Sailer

    "Crosby mostly saw LPs as a way to recycle his vast numbers of singles, rather than as a new work of art, the way Sinatra did. Sinatra was around 40 when he got the hang of making 33 RPM LPs, which is pretty old for a pop star to get really good at something new. By then Crosby was around 50, and couldn’t learn new tricks."

    By the 1950s, Crosby had been helping to keep up American morale first through the Depression, then through WWII. He seemed like a wise and comforting elder that could be safely ignored. By contrast, even though Sinatra was 40, he seemed young and sexual in a kind of raw way. Of course, Elvis seemed even more so. Young kids didn't want sophisticated songs with clever lyrics, they wanted their ballads simple and syrupy and their up-tempo songs simple and raw.

    By WWII, popular music had gotten about as sophisticated as it could get. Black and white musicians were composing really rather complex pieces and performing them with a high degree of polish. Post-WWII, there was a major reaction to all that. Music and lyrics became simpler, more basic. Of course, the Beatles quickly evolved into creating complex pieces but they were seen as rebels so that was okay. I don't think most of their fans even noticed all the chord and time changes.

    WWII accelerated the process of cultural devolution that WWI started. This is why I consider John Boorman's movie "Hope and Glory" about his childhood in wartime England, to be a horror film. Dads were away at war, moms held down the home front the best they could, kids ran amok. Also the Graham Greene's "The Destructors", published in 1954, to me more horrifying than anything Lovecraft write.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi, @Jonathan Mason

    I dunno. I think you have to take into account changes in technology.

    During WWII big band music was the predominant form of popular music, and bands like Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman had many hits with various vocalists.

    Towards the end of World war II RCA developed the 45 RPM record, and CBS developed the 33 RPM long playing record.

    Long playing records became very popular because they could put entire musicals or soundtracks from movies onto one record, whereas previously soundtracks had been sold in sets of records at 78RPM sold in a thick book or “album”.

    Prior to these two technologies, recorded music was mostly confined to the big old 78 RPM records that played for about 3 minutes maximum.

    LP’s really exploded in the early 50s, particularly since big bands like Ellington and Goodman produced extended versions of songs previously recorded, and jazz musicians started to record longer compositions that would be linked around a particular sound or theme.

    Frank Sinatra produced a very good album called (something like) Live at the Sands with the Count Basie Orchestra.

    1956 may have been the apex of the LP yes, with an astonishing number of superb albums recorded. A lot of music recorded in 1956 still sounds fresh today. This album might be the best of the lot.

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