At once among the most widely beloved and most reviled and lampooned pop stars of the past few decades, Céline Dion's critics call her mawkish and overblown … But unlike the other books in the 33 ⅓ series, Dion’s album is barely touched upon as Wilson chooses instead to examine what “taste” is and how people form critical opinions in culture. But—and this is serious—reading Carl Wilson’s “Let’s Talk About Love” could make you a better person. At times even a beautiful book, with none of the cynicism that the premise (a non-Celine Dion fan writing about Celine Dion) or series (known for in-depth looks at respected albums, with varying levels of quality and pretension) would suggest. Let's Talk About Love (Kobo eBook) By Carl Wilson. With her synthesized strings and genuine pearls and her opera-crossover attempts, she aspires to the highbrow culture of a half-century ago. In the Aeroplane Over The Sea, OK Computer, Pink Moon, Rid of Me, Paul’s Boutique, Loveless, Meat is Murder… even if your own choices for an “essential/seminal albums” list are different, these titles all have a lot going for them. -- (33 1/3) eISBN-13: 978-1-4411-6721-7 1. Carl Wilson tackles Céline Dion‘s album Let’s Talk About Love.. His approach is intriguing, based mostly upon the theories of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (particularly as set forth in his Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste).). Let's Talk About Love: Why Other People Have Such Bad Taste by Carl Wilson No need to call it a guilty pleasure anymore — that reflexive defense can be retired and you can just call it pleasure. It can be but not really tailored made for the Celine Dion fan, but this book is really about the nature of taste in pop(ular) music and it's a fascinating read because of it. Carl Wilson manages to drop Fanon and Kant all over the place and not be remotely pretentious! The author is well-read; the book feels impeccably-researched – but, for all the sourced quotations being thrown at the wall, sometimes it feels like a “whatever sticks” approach – Wilson's own opinion gets lost amidst his citations. In the end, the real value of this book is in the tools that it gives to the reader: Wilson provides a way of thinking–a mode of internal dialogue–that allows the reader to interrogate his own tastes. I love that Wilson never falls down the rabbit-hole of total subjectivity. I also remember always hearing Celine Dion blasting at high volume whenever I passed through volatile and dangerous neighborhoods, so much that it became a cue to me to walk, run or drive faster if I was ever in a neighborhood I didn't know and heard Celine Dion mawking over the airwaves.”, “Bourdieu's interpretation was that tastes were serving as strategic tools. In the end, he starts thinking about the ways that we, as critical and art-loving people, can create a world where the struggle between good taste and bad taste isn’t quite so life and death. The latest installment in 331/3, the book series that celebrates significant pop records, is unlike any of its predecessors in that its subject, the titular 1997 Céline Dion album, is abhorred by its author. His sojourn to Las Vegas is promising – how he plans to interview Dion fans but finds himself too cowed to do so – but it never resolves itself in any dramatically satisfying way. Notes from the first week of an MFA program. Andy Battaglia. Growing up in Quebec in the early 2000s, it was difficult to miss her ubiquitous media presence: first, there was, of course, the sheer unavoidability of her nasal intonations at the Carrefour d'Argenteuil shopping mall, outside of La Crémière ice cream, at the local Wal-Mart, on the patios of the pubs downtown, and really anywhere else you could set up a speakers. He spent a lot of quality time with her blockbuster album Let's Talk About Love for his new book. I thought some musicians were Right (The Ramones, T. Rex, The Replacements) and that entire genres were Wrong (country, emo, disco). Coming to a bookstore near you on March 13, 2014. I think the good/bad dichotomy is especially hard to escape. However, that was taken, Fun but not substantive enough. Non-fans regard Céline Dion as ersatz and plastic, yet to those who love her, no one could be more real, with her impoverished childhood, her (creepy) manager-husband's struggle with cancer, her knack for howling out raw emotion. Along with being a tremendously important piece of criticism, Let's Talk About Love is an agile, moving, and generous exploration of the music that accompanies us, welcome or not, on the travels we all need to make on our own. “Let's Talk About Love…is not just a critical study of one Céline Dion album, but an engaging discussion of pop criticism itself.” – Elias Leight, LA Review of Books “In this gnostic context, Carl Wilson's Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, first published in 2007, was a counter-intuitive masterstroke. His writing style and perspective about taste and perception. I'm sorry, but no. The same goes for books and video games. Most elite consumers of culture are omnivores. Very nicely done. Really solid distillation of taste, given a nearly-universal framing. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Have I really just spent the last 3 days convincing my friends, loved ones and neighborhood shop keepers how misunderstood and really amazing Celine Dion is?.Thanks to this fantastic book, I have. Granted, all of those make for relatively acceptable listening, but what about Céline Dion? So with that in thought and with an open mind he goes into the world of Dion as well as the fans and of course fellow music lovers who hate her music. Available Now. This is a wonderful book, and the stuff Wilson comes up with near the end is the closest thing I've seen in print to a version of what I feel we should be trying to do with criticism. AKA, this book is freaking awesome. Being not only Canadian, but a Quebec-born French Canadian myself, I can certainly match, if not exceed, Carl Wilson's distaste for Céline Dion. I’m proudly admitting, here and now, that I’m about to delve into Celine Dion’s entire catalogue and I feel almost zero shame. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Stephin Merritt loves ABBA, so it’s okay. Whether its success is because of its unusual approach, or simply because it’s about a best-selling artist, I don’t know; one would have to undertake the same kind of sociological survey of … ATTENTION EVERYONE THIS IS NOT A JOKE: Please read this book. I loved the latter and didn’t even know about the former. Childhood memories and annual traditions. Thoughts engendered by my return to computer gaming after an absence of two and a half years, We should all stop being so self-deprecating. While working-class tastes seemed mainly a default (serving at best to express group belongingness and solidarity), for everyone else taste was not only a product of economic and educational background but, as it developed through life, a force mobilized as part of their quest for social status (or what Bourdieu called symbolic power). It's perhaps hard to remember how universal Celine Dion was at the close of the Nineties, when "My Heart Will Go On" was every-damn-where and her enthusiastic, bombastic style of singing drowned out anyone else trying to make a living at the time (hyperbole, but still). This book documents Carl Wilson's brave and unprecedented year-long quest to find his inner Celine Dion fan, and explores how we define ourselves in the light of what we call good and bad, what we love and what we … But critic Colin Wilson decided to do something a little different. And he doesn’t fall into the trap of saying, “Well, everything is worthwhile if you think about it hard enough.” No, he retains a kind of objectivity (and a kind of belief in artistic quality) while still learning to perceive (and, sort of, appreciate) the ways in which Celine’s music is good. He starts by correcting noting that sentimentality is kind of the bogeyman of modern art. I think this is the better book. 2. Non-fans regard Céline Dion as ersatz and plastic, yet to those who love her, no one could be more real, with her impoverished childhood, her (creepy) manager-husband's struggle with cancer, her knack for howling out raw emotion. It is completely excellent in every way, and is possibly the best thing I have read since "Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs" and "Anna Karenina." Title. The only thing that it’s still per-se uncool to like (except in a hip, self-aware way) is the mainstream: that thin slice of very popular work (primarily marketed towards middle-aged people) that exists in sort of a null territory–stuff like Two And A Half Men or a Tom Clancy novel. Thoughts engendered by my return to computer gaming after an absence of two and a half years We should all stop being so self-deprecating The Television / Refrigerator Axiom. Can’t be done. And he's Canadian! Popular music--History and criticism. I hate the subtitle to this edition, but everything else is pretty great. ... Other books in Continuum’s 331⁄3 series (short volumes devoted to single albums by canonical musical acts) have varied from historical synopses to personal … That's part of her appeal as an object of love or hatred - with most critics and committed music fans taking … Book Reviews. + I don’t like talking about my taste in music very much. Lewis’ nonfiction work. I've just freed myself from the tyranny of duotrope, Why I am going to stop giving out writing advice (2012), Why I am loathe to give writing advice (2011), The worst-case scenario for my writing career, I don't think reading books is likely to make a person smarter, happier, or more economically productive, Let's Talk About Love: A Journey To The End Of Taste, by Carl Wilson, The Second Shift, by Arlene Russell Hochschild, Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother is a literary masterpiece, The Hunt For Red October might be the most uncool book in the English language, The main thing I've learned from Banned Books Week is that book banning is a pretty minor problem, I know I love novels, but I'm not sure why. Carl Wilson is a profound listener and an extraordinary writer. More accessible than your standard-order Bourdieu but not lacking in thoroughness... eager to tackle the essays from the expanded edition at some point! $10.95. In genre fiction, this divide is between the innovative, well-written genre fiction that we’re supposed to write (Ted Chiang, Jeff Vandermeer, Kelly Link, etc) and the mass-market stuff that we’re supposed to repudiate (David Weber, Terry Goodkind, L. Ron Hubbard, etc.). Maybe I should’ve been following Wilson’s example. This may be my favorite book ever written about music, at least one of my favorites. That’s what Carl Wilson sets out to discover in his look at Dion’s album Let’s Talk About Love. On a personal level, good and bad can often feel so useful–it lets us get more of what we like and less of what we dislike–that I often forget how impenetrable it can be to someone else for me to just say ‘I liked this’. * Rob Sheffield * Carl Wilson is a profound listener and an extraordinary writer. I’ve been lurking around here for a while now-I think your stuff is excellent. Let’s Talk About Love by Carl Wilson: A NEW AND EXPANDED EDITION October 7, 2013 333admin Bloomsbury is thrilled to announce the publication of a new and expanded edition of Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love. by Bloomsbury Academic, Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste. A remarkable book. Celine Dion Let's Talk About Love. II. by Carl Wilson. I could easily carry it around in my pocket. And, in an earlier section (while watching Celine’s Vegas show): “And this…is why Celine winds up mocked, because her efforts at class and taste always go wrong. Getting tired of all the oppression-based critique of narrative art. So thorough and well written with a lot of dry wit and heart. I truly believe that Wilson loves music and I feel his love in this book about something he hates. In the opening of the book you are surprised to hear hat the author absolutely hates Celine Dion’s music. For his 2007 critically acclaimed 33 1/3 series title, Let's Talk About Love, Carl Wilson went on a quest to find his inner Céline Dion fan and explore how we define ourselves by what we call good and bad, what we love and what we hate. You made me want to read both Wilson and more of you. Ryan Dombal talks with Carl Wilson about the newly expanded version of his essential 2007 book on Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love and the changing ideas of taste in the 21st century. Along with being a tremendously important piece of criticism, Let s Talk About Love is an agile, moving, and generous exploration of the music that accompanies us, welcome or not, on the travels we all need to make on our own. Have I really just spent the last 3 days convincing my friends, loved ones and neighborhood shop keepers how misunderstood and really amazing Celine Dion is?.Thanks to this fantastic book, I have. The same goes for books and video games. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Older albums covered — Music From Big Pink, Forever Changes, Court and Spark, Dusty in Memphis — have for years been hailed by the new kids on the indie block as favorites. More interesting is the information about the effect on dopamine levels when we encounter new music and the payoff when our brains resolve more difficult listening into what we identify as music. See 1 question about Let's Talk About Love…, Hurricane Katrina breakdown on Larry King, Goodreads Members Share the Books They've Been Rereading. Why do we gravitate towards the music we do and what social currency does it give it us? Six played-out teen contemporary tropes (most of which I've used!). I should have trusted my doubts. Wilson's cursory examinations of taste--that no one's preferences are formed in a vacuum but that we use taste to align ourselves with and distance ourselves from certain socioeconomic groupings--should be apparent without needing research results. For me, reading this book providing a road-map for journeying into the heart of my own motivations. p. cm. I learned more from this 160 page book about aesthetics than I did in an entire class my senior year. Have you read it? I devoured criticism from a young age, from the extremely overrated (Lester Bangs) to the grossly underappreciated (Ellen Willis). I know I love novels, but I'm not sure whyWhat does it mean to be against the canon? There are some great essays by other artists in this edition (an expansion upon the original 33 1/3 version), but the primary text is what sells it for me. Not in conversation, anyway. Dion, Céline. I remember being at sound-system dances and hearing everyone from Bob Marley Kenny Rogers (yes, Kenny Rogers) to Sade to Yellowman to Beenie Man being blasted at top volume while the crowd danced and drank up a storm. Let’s Talk About Love: by Carl Wilson. This had the most feeling and personality of the 33 1/3's I have read so far. He’s one of my all-time favorites. Music writer Carl Wilson decided to get serious about the goddess of pop, Celine Dion. I haven't read any of the other selections in the, those who are obsessed with pop culture and somehow have a heart to like Celine Dion. I always feel as though I’ve been given a brief moment in which to explain myself, to justify my own choices in a kind of secret language which ends up revealing far more about my personality than I might wish other people to know. A much-needed diversion. Description. What we have agreed to call tastes, he said, is an array of symbolic associations we use to set ourselves apart from those whose social ranking is beneath us, and to take aim at the status we think we deserve. I've just freed myself from the tyranny of duotrope On becoming a worse writer Where I get my stories from Why I am going to stop giving out writing advice (2012) Why I am loathe to give writing advice (2011) Revising the novel The worst-case scenario for my writing career, There should be a National Coming-Out Day for people whose favorite novel is _Atlas Shrugged_, My decade in love, friendship, and publishingI don't think reading books is likely to make a person smarter, happier, or more economically productive, Five classics that ought to capture you from page one, Let's Talk About Love: A Journey To The End Of Taste, by Carl Wilson The Feminine Mystique(part one and part two) The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford, Getting tired of all the oppression-based critique of narrative art, Nothing in my life has been more rewarding than reading books from the canon, The Whisperers, by Orlando FigesThe Second Shift, by Arlene Russell Hochschild The Warden, by Anthony Trollope, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer, Working, by Studs Terkel Genji is a rapist Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother is a literary masterpiece Euripides is the bomb Rahul reads Shakespeare The Hunt For Red October might be the most uncool book in the English language Why Video Games Matter The main thing I've learned from Banned Books Week is that book banning is a pretty minor problem I Write About "My Stephen King Problem" The Collected Poems of Phillip Larkin. Carl Wilson manages to drop Fanon and Kant all over the place and not be remotely pretentious! Awesome! Growing up in Quebec in the early 2000s, it was difficult to miss her ubiquitous media presence: first, there was, of course, the sheer unavoidability of her nasal intonations at the Carrefour d'Argenteuil shopping mall, outside of La Crémière ice cream, at the local Wal-Mart, on the patios of the pubs downtown, and really anywhere else you could set up, Being not only Canadian, but a Quebec-born French Canadian myself, I can certainly match, if not exceed, Carl Wilson's distaste for Céline Dion. Is taste a function of one's upbringing? And perhaps I do want to reveal something, from time to time, but for the most part I want to express an opinion peculiar to the person to whom I am talking. But then there were also the skits mocking her latest round of excesses on the. 4.02 (3,217 ratings by Goodreads) Paperback. Continuum International Publishing Group. 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