[Marxism] The Real Van Ronk » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Feb 7 08:01:11 MST 2014

But before I’d read even halfway through Dave Van Ronk’s exceptional 
memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, I found myself completely 
rethinking my enthusiasm for the film. I had read that many incidents in 
Llewyn Davis were loosely based on stories from Van Ronk’s book, and I’d 
been a fan of Van Ronk’s music ever since I saw him play in the Village 
as a teenager in the early 1970s. I’m also an enthusiastic fan of the 
book’s producer/editor/ghost-writer, Elijah Wald, who gets a credit on 
the cover. Wald’s own writing includes two stellar revisionist histories 
of 20th century popular music: one focuses on the legacy of Robert 
Johnson and other early- to mid-century blues singers; the other 
strikingly recasts popular music history in its broadest historical 
sweep. In both cases, Wald urges us to reconsider our assumptions about 
which music stands the test of time, and how that’s sometimes quite at 
odds with what was most popular in its own time.  So I had high 
expectations for the book, but didn’t think it would compel me to 
completely rethink my earlier feelings about the Coen Brothers’ version, 
and ultimately to question the film’s aesthetics, politics and story line.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/07/the-real-van-ronk/

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