Gloss on 'I am a Recording Angel': Jack Kerouac's <em>Visions of Cody</em> and the Recording Process

Gloss on 'I am a Recording Angel': Jack Kerouac's Visions of Cody and the Recording Process

Characters in Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon, having lived through the American Revolution, recall changes in musical form in the 1770s; parallel changes in pop music of the Sixties are implied, and one of Pynchon’s characters cites Plato as the source of the idea that alterations in music precede and perhaps precipitate political change: “ ‘Tis ever the sign of Revolutionary times, that Street-Airs become Hymns, and Roist’ring-Songs Anthems,– just as Plato fear’d,– hast heard the Negroe Musick, the flatted Fifths, the vocal portamenti– ‘tis there sings your Revolution. These late ten American Years were but Slaughter of this sort and that. Now begins the true Inversion of the World” (264).

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