I write music. Concert music. Texas tea. The music is difficult (it's not just hard, it's damn hard, or in Maine, wickid had), not tonal in the traditional diatonic sense ("tonal" is an imprecise word, and in many senses, my music IS tonal -- it has also been called "atonal," "with more tonal centers that you used to have," "sounds like it's in a minor key," "pretty," and "unremarkable"), and somewhat traditionally structured -- and it has lots and lotsa notes. People who use language imprecisely call the music "Modernist." Others have called it "Romantic", "total rockout" and "borderline Neoclassical". Go figure.I write poetry. Literary poetry. The poetry can be difficult . . .
I really enjoyed this essay by Jean Thompson responding to Stephen King's (predictable) take-down of the "literary" short story. The same argument about "elitism" & "difficulty" has been made (endlessly) about contemporary poetry. Not directly related, perhaps, but I was reminded of my old friend Davy Rakowski's remarks about writing contemporary music: