In the age of COVID-19, it is good to think about some ways we have thought about illness in our music.
Gerald Early & Ben Fulton
Gerald Early, editor of The Common Reader and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters, professor of English and of African and African-American Studies, both in Arts & Sciences, at Washington University in St. Louis.
Ben Fulton is managing editor of The Common Reader. Before moving to St. Louis he was editor of Salt Lake City Weekly, Utah’s alternative newsweekly. His work has been published in New York’s Newsday and has garnered national awards, including Best of the West and Top of the Rockies.
Posts by Gerald Early & Ben Fulton
The real Elvis is American, remember, and America is a consumer society. The desires we project, the stuff we buy—that is what feels real to us. It lets us have any Elvis we want. He left plenty of kitsch in his wake, plenty of pseudo-religion, plenty of Elvis jokes—but he was not, is not, a joke. He lived our contradictions, released our inhibitions, and lost himself in the process.