Darby English


    BY THE TIME I MET DOUGLAS CRIMP, he had earned his fame several times over. It was easy to find him daunting in the real. He was formidably tall, handsome, cerebral, clear-eyed, and never low on fuel. But Douglas was also gentle, openhanded, and powered by curiosity; he found it utterly crucial to relate to you. You got used to Douglas’s kind of care, which truly makes room for others and sustains a genuine presence to them no matter how perfunctory the occasion. He really just thrived in friendship, inhabiting it with lenient intensity. A lot of people feel close to Douglas because Douglas was

  • Darby English

    Summer is the season for foreground music, when our desire for melodic accompaniment is on spectacular display. It cradles the widely held conviction, astutely explored by Barry Shank in The Political Force of Musical Beauty (Duke University Press), that the word song does rotten justice to certain units of musical experience. As, for instance, when some tune, in the process of unfolding itself, appears at once to exist for us alone and to matter beyond measure. It can happen in a club or a car or a chair. Such an experience’s apparent privacy can make its “political force”—Shank’s apposite