About Face

In this week’s Takimag column, our cultured doctor attends his English town’s annual classical music festival and ponders how civilizations are allowed to die.

The old always blame the young for what they dislike in them—for example, their taste for crude and vulgar music—but they do so as if they bear no responsibility whatever for what they think undesirable in the younger generation. If the taste for the almost miraculous artistic achievements of the past has been all but extinguished, and is now but the secret garden of a tiny and insignificant number, no doubt of the highly privileged, must not this be because the older generation has signally failed to instill any love for it in their own children?

One thought on “About Face

  1. Rebekah V.

    My husband and I just had this very conversation after being served at our local coffee shop by a young man wearing makeup, a pearl necklace, and earrings. Surely, we thought, the confusion in these younger generations did not arise out of a vacuum. It’s a good question to ask oneself what part of their generation might have contributed. It’s a start, at least, in figuring out how to undo it.

    W.r.t. classical music: it has long been less popular in younger generations. When I was a young lover of it (several decades ago now!), I was very much alone in my tastes. Dalrymple is correct, though – I credit my father with teaching me to love it.


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