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This be the music

14 days ago   |   By TLS

Philip Larkin famously declared “I can live a week without poetry, but not a day without jazz”, but neither his critics nor his biographers have taken the claim seriously. Even sympathetic critics sometimes engage with Larkin's jazz journalism less for what it tells us about his love of music or its influence on his prosody than as an opportunity to demonstrate their superior racial awareness. Only B. J. Leggett, in his monograph Larkin's Blues: Jazz, popular music and poetry (1999), has offered a serious and extended consideration, tracing the imprint of American popular song on specific...
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