Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Never Say Never

In 2001 I published in The Missouri Review an essay I'd worked on hard and liked a lot. Titled "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," it was all about Elvis Presley's recording of the song by the same name. After it was published I never heard any response; not a single comment except for jokes after I mentioned I'd written about Elvis.

Later I learned that Stanley Elkin advised writers not to try describe music; it couldn't be adequately done. And I looked at what I'd written and published to no account, and thought it a noble failure.

Well, a friend found on the Missouri Review site a college instructor's comment: "As model essays I use several examples from TMR’s [The Missouri Review's online] archives. . . .“I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” by Catherine Rankovic is a lesson in how to describe the nearly impossible—Elvis’ phrasing and singing voice."

And then a paragraph from that essay appears in the Elvis entry in Wikiquote. I didn't put it there but I did correct the misquotations when I found it...

Maybe The King might have liked that some college professor gal took him serious... Moral of the story is, as musician Miles Davis put it: "Don't fear mistakes. There are none."

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