Written (Better) Elsewhere: Prince in Harper’s

Hilton Als, in the December 2012 issue of Harper’s Magazine, offers up “I am Your Conscious, Your Love: A Paean to Prince”.  The article navigates the dynamic between adoring writer and iconoclastic performer as both grow and respond to the demands of the world(s) around them. The article both educates about Prince and helps to (re)-create the world in which Prince was received and enjoyed.

Now, before I get to the article you might be wondering why I am reading Harper’s . If you don’t know the periodical, you should try it out (and if you do, you’re probably not wondering why…). It is easily one of the best written, best edited and most contemplative mainstream publications in the English language.

But, as always, my reading of this (probably elitist and left-leaning) monthly has deep roots in personal history (perhaps also anticipating my openness to this particular article). Our late father was a voracious reader. We always had subscriptions to weekly news magazines that my father referred to as rags with terrible writing, good for pictures and browsing at best. He extended this snobbery to newspapers. The local daily was rubbish. The closest acceptable newspaper was the Boston Globe.

(That still didn’t stop my father from getting in a car accident while attempting to negotiate cigarette, coffee and the local daily at an intersection. He also feared not having something to read so much that we used to get into terrible fights over merely possessing Newsweek. Eventually, we actually had to get two subscriptions.)

I never really thought much about this video. The song? Can’t forget it

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