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Celine Dion "Let's Talk About Love"
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About the Author

Carl Wilson is a writer and editor in Toronto at the Globe and Mail. He has written a weekly music column there for more than four years. One of his columns was reprinted in Da Capo's Best Music Writing 2002 volume, edited by Jonathan Lethem.

Reviews

--Title mention in Sue Baker's Selection of forthcoming titles - Jan 07 "Publishing News " "This book is especially interesting on Dion's background... His book is intelligent and often moving."-The Daily Telegraph "Brilliant." --Alex Ross, author of The Rest is Noise Mention on Offbeat.com--Alex Rawls Carl Wilson was interviewed by The Onion's A.V. Club--Steven Hyden "Wilsoncovers a lot of ground in his 161-page quest; the second half of the book readslike a Cultural Studies power ballad, invoking Roland Barthes, Theodor Adorno, Immanuel Kant, Clement Greenberg, Arthur C. Danto, and scores of othercontemporary critics in rapid succession. Perhaps most impressively, Wilson condenses Frenchsociologist Pierre Bourdieu's mammoth (and seminal) tome Distinction: A SocialCritique of the Judgment of Taste into one spry little chapter." -Rain Taxi Mention in Today's Books / BookweekThe A-List "[A] fascinating new book"Dave Stelfox, Guardian Unlimited [Web], Thursday 6th March 2008. "written keenly and with great generosity"Reviewed in Idolator, 24 December 2008 Erudite and eye-opening--Reviewed as part of Pitchfork's "Our 60 Favorite Music Books" feature --, "Publishing News " "Consistently thought provoking" --Express: A Publication of The Washington Post--, Mention on Offbeat.com--, "An illustration of the best side of music criticism." Erasing Clouds "Brilliant." Alex Ross, author of The Rest is Noise ."..a brilliant read and a total eye-opener. Unlike other contributors, Wilson doesn't shore up another crumbling wall of the canon but dives into a world of kitsch to ask what makes us hate music. How can we know that 'bad' music really is bad, and what is taste anyway? It'll shake all your critical certainties, which is not a very good idea when you're in my line of work."-The Word Magazine "Wilsonuses Dion's record as a crowbar, and pries open the assumptions and prejudiceswhich shape our tastes in the first place. Despite our preconceptions surrounding Wilson's ostensible subject (or perhaps, because of them), the results are subtle, and startling enough to give the mostjaded of readers pause." -Flavorpill NYC--, "Framed by an irresistableconcept...Wilsonturns the [33 1/3] series on its head by seriously considering a blockbusterhit by Celine Dion." ChristopherGray, Portland Phoenix--, "Constantlyinteresting and thought-provoking...and I think he can teach us a few valuablethings about criticism, for what it's worth." -Uncut, UK--, "Let's Talk" about one of the most interesting music books you'll read this year... The always critical and erudite Mr. Wilson actually approached "Let's Talk About Love" as a non-fan grappling with questions of "good" and "bad" taste... It's almost certainly the only installment in the series to discuss French-Canadian race relations, rockism, and Milan Kundera's thoughts on kitsch." Idolator.com "Let's Talk About Love is a rigorous, perceptive and very funny meditation on what happens when you realize that there's more to life than being hip, and begin to grapple with just what that "more" might be." Montreal Gazette "By exploring taste, kitsch, culture, fans, the state of contemporary criticism, Quebec nationalism, and economics in Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, Carl Wilson manages to produce one of the most interesting and erudite books on why people love and hate certain kinds of art...Readers will find themselves evaluating their views on arts with added scrutiny after reading this surprising and provocative book Hipster Book Club "Wilson covers a lot of ground in his 161-page quest; the second half of the book reads like a Cultural Studies power ballad, invoking Roland Barthes, Theodor Adorno, Immanuel Kant, Clement Greenberg, Arthur C. Danto, and scores of other contemporary critics in rapid succession. Perhaps most impressively, Wilson condenses French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu's mammoth (and seminal) tome Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste into one spry little chapter." -Rain Taxi "[A] fascinating new book" Dave Stelfox, Guardian Unlimited [Web], Thursday 6th March 2008. "I teach in a university drama programme and I plan to integrate the book into our first-year Critical Theories course as a way to introduce students to principles of aesthetics, and to the discourse around pop/high culture. It's difficult to make Kantian aesthetics accessible to 18 year olds. Let's Talk About Love is a rare instance of the transmission of complex and sophisticated ideas in language that is accessible without being dumbed-down."-Karen Fricker, Lecturer in Contemporary Theatre, Royal Holloway, University of Londont;! /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent: ""; margin:0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin: .5in; mso-footer-margin: .5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page: Section1;} > /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name: "Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow: yes; mso-style-parent: ""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom: .0001pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language: #0400; mso-fareast-language: #0400; mso-bidi-language: #0400;} "written keenly and with great generosity" Reviewed in Idolator, 24 December 2008 "The book [is] an engaging and intelligent study of taste and critiism framed by Celine Dion's tragic music." EyeWeekly, 24 February 2009 "Blending pop culture, cultural history, music criticism with Wilson's eclectic sensibility, the book is a fascinating look at how highbrow, middlebrow and nobrow rub meaningful observations along the way, moving on to the next without ever belabouring a point. The book is clever without the writer himself ever coming across as trying to be clever...It's like having an interesting conversation with a friend whose opinions you respect." Toronto Star Online, November 2009 "This erudite and eye-opening book attempts to explore not only Dion's polarizing appeal but also the very concept of "taste." Along the way, Wilson traces his loathing for Dion back to her Oscars performance alongside Elliott Smith, examines the meaning of "schmaltz" and Dion's French-Canadian roots, meets her adoring fans, sees her Vegas show, reviews the album (it's the one with that Titanic song), and analyzes theories on taste from David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and Pierre Bourdieu (turns out social distinction plays a big part). By the end, Wilson has set the blueprint for a kind of music criticism that "might put less stock in defending its choices and more in depicting its enjoyment, with all its messiness and private soul tremors to show what it is like for me to like it, and invite you to compare." In other words, let's talk about love." -Pitchfork feature "Our 60 Favorite Music Books" --Sanford Lakoff "Publishing News " "This could be the best book of the series...razor-sharp and unerringly intelligent." John Wenzel, The Denver Post --Sanford Lakoff "This book seriously explores the wide divide between mainstream pop that is mass-marketed and purchased, and the critics who usually sneer at it for those very reasons. It's a heady work that examines everything from 'reductive Marxist theories of culture' to why critics value restrained singing while 'American Idol' fans embrace 'show-offy' technical power." -Las Vegas Review Journal--Sanford Lakoff "A book pondering the aesthetics of Celine risks going wrong in about 3,000 different ways...Instead, this book goes very deeply right." -New York Magazine--Sanford Lakoff "A bit of a departure for Continuum's 33 1/3 series exploring classic records...readers of the dizzingly dweeby intellectualizing that often makes Wilson's blog an exhausting pleasure to read will not be surprised that, for him, a discussion of the love theme from Titanic must encompass an examination of Quebecois culture, the history of parlour entertainment as it relates to the immigrant experience, the philosophies of Hume and Kant and the sociological experiments of Pierre Bordieu." -Eye Weekly --Sanford Lakoff "A wide-ranging book, one predicated on the possibility that what repels us may say more about us than what attracts us...[an] insightful, engaging, and unexpectedly moving book." -Jason Anderson, The Globe and Mail--Sanford Lakoff "An important study- not just of Dion and pop music but also of the changing nature of criticism in the popular realm." Andy Battaglia, Bookforum--Sanford Lakoff "As refreshing a music book I have read in a long time." Largehearted Boy, Book Notes--Sanford Lakoff "Wilson uses Dion's record as a crowbar, and pries open the assumptions and prejudices which shape our tastes in the first place. Despite our preconceptions surrounding Wilson's ostensible subject (or perhaps, because of them), the results are subtle, and startling enough to give the most jaded of readers pause." -Flavorpill NYC--Sanford Lakoff "I still don't like what I know of Dion's music and probably never will. But Wilson's efforts to examine the rote critical assumption that Celine Dion's music blows digs up all kinds of fascinating issues about the nature of taste and the hierarchy of pop culture." -Bohemian.com "An insightful, engaging and unexpectedly moving book." -Globe and Mail --Sanford Lakoff "Consistently thought provoking" Express: A Publication of The Washington Post--Sanford Lakoff "Music criticism is often just guy-world. Wilson's the real thing. I can't praise this small book enough. Smart, but humane." -Heather Mallick, CBC News: Analysis and Viewpoint --Sanford Lakoff "It's fascinating stuff...By turns hilarious and heartwarming." Guardian Unlimited Arts blog --Sanford Lakoff Mention on Offbeat.com--Sanford Lakoff "Framed by an irresistable concept...Wilson turns the [33 1/3] series on its head by seriously considering a blockbuster hit by Celine Dion." Christopher Gray, Portland Phoenix--Sanford Lakoff "Wilson's approach to Celine Dion...stands out. Wilson examines why he loathes it, its creator and everything about her and what inspires devotion in her bast army of followers around the world...Clever and witty, it almost make me seek out the album. But not quite." The Herald, Glasgow--Sanford Lakoff "Constantly interesting and thought-provoking...and I think he can teach us a few valuable things about criticism, for what it's worth." -Uncut, UK--Sanford Lakoff "It's said there's no accounting for taste, but Canadian music critic Carl Wilson certainly makes a Herculean effort in this latest entry in Continuum's 33 1/3 series...En route, Wilson finds plenty of fellow detractors, generously hashes out a lengthy definition of "schmaltz," and drags Elliott Smith, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Clement Greenberg, Pierre Bourdieu, and a gaggle of shameless starry-eyed Dion fanatics into his intellectual and aesthetic morass." -"Baltimore"" City"" Paper"--Sanford Lakoff "'Morally you could fairly ask, Wilson writes, 'what is more laudable about excess in the name of rage and resentment than immoderation in thrall to love and connection?' That is, indeed, a fair and moral question, and it leads Wilson to wonder 'if anyone's tastes stand on solid ground, starting with mine.' He doesn't reach any definite conclusions, but the conversation he carries on through the centuries with everyone from philosophers David Hume and Immanuel Kant to sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, is by turns enlightening, provocative and unexpectedly moving. Wilson aptly calls Let's Talk About Love 'an experiment in taste, ' and maybe as much as anything else, the book argues that such an experiment is one we'd all do well to conduct." No Depression--Sanford Lakoff "Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste offers a rare combination of compelling research and enormously entertaining writing, a real find for students of popular culture. It's a compact little volume packed with keen insights into the ideologies that have shaped music criticism and scholarship, thought-provoking commentary on problems of aesthetics, and sensitive reflexive analysis. That reflexivity, along with a careful balance of critical theory and field research, makes this work particularly appropriate for courses with an ethnomusicological angle. And as ethnomusicologists continue to cultivate a growing sub-field in popular music studies, Let's Talk About Love is a timely and valuable resource."-Katherine Meizel, Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, University of California, Santa Barbara st1\: *{behavior: url(#ieooui) } ! /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent: ""; margin:0in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; mso-pagination: widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin: .5in; mso-footer-margin: .5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page: Section1;} > "The 33 1/3 of pocket books ... are superb little volumes devoted to classic albums. What unites them is not so much their subject as the standard of the writing and imagination that the authors have brought to their task... every one I've read has been well worth the attention. Wilson's approach to Celine Dione, however, stands out ... Clever and witty." Keith Bruce, The Herald (Glasgow), Saturday 8th March 2008.

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