Somehow in April I managed to, in the space of about ten days, crush out a fifteen-page manuscript on the subject of, among other things, popular music in North Korea and its future. Two weeks ago, one anonymous review came back — and it was golden, praising my originality and intellectual daring. Today, I received the second review and it was a torpedo, characterizing my work as (borderline) charlatanism meets philistinism with an academic patina.
And yet somehow: “I was glad! Glad when they said unto me….”
Perhaps it may be accounted to my childhood experiences as chorister that I believe God resides in soundwaves in St. Paul’s cathedral .And perhaps it may be accounted to my upbringing, full of serious northerners but often lacking in specific strictness toward my oeuvrage, that being upbraided by a senior taskmaster who knows more can somehow feel so cleansing. Finally! someone willing to take me to task and call out my many weaknesses. When paired with the unequivocal praise from colleagues one also respects, this is where progress is made.