Jessica Hopper on Being a Writer Who’s ‘Rough Around the Edges’

by davebarclay1954

I admire critics who can be objective, I will check out pitchfork now. As a 60-something it’s a bad week if I don’t discover some new music. Even oldies like me who cut our teeth on Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry et al can still enjoy new young music. It’s not all Beatles and Stones although trends seem to keep coming back. Women have always had an edge, listen to Billie Holliday, Janis Joplin, Tina Turner and Cher. Now we’ve got Courtney Love, in the recent past we had Bangles, Spice Girls etc.

Longreads

I was told by editors that my weird auto-didactic style and reference points…basically my lack of a college or journalistic education meant the quirks in my writing hadn’t been bred out of me when I went on to be a full-time writer. I was told that again and again until I was like, oh, perhaps that’s my calling card: I’m a little bit rough around the edges. I do not have this critical framework … I did not come in with anything more than a high school education and an absolute devotion to music and a very sincere desire to give everyone my opinion about everything at all times.

– Jessica Hopper is the author of The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, editor of The Pitchfork Review and a legend in her own right. Anupa Mistry recently interviewed her for The Hairpin about living outside…

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