black swan, white swan

by uzwi

I try not to buy the Black Swan paradigm, partly out of the sense that technique ought to rule, partly out of a feeling that “natural style” encourages laziness unless it’s twinned to White Swan perfectionism, partly because I utterly loathe the Hollywood version of the distinction, partly out of a desire not to be vulnerable to anyone’s native charisma, & partly because I simply don’t think Keef Richards had one fifth the ability of Mick Taylor (or, for that matter, where actual guitar-playing is concerned, one fifth his natural style). But I’m fatally drawn to Black Swans wherever I find them–see Signs of Life–so I was amused to find, in the archives of This Recording, Molly Lambert’s meme Black Swan: the Party Game. New Worlds had the f/sf version of this game at the heart of its manifesto, I suppose the classic distinction being White Swan: Robert Silverberg, Black Swan: Alfred Bester. But I soon began to think of them both as technicians.