Reviewer Tim Keane suggests that Pete Townshend’s memoir Who I Am captures the tension animating The Who’s career, the duality of autobiographical blues and (art-school inspired) auto-destruction. But, Keane suggests, the book also articulates the written autobiography’s inevitable (if sometimes interesting) failure to achieve the “ex-static” atemporality of music. “I Can’t Explain” ends up telling us more about Townshend’s soul than Who I Am.
Author: Tim Keane
Tim Keane holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from The City University of New York, specializing in European modernism, aesthetics, and autobiography. In exploring issues around creative expression and subjectivity, he has published recent articles on the Abstract Expressionist painter Franz Kline, the photography of poet Allen Ginsberg, the art criticism of Jean Genet, and the legacy of the New Zealand novelist Janet Frame. He has also published articles on leading 20th century poets including Paul Éluard, Blaise Cendrars, Kenneth Koch, Robert Creeley, and Robert Duncan. A recipient of a fellowship award in creative writing from The National Endowment for the Arts, he is author of the poetry collection Alphabets of Elsewhere (Cinnamon Press, 2007) and is Assistant Professor in the English Department at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY.