This is an amazing post and discussion, full of idea boxes to unpack. I am as in agreement with your basic argument as my general unfamiliarity with new music and fiction allow. I’ve been happy to leave *most* of it outside my sphere of interest ever since majoring in English back in ’71 and getting a whiff of what was coming down the line. What you’re calling sophistication has always come across to me more as pretentiousness, and in-crowd validation, once I left academia.
But what’s driving this comment is your phrase, “try to expand my means of apprehension to appreciate what was there”. That’s what your language on this blog, and your music, particularly The Planets, has done for me. It’s a very handy phrase for talking about a dimension of art/music/literature that’s not neccessarily present in entertainment.
It also seems a good phrase for talking about the purpose of Buddhist mind training (and a lot of other spiritual endeavors), which is not meant to be mere routine, but a catalyst.
Really glad you’ve kept on blogging for a while!