A critic and friend, rare combination, has suggested that there are, in principle, two ways of dealing with Stravinsky's latest book. One is to fall flat on one's face and exclaim, ‘A great man's book, a great book!’ The other was to review it simply as a book on music.
To my mind, either course of action is fallacious. The awed approach is a nineteenth-century fallacy, the rationalistic approach a twentieth-century fallacy. At the same time, the romantic, irrationalistic approach is the more objective, the more rational. The truth, quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi, became a truism long before the birth of the romantic genius-hero, and to treat the book of a genius like that of any old ass (as virtually all my colleagues did in the case of Schoenberg's Style and Idea) is to start with a wrong fact and remove oneself from the level of artistic reality for the duration of one's review.