After a walk by the Apollo theatre or a visit to the local music or book store, it’s clear that Michael Jackson is going to make people a ton of money posthumously. And as the media stories speculate on how he died, and people start barking for who owns what of his estate, the rights to his children, MJ’s music catalog and The Beatles catalog, juxtaposed with all that other noise, the story below on MJ’s 10,000 book library was surprisingly refreshing.
“He loved the poetry section,” Dave Dutton said as Dirk [California bookstore owners] chimed in that Ralph Waldo Emerson was Jackson’s favorite. “I think you would find a great deal of the transcendental, all-accepting philosophy in his lyrics.”
Largely an autodidact, Jackson was quite well read, according to Jackson’s longtime lawyer. “We talked about psychology, Freud and Jung, Hawthorne, sociology, black history and sociology dealing with race issues,” Bob Sanger told the LA Weekly after the singer’s death. “But he was very well read in the classics of psychology and history and literature . . . “
The article originally came across as a wonderment of MJ’s normalcy like a segment in a celebrity magazine picturing stars shopping for groceries or walking their dogs. There’s no doubt that the naming of Freud and Jung in particular drums up support for the thesis that MJ was a child in a man’s body.
Putting that aside, I thought about the type of person who reads, psychology, sociology in wide abundance is a person dealing with emotional pain. The type of person searching for something. Identity perhaps?
I wonder how much of what he was reading was reflected in his music. I wonder what the rest of his library reveals about him. And if people were left to rifle with your own belongings, in particular, your books, what would those things which narrowly define us all reveal about you?