Farewell to Denis Dutton, an estimable Marketplace of Ideas guest (in both April 2008 and May 2009) and fan, a dedicated public radio promoter, and — most important by far — the creator of Arts & Letters Daily, still one of my favorite things on the web. When I started my show, I framed it to myself as an Arts & Letters Daily for the airwaves; needless to say, Denis’ coming on twice, becoming a listener, and permanently linking to this blog on A&LD came as something more than vindication.
We hadn’t e-mailed much since the beginning of this year — he was the first general manager of KCSB-FM, the station from which I broadcast today, and I’d found a lot of historical stuff to send him — so I didn’t realize how close he was to the end of the road. I’ll resist spinning this into yet another live-while-you-can routine, but I dare only hope to lead a life half as rich as the sitar-playing, aesthetics-exploring, expatriate-living, intellectual-tastemaking one Denis seems to have. He was a presiding spirit of my own projects before; no reason he should become any less of one now.