You can find my new writing blog here: http://bloodonforgottenwalls.wordpress.com/
I will no longer be updating this one, and will eventually delete it.
But I still have these tumblr blogs:
http://andthisisyesterday.tumblr.com/ (old flea market photos, postcards and letters, stills of family 8mm film)
http://stillicidiousstars.tumblr.com/ (photography and collage. A recent obsession being Polaroid/Impossible Film)
I have decided to reinvent this blog elsewhere. I don’t feel tumblr is the place for it, and it has been very neglected. I plan to start a blog that will be regularly updated.
I will let you all know when my new writing blog is set up, and I hope you will follow me on my new journey…
Watch this space.
Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust have set up the campaign ‘Let’s Get Lyrical’ to celebrate song lyrics. My chosen song is Manic Street Preachers’ Faster:
I was sixteen years old and it was a glorious summer. I was simultaneously going through hell and having the best summer of my life. Everything was falling apart, and I was falling in love. All to the soundtrack of The Holy Bible.
One of the first adult books I read as a teenager was ‘1984’. Faster begins with the voice of John Hurt from the film version, and the themes from ’1984′ permeate the song. The lyrics play with perceptions of weakness and strength, looking at the means through which we construct ourselves to be able to function ‘normally’ in society. Faster explores the repercussions when dominant norms are rejected, the centre of which is the paraphrased Japanese proverb: “the nail that sticks up needs hammered down.”
I can recite every word of Faster, but always with James Dean Bradfield’s particular inflections shaping the words for me. They are impracticable lyrics, their impossibility adding to their perverse and beautiful magic. The lyrics are mischievous, and astutely self-aware, highlighting the self-regard in self-disgust. This is punctuated by an almost teen-like rebelliousness as idols are flippantly dismissed.
Faster is a story of self-destruction, but it never wallows in self-pity. The ascetic is collapsing under the weight of their own expectations, but the finality of complete collapse isn’t fulfilled in the lyrics. As we reach the misanthropic end, we are led back to the beginning, the architect choreographing our journey. We greet the pioneer and the pure, finding defiance and a rejection of society’s reductive values. Our attention is drawn to how we (mis)use words, the way we shape, and are shaped by, language. Habermas gives us the ideal speech situation, Derrida gives us the poison-cure. Faster and The Holy Bible are my poison-cure.
Faster is bleak, but I have always found it to be exuberant and oddly life-affirming. There is something delicious in its seduction, the way it has you singing along as if it is the happiest song in the world. Faster brings me to life like a broken marionette, a stilted walk, severed strings, a new way of engaging with the world. Faster on repeat, I am butcher, primitive, perverted, carrying the beautiful hell that was that glorious summer. The Holy Bible fuels my ambitions, and here I am – becoming Master. Seduced by this poison-cure, I have my ecstasy.
But those eyes are all you will be able to glimpse of the forest assassins a they cluster invisibly around your smell of meat as you go through the wood unwisely late. They will be like shadows, they will be like wraiths, grey members of a congregation of nightmare…
There is a vast melancholy in the canticles of the wolves, melancholy infinite as the forest, endless as these long nights of winter…You can tell them by their eyes, eyes of a beast of prey, nocturnal, devastating eyes as red as a wound…
Snow half-caked the lattice and she opened it to look into the garden. It was a white night of moon and snow; the blizzard whirled round the gaunt, gray beasts who squatted on their haunches among the rows of winter cabbage, pointing their sharp snouts to the moon and howling as if their hearts would break. Ten wolves; twenty wolves - so many wolves she could not count them, howling in concert as if demented or deranged. Their eyes reflected light from the kitchen and shone like a hundred candles.
What big teeth you have.
All the better to eat you with.
The girl burst out laughing; she knew she was nobody’s meat."
extracts from ‘The Company of Wolves’ by Angela Carter
Truly delicious writing.
— ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ by Shirley Jackson