Morrissey and Melancholia (Spoiler Alert: He’s Still Miserable) | The New York Observer -
In which I destroy one of my idols…
The hobgoblins strike at my teeth
As the recyclables flail with emotions
And the bicycles fly through the air
After a night with Jameson’s
And the camera excites the little girls
Who sing to the cherry trees even though
No one is actually listening
But no one cares, no one knows
How I can sit here for hours and hours
Waiting for something to happen
But nothing ever does, except a bathroom break
Every now and then.
"Artists are nourished by each other more than by fame or by the public, I’ve always thought. To give one’s work to the world is an experience of peculiar emptiness. The work goes away from the artist into a void, like a message stuck into a bottle and flung into the sea. Criticism is crushing and humiliating. Pollock was hailed as a genius by the time he died, but could he have forgotten the widely repeated witticism that his paintings could have been done by a chimpanzee? As for praise, somehow it falls short, empty superlatives. The true artist knows the pitfalls of vanity. Dangerous to let go of one’s anxiety. But did you understand? must always be the question. To like and admire is not enough: did you understand? And will you understand the next thing I do—the wet canvas in my studio, the page I left in my typewriter? Unreasonably, the artist would like to know this, too. Praise has to do with the past, the finished thing; the unfinished is the artist’s preoccupation.”
—Joyce Johnson, Minor Characters (1983)
They all went to the movies on Forty-second Street that night and saw I Vitteloni, a film about a gang of rootless young men in Rome. Lafcadio, according to Leo, thought it was about New York. — Joyce Johnson, Minor Characters (1983)
Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time. But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up. We all make mistakes, and surely this isn’t your worst misdemeanor. But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine. Anyway, doesn’t that also sum up your career right now? Present. Perfect. Continuous. And Tense. Intense? Girl, you work it like Mike Tyson. Miley, I love you because you’re the Queen, grammatically and anatomically speaking. And you’re the hottest cake in the pan. Don’t ever grow old. Live brightly before your fire fades into total darkness. XXOO Sufjan
[Andrew] loves words. When not talking, which is seldom, he is usually wearing a broad, boyish grin or laughing lustily, for he appears to see the world as a huge joke. Almost as perpetual as the grin is a pair of dark glasses which are his virtual trademark.
One quickly concludes that often his words are designed to create effect, or to entertain, or to amuse rather than to communicate facts. His flights of fancy are enlivened with a flowery extravagance of language.
The spontaneous outpouring of [Andrew’s] colorful language is sometimes remarkable. One is often awed by an apparently limitless flow of baffling originations. Most discerning listeners have little trouble in recognizing his soaring adventures in imagination for precisely that. It would be a mistake, however, to conclude that his narratives are totally or perpetually illusory. They are not. None who has truly known him would accuse him of stupidity.
If many people do not take [Andrew] quite seriously, it is also true that practically none would wish him harm. If he often has little regard for fact, it is equally clear that he has little expectation that his prevarications will be relied upon by others to their detriment. It is doubtful that he has ever intentionally caused harm to anyone. Cruelty and malice are alien to his nature.
I felt ill and I think Pavlov realized; he put his massive arms around me and started singing a drinking song in my ear, something about death and love, the only two things in life that are real. — Roberto Bolaño, “Snow” (1997)
R A I N T A X I Review of Books -
I reviewed Harmony Korine’s “novel” for Rain Taxi, and tried really hard to write about other things besides Spring Breakers. Also, this:
“Plot and character can only be pieced together with the most Evel Knievel-like critical leaps, and in overt defiance of authorial intention.”