Posts

 on Neu! imitators... they can be entertaining enough, but at the end of the day, it's old Neu!s innit?  whereas the original... So how come alt-Neu! still sounds neu-er than nu-Neu? The paradox of modernism - the Breakthrough, suspended for all time thanks to the 20th Century miracle of recording, recreates the original moment of emergence and insurgence each time you listen (or look, or read). Is somehow eternally new, like fresh-picked fruit flash-frozen. Flaubert's Madame Bovary startled me awake, when I read it for the first time last year -  even though all its innovations have been long assimilated and rendered second-nature commonplaces in subsequent fiction. (I also feel that the groups reactivating - if not quite reenacting  -  the breakthroughs made by other earliers, have evaded all the hard work that went into actually breaking through into the new / Neu!. Their undoubted youthful energy masks an idleness (an Idles-ness, even). They have started with the outcome of
"It's promotion. But you get asked questions you'd only answer under psychoanalysis." - Kate Bush, on doing interviews
 " Just A   Cunt   in A Clown Suit would be a perfect memoir title, or epitaph, for Bowie - and many other people.   "Sometimes I think we're all clowns, all lost and trapped in our own ridiculous obsessions and self-importances -  but I guess if we could achieve some kind of above-it-all 'true' perspective, then we wouldn't be human. Or at least, it would be impossible to function - everything would seem futile.  "On the cosmic scale, being obsessed with the minutiae of musical subcultures that are ephemeral, or sports, or whatever microworld of culture or fashion or writing or aesthetics that you want to nominate - it's really not that much different than being obsessed with Shakespeare or the Ancient Greeks or Rembrandt or Beethoven.  It all will pass, all of it is very parochial and fleeting in the enormity of time-space. The importance is the excitement and urgent feeling of life that it gives you in that moment. The quickening"
 “A work of art should also be ‘an object difficult to pick up.’ It must protect itself from vulgar pawing, which tarnishes and disfigures it. It should be made of such a shape that people don’t know which way to hold it, which embarrasses and irritates the critics, incites them to be rude, but keeps it fresh. The less it’s understood, the slower it opens its petals, the later it will fade.” - Jean Cocteau
 "This is why the electronic human lives faster and faster. He is forced to see everything and to hear everything.”  —Bernard Parmegiani, 1973
I have been reading Olaf Stapledon - Starmaker , having read First and Last Men a year or two ago. He has an amazing imagination for 'worlds' - a Spengler-derived (I suspect) sense of civilisations that rise and fall, 'races' that come and go. First and Last Men was like a million-year history of Earth, and the many forms of human being and human society that develop, including a completely aerial stage of bird-men.   With Starmaker the same impetus has taken his imagination into the far reaches of space, life-supporting planets in distant galaxies. But so far I would have say the worlds he imagines are rather anthropocentric -  they all have things like class, industrial revolution, racism, property, sex, religion etc. There's one where a piscine civilisation develops where the creatures evolve into boat-beings, with sails and rudders etc. Yet they still have factories and rich and poor.  If they're not anthropocentic, they are Earthcentric - so there's
"Distinctive voices in rock are trained through years of many things: frustration, fear, loneliness, anger, insecurity, arrogance, narcissism, or just sheer perseverance – anything but a teacher." - Chrissie Hynde