Saturday, September 15, 2007

Books and Reading and Empowerment and the rock star Nick Cave

"As I grew older and entered my teens, my now-deceased father decided it was time to pass on to his son certain information. Here I was thirteen years old and he would usher me into his study, lock the door and begin reciting great bloody slabs of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, or the murder scene from Crime and Punishment, or whole chapters form Nabokov’s Lolita. My father would wave his arms about, and I could tell by the way it empowered him that he felt he was passing on forbidden knowledge. I would sit and listen to all these mad words pouring from his mouth, happy to be invited into his strange, anomalous world. I would watch my father lose himself in the outpourings of his own creative energy and although he would have laughed at this notion, what my father was finding in his beloved literature was God. Literature elevated him, tore him from normality, lifted him out of the mediocre, and brought him closer to the divine essence of things. I had no notion of that then, but I did see somewhere that art had the power to insulate me form the mundanity of the world, to protect me. So I set about writing some really bad poems."
(The Flesh Made Word, by Nick Cave for BBC Radio 3, July 1996)

No comments: