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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Day 1481 - Bitter Bitter Bitter

It would appear that I was a year too late with my observation yesterday that Drag the River was about Virginia Woolf. As Rosy Mires pointed out in yesterday's comment section of FTM, there are a couple of fan videos of the song on Youtube, featuring scenes from Woolf's work, Mrs Dalloway, and the film The Hours. I really aught to pay more attention.

However, GWO has once again left comment regarding the Virginia Woolf link to List of the Lost, stating, "Jigsaw, jigsaw, jigsaw. It’s about fitting the pieces together. ‘Intimate and indiscreet’ and ‘pompous, prophetic airs’ from the blurb are referred to in the letter to a young poet. That draws you to Virginia Woolf and onto Drag the River. Bringing these pieces together we have a little picture of sorts, which may be right or not, but is nevertheless interesting.
Funnily enough, Morrissey was asked in the latest interview if he recognised himself as the novelist that he had described – pompous, indiscreet, seeking privacy. He replied that writers absorb what goes on around them and never stop collecting items from here and there. Well something to that effect, as the interview was in French. Or more likely, English, into French and back again."

This is very interesting, because in a section of A Letter to a Young Poet, Woolf gives the following advise to the would be writer:

"Write then, now that you are young, nonsense by the ream. Be silly, be sentimental, imitate Shelley, imitate Samuel Smiles; give the rein to every impulse; commit every fault of style, grammar, taste, and syntax; pour out; tumble over; loose anger, love, satire, in whatever words you can catch, coerce or create, in whatever metre, prose, poetry, or gibberish that comes to hand. Thus you will learn to write. But if you publish, your freedom will be checked; you will be thinking what people will say; you will write for others when you ought only to be writing for yourself. And what point can there be in curbing the wild torrent of spontaneous nonsense which is now, for a few years only, your divine gift in order to publish prim little books of experimental verses? To make money? That, we both know, is out of the question. To get criticism? But your friends will pepper your manuscripts with far more serious and searching criticism than any you will get from the reviewers. As for fame, look I implore you at famous people; see how the waters of dullness spread around them as they enter; observe their pomposity, their prophetic airs; reflect that the greatest poets were anonymous; think how Shakespeare cared nothing for fame; how Donne tossed his poems into the waste-paper basket; write an essay giving a single instance of any modern English writer who has survived the disciples and the admirers, the autograph hunters and the interviewers, the dinners and the luncheons, the celebrations and the commemorations with which English society so effectively stops the mouths of its singers and silences their songs."


Morrissey has no doubt quoted from Woolf's A Letter To A Young Poet on the cover of List of the Lost, to lead us the reader, to it. If only the likes of the permanently embarrassed one from The Guardian (see FTM Day 1479) had bothered to do some homework, then they might have realised that Morrissey hasn't just written a book to 'conform to the norm', Morrissey has taken on board all of Woolf's advice from that letter of 1932, and has written a novel that is silly, sentimental, commits fault of style/grammar/taste/syntax, pours out, tumbles over, loses anger, loves and satires. What is more, Morrissey has indeed used every word he could catch, coerce or create in metre, prose, poetry, and gibberish. Those who have rushed to criticise List of the Lost, REALLY haven't got it!

Moving on, I shall now turn to last night's Moz concert in Frankfurt, attended by BRS centrepiece, Orangey Chuck (I really don't know what to call her these days!). Chuck hasn't had time to write a review, as she has headed off to Cologne for this evening's concert, but she did send the following message to Kerry the Cocktail:

"Buzzing!! PATSE and.. Reader meet Author!! After first or second song, he said "Bitte.. Bitter.. Bitter.. I am so bitter"! Guess he loved BBN's review! Funny moment at the encore when the cheeky bastard didn't grab my monster rose but instead the equally large sunflower from the girl who coincidentally stood right behind me! Black blazer with blue lapels, brownish one with sh*ny inlays for encore.. Ok must dash, off to Cologne!"

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Steven Morrissey spielt am Mittwoch (30.09.2015) in der Hugenottenhalle Neu-Isenburg.

Morrissey's, "bitte, bitte, bitte, I am so bitter", is a very natural and amusing thing to say to a German audience, but I agree with Chuck that it is without doubt a nod to Bitter Bobby Neville, following Tuesday's publication of Hullsome, BB's wonderful List of the Lost style Hull concert review. We shall add 'Bitte Bitte Bitte' to that extremely long 'coincidence' list.

Having Reader Meet Author perfor, er, sung, is not a major surprise, bearing in mind that LotL has just been released, but it could be seen as yet another nod to the BRS, seeing as Kerry the Cocktail has been banging on for ages about wanting songs from Southpaw Grandma added to the set. Who knows?

And on the subject of the 9th Marquess of Queensbury's (Boo hiss) favourite sport, Boxers was once again sung last night, and One of Our Own and People are the Same Everywhere were also on the set. Unfortunately there was still no sign of You'll be Gone. AGHHHH! With the exception of half of Suedehead, there is bugger all footage on Youtube, which must mean that Chuck is not alone in being the German without a smart phone. Sunflowers - yes, smartphones - no.

There is still no sign of a new MorrisseysWorld parody, but I will not give up hope. In the meantime, I have started to re-read List of the Lost, and this time, rather than guzzle it down as fast as I can, I am pouring over every word. On page 2, I am caught by Morrissey's description of friendship. Instead of Morrissey seeing friendship as a coming together of people who 'get on', he writes, "people magnetically attract others with similar weaknesses".

FTM received 37 hits from Belgium at the beginning of the week, although I know of no one who went to watch the concert. And since Morrissey left the country, my Belgium hits have completely gone. Bizarre!

And finally, after four years of searching, I have FINALLY managed to track down a promo copy of Glamorous Glue. It wasn't cheap, but as I explained to the current Mrs Whiskers, vinyl is art, and this one is a Picasso.

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  1. Imagine if the band had shirts with BOOZEY on them at Budapest!!???!!

  2. That passage from Woolf's letter had struck me too as being the apparent inspiration for the style of List of the Lost. I love Woolf's explanation of why there is no value in writing to please others. The fact that Morrissey always speaks his mind and does his own thing without caring what others think is one of the main reasons we love him, and this books stands as the ultimate embodiment of this. He has created a work in complete defiance of all standard conventions and critics, so of course they aren't going to 'get' it. I see the book as an inspiring testament to staying true to oneself without caring what anyone else thinks. I am eternally grateful to Morrissey for teaching me this same lesson many years ago and continuing to inspire me with it today.

  3. Thanks for the Woolf quote. That goes for both Auto and LOTL.

    As a scribbler of tiny little poems, I must agree that it is much better to just write for oneself and, if lucky, a dozen others than to adjust in an attempt to get published. I know poets who have been published and having their work re-written by the editors and don't necessarily appreciate the changes.

    Thankfully, Morrissey is in a position to have his work published without such interference.

  4. Forgive me as I go off topic but I want to mention Morrissey's TTY statement.
    Yesterday as I was driving to work I found myself alongside a wagon going to the abattoir. I regularly see the gut wrenching sight. There were calves on board the abhorrently named "animal limousine" which was painted on the back. I met the beautiful, innocent & scared eyes ,with mine, blind with tears.
    Morrissey's voice for the animals is a guiding light in the war against animal cruelty.

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    2. I am sorry you didn't get to see Moz in Cologne Manc. I feel for you, take care x

  5. Apparently he quote/sung a bit of Francoise Hardy before the encore...

    1. Yes, apparently it was I Will Change My Life, which was also sung during the Speedway pause in Paris last year (when George got his handshake):


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