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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Day 1486b - Never Mind the Bellocs

During Morrissey's Lausanne concert on Sunday, Moz introduced his band, as he normally does, and finished the introductions by calling himself Hilaire Belloc.

Calling himself Hilaire Belloc could just be seen as a throwaway comment, but it is unusual for Morrissey to introduce himself during the introducing of the band, so did he do it for a reason? I believe that he did. 


Morrissey quoted Virginia Woolf's A Letter to a Young Poet on the back of List of the Lost to draw us to the influence, and it would appear that Belloc's The Four Men could well be ANOTHER major influence for both List of the Lost and Morrissey's novel writing technique in general.

I tweeted about Belloc and The Four Men yesterday, and BRS member Marianne picked up on it, and has written an excellent piece on the TWoM blog, which saves me many hours of research time. Marianne's piece includes this:

I perused Autobiography and noticed that Morrissey mentions Belloc on pages 86-87:

“…in this year of 1974, knowing nothing of Hilaire Belloc (in fact, I walk into a bookshop in St. Anne’s Square asking for ‘anything by Hillary Belloc’), I had no idea that a complete poem could be as short as two lines (couplet?):

I’m tired of love; I’m still more tired of Rhyme.
But Money gives me pleasure all the time.

Naturally, Hilaire Belloc’s name is never mentioned in the unhappy classrooms of St Mary’s School for the Daft, and I find it difficult to track down any information on the rhymist who thought it quite enough to say:

The chief defect of Henry King
Was chewing little bits of String.”

St Mary's Secondary Modern school in Stretford
Marianne continues:

Belloc’s novel The Four Men, has four main characters (as the title would suggest quite plainly), which allegedly represent different aspects of the author’s personality.  This is interesting, as List of the Lost also has four main characters, who are so interconnected, both through sport and friendship, they do seem intertwined as different facets of one being at times; in fact, Ezra, Nails, Harry and Justy are described as "four bodies of one heart, never forgetting themselves as being one single reflection." Furthermore, many of us have noted that there are autobiographical themes in the novel, so something along these lines may not be a stretch, although as I haven’t read Belloc, and I didn’t fully consider this theory whilst reading List of The Lost, I cannot say if this is indeed a parallel or not. Nonetheless, it is intriguing.

I also went on to look up some quotes from Belloc, and quite a few stood out to me, particularly one related to his love of travel, a topic he wrote about quite frequently:

"I have wandered all my life, and I have travelled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment."

Another quote by Belloc also struck me as interesting: "He [the poet] brings out the inner part of things and presents them to men in such a way that they cannot refuse but must accept it. But how the mere choice and rhythm of words should produce so magical an effect no one has yet been able to comprehend, and least of all the poets themselves."

“It is the best of all trades to make songs, and the second best to sing them.” - Hilaire Belloc

It is also interesting to note, that in the Belloc novel, The Four Men, one of the characters is called Poet, and coincidentally 'someone' has started using that name on Solow within the past fortnight - merely a coincidence, I'm sure.

Also in Lausanne, Morrissey talked about the Pink Panther actress, Capucine, who lived in the city between 1962 and 1990. Morrissey described how she jumped to her death from her eight floor apartment - "splat!"



I have nothing more to add today, other than that Boy George randomly tweeted me yesterday to say, "Cheer up doll! :)" Now WHY would he do that? Perhaps something is happening!

And finally, List of the Lost has entered the UK charts at Number 3 - the same position that Morrissey's most successful singles, Irish Blood, English Heart and You Have Killed Me reached. I am really quite surprised that no reference to this has been mentioned on True-To-You, which incidentally has today mentioned The Genius of Russell Brand!

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  1. Excellent piece by Marianne. I've enjoyed learning about Belloc, and The Four Men does seem a likely influence on LOTL. Interesting tweet from Boy George - it certainly took me by surprise when I first saw it.

  2. Talking of introductions, I saw mentioned in a concert review that Boz was introduced as Brigitte Bardot in Brussels. BB of course, but it made me chuckle.

    1. Well that will please the Silly Fruit, as between us we used to wind up Astra that BB was Boz and not Brigitte.

    2. well normally I would sat that is weird.. but as we know, it is anything but..

  3. loving st Mary's for the daft whiskers.. st annes square I know well, in the summer we would often sit there after walking around kendals.. strange thing about kendals we would often see pat phoenix and a few others shopping there and that was before the smiths

  4. oh that sounds as if I was in the smiths or with his mozness which I was not, Manchester was very small early seventies.. antique market etc.. somethibg a few of us did

    1. Move AWAY from the drinks cabinet.

    2. TOUCHE, but I kid you not, Kendals/st anns square/bernards bar/antique market.. all within touching distance of each other, I guess that was one of the circuits for the meek and mild back then


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