David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

26 June 2009

Christos Tsiolkas : a song that will forever make me happy

Michael Jackson, the King of Pop died today.

Last month, as part of the Sydney Writers Festival, Christos Tsiolkas talked with Matt Levinson about the influence of music on his writing. The following is an extract, transcribed by bL .
The full conversation can be viewed online at SlowTV.

I want you Back
, The Jackson 5

Christos Tsiolkas :
One of the realities about 'I want you back' is that it is a song that will forever make me happy. And so when I was writing my first book ‘Loaded’ which the original title was ‘Novel with soundtrack’ it was a story about about an 18 year old gay Greek guy in Melbourne who didn’t want to be a poofter and he didn’t want to be a wog. In a very constrained set of circumstances, where joy came from him was music.

And people have always asked me when that novel came out is it autobiographical? And maybe in a sense all first novels are a little bit autobiographical but actually the real autobiography in that novel is Ari’s love for music. Ari’s actually a construction, he’s an alter-ego, he’s not me. But in his love and passion for music that’s where we co-exist.

Matt Levinson :
I love that idea of him just wandering around the city with a tape with ‘I want you back’ just recorded back to back and just listening to it over and over and over again.

Christos Tsiolkas :
That actually came from a real moment when I was not in a very good space emotionally and there was a place down the river Yarra in Melbourne and I had a Walkman and I had ‘I want you back’ about ten times on it and I would just would go and sit by the river and listen to that track.