posted by davidt on Tuesday November 04 2003, @10:00AM
fell out of bed twice writes:

Here is an excerpt from a british magazine in which Dan Rhodes, the author of Timolean Vieta Come Home (which was short listed for The Booker Prize) speaks about The Smiths and Morrissey. (link and excerpt provided)

3AM: When I asked you for your Top 5 recently, you said that The Smiths were "still the soundtrack to my life -- I can't work out if they saved it or ruined it". Your stories reflect a very pessimistic outlook on life and love -- they are "all about unhappiness in love" (Jenny Colgan) -- which is reminiscent of Morrissey's. Do you agree?

DR: I discovered the Smiths when I was twelve, and Mozzer was always a big influence on my writing. As well as being deeply melancholy, his songs are extraordinarily uplifting, and I've always striven for a combination of sadness and joy. I tend to take my cues from songwriters as much as other fiction writers, maybe even more so. Other primary musical influences on my stuff include Stephin Merritt and the great Daniel Johnston, both of whom were always on my stereo when I was writing Anthropology, and who both have a Smithsian balance of humour and heartache in their music.

3AM: Do you also agree with Paul Morley (quoted by Michael Bracewell in The Nineties) who argues that "You could swap every winner of the Booker Prize for one song by Morrissey"? After all, the list of writers who make references to Morrissey and The Smiths keeps growing (Douglas Coupland, Irvine Welsh, Jonathan Coe…).

DR: The Smiths were the best band ever. I tend not to be very interested in books that win the Booker Prize, particularly when it seems as if they were written with one eye on it - that's just lamentable. And yes, it's not often you come across a book that carries as much of a punch as something like "I Know It's Over", or "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me". Fiction at its very best can rival The Smiths -- I'm a Chekhov nut at the moment, and he's up there. I re-read Timoleon Vieta Come Home recently, and found three or four Smiths steals. I doff my cap at every opportunity.
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  • We all know what this means.An other writer seducted by Morrissey.

    Hi to everyone!!!
    Anonymous -- Tuesday November 04 2003, @01:38PM (#78586)
  • Morrissey began his career with the intention of succeeding as a music journalist. During the late 70s, he frequently wrote letters to the music press and was eventually taken on by Record Mirror as a freelance local reviewer. During this period, he wrote a booklet about the NY Dolls. He also penned a small illustrated book, "James Dean Is Not Dead." Two other projects, on girl groups and minor film stars, failed to reach the printed page, but the manuscripts survive to this very day, and the chapter titles of these works are nothing short of brilliant (typical Moz).

    When asked in an interview after making it as a solo artist, what he was good at, Moz said, "I'm not bad with words."

    Given all this, and coupled with how well read he is, it seems to me that his connection to literature, and literature's connection to him, fit like hand in glove.

    Additionally, given all the nonfiction books that have been written about Morrissey, the fiction books that have been inspired by him, being covered by bands large & small on a consistent basis, having multiple films made about him, the BBC documentary, the new book "Saint Morrissey," the title of which is a mark of his status in pop music, if not within divinity itself, The feature article in The Independent Sunday (Talk of The Town) over the weekend, the recording of a new album, I believe that the Renaissance & Rebirth of Steven Patrick Morrissey is real.

    And I am happy that he is getting the respect he deserves, because he really has earned it now, baby.
    PopsicleBoy -- Tuesday November 04 2003, @01:39PM (#78587)
    (User #8729 Info)
    Oh, is it really so, really so strange? I say NO, you say YES (but you will change your mind)

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