LiteraryMinded’s fifth blog anniversary spectacular! (part two)

See part one and what this is all about here!

Glen Hunting asks:

1) How did you become a Bowie fan, and what is your favourite Bowie song?

How I came to love Bowie is explained in detail in this post but in short, I was in year 12 when I connected with his music, his chameleonism, his mix of darkness, strangeness and humour, his art and style and truly unique (always shifting) outlook. I could go on… He’s not only my favourite musician, he’s my favourite writer. My favourite song changes but at the moment it’s probably ‘We Are the Dead‘ from Diamond Dogs.

2) What was the most heartrending book/story/poem/film you’ve ever read or watched?

I can’t name just one. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell when I was a kid. The Land Before Time, Bambi, E.T. When I was 14, the film American Beauty. The Misfits with Monroe, Gable and Clift. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (and the film, in my teens). Hamlet. Everything by Kafka. Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus. In recent years: Synecdoche New York, the collected stories of Richard Yates, Wings of Desire. I’ll stop there.

3) What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do? (Well, perhaps not hardest, but pretty damn hard within reasonable limits.)

I’ve lived a privileged life, some things have taken a lot of effort but I really haven’t had to do anything extremely difficult. There has been serious illness in my family but we all got through that together. The biggest challenges for me, I guess, were moving to a city where I knew nobody, travelling by myself overseas in my early twenties, and speaking in front of a crowd (which still makes me nervous). One thing that has been worse in the past but that I continue to deal with (as many people do) are some very negative and dark corners within my own self.

Lee Zachariah asks: ‘Do you find it difficult to keep up to date with literature given the amount of time it takes to read a book (taking into account varying lengths)? I’m asking from the perspective of a film critic. When I watch a film, I know I only need devote 90-120 minutes to it, and can schedule accordingly. It’s easy to keep up to date with nearly everything on release. Keeping up to date with literature must surely be a whole different prospect: do you pick and choose more carefully, or maybe focus on specific trends/styles?’

It’s impossible to keep up! Reading for festivals and (commissioned) reviews helps me stay relatively up to date with Australian literature, as well as reading other blogs, reviews, and Bookseller+Publisher mag (which has pre-release reviews). But I’m interested in literature (fiction, poetry, nonfiction) from all around the world, not to mention the classics. Sometimes I wish I were more picky! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh well.

Robyne Young:

A blogger named Angela Meyer
To the heights of her art did aspire.
Through her vids, posts and prose,
To great lengths she does go
To make us all Literary Minded!

So sweet, Robyne. I really do hope I inspire lit-love in others.

Alexandra Neill asks: ‘You are asked to describe your blog to someone who has never read it. Using mime. You’re allowed to use three props. What would they be and why?’

They would be:

Gerard Elson says:

My response: Addictive TV is addictive, shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Gerard Elson also says:

May our drum be bun indeed, my love.

Kent MacCarter asks: ‘What are the top ten (High Fidelity style) most random promo copy titles you’ve received to review? eg, Lawnmower Repair Made Easy.

Too hard, Kent, these publicists do actually seem to know what they’re doing most of the time! Also, I have a terrible memory. Here’s some I wish I’d received:

Part three to follow…

8 thoughts on “LiteraryMinded’s fifth blog anniversary spectacular! (part two)

  1. 1) I don’t have a favourite Bowie song, but the ones I like, in no particular order, are “Fame” (the original version), “The Jean Genie”, “Sorrow” (not strictly his, I know), “Fashion”, “Golden Years”, “Let’s Dance”, “Modern Love”, “Suffragette City”, “Hang On To Yourself”, “Starman”, “Changes”, and “Life on Mars?” In short, all the really obvious ones. Sorry.

    a) “The Book Thief” was so very bittersweet.
    b) The motion picture of “The Hours” – I was so affected by it that I saw it more than once while it was still in the cinemas, which is unheard of for me.
    c) Black Swan Theatre Company’s production of “Equus” a couple of years ago – I was shaking by the end of it. The same company’s rendition of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” a year or so before that was pretty mind-blowing, too.
    d) Les Miserables (the Cameron Mackintosh version) always gets me in that sweet spot where it hurts.

    3) I’m very much with you on the subject of “dark corners.” Pesky buggers, aren’t they?!

  2. Oh, Synecdoche New York! So strange, so heartbreaking. And the song from it, ‘Just a Little Person’. And yes, The Hours, novel and film. I actually stood up and applauded towards the end of the book 🙂

  3. 2. The myth of Sisyphus. Must read that again. I’ve read all of Camus but this one I remember less that some of the others. I recently re-read The plague (La pest) but I think the one I really want to reread next is La juste because I recollect it was the one that mystified me the most at the time (when I was around 20).

    • I have to read more Camus still but The Myth of Sisyphus really did change my life. I understood his ‘absurd’ completely.

  4. Always interesting to hear of the reasons for getting into an artist’s music. I love ‘We Are the Dead‘. Its one of the few trax on that album to clearly originate from Bowie”s intended musical of Orwell’s 1984. (Orwell’s widow freaked and refused permission.)

    • Yes, I just read all about that recently. I love the whole album, especially as it’s so evident it’s ‘inspired’ by Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s killer.

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