Sunday, 13 May 2018


I've just finished "The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ" by Philip Pullman and in the afterword he says he thinks that people should have their own interpretation of a book, though some authors such as William Golding say there should only be one interpretaion of a book.

Personally I think this is true of all art , be it books , paintings, sculpture, installations or whatever. Often people dismiss art because "anyone could do that". For something to have value as art, the artist has to submit is as art and it has to have an effect, and that is any effect whether it is positive or negative. If you are affected by a piece of art then it has served it's purpose.

I've been mentioning inspiration and certain things this week have caused me to write posts and this is another one that has been caused by something.

When I was in Helmsley's Cut Price Bookstore I was looking for someting to buy (although I don't need any books at the moment, but when does that ever stop us buying a book) and I saw a copy of Bob Dylan's "Tarantula" and I resisted it, and left the shop, but then thought no, support local business and go and buy it. So I did.

I may have had "Tarantula" before but can't remember reading it (though that doesn't mean I haven't read it), and last night I opened and read the explanatory first page, which seemed good, this was followed by some publisher blurb about "Chronicles" , and incidentally I caught a bit of "No Direction Home" on Sky Arts which I got as a birthday present and still haven't watched, and it was quite amusing see supposedly Novocastrian folk fans dissing his electification with plummy home county BBC accents. I think that needs watching soon. Some people cannot accept change even if it benefits them, and while we need constants and conformity we also need evolution and progress.

Anyway I hit the first page of "Tarantula" proper and was hit with a block of stream of consciousness text, with no paragraphs and little punctuation and quite a few ampersands. It hit me like a brick wall. I first thought there is NO WAY I can read this. It's only 116 pages but in my mind was 116 brick walls.

I've read shorter novels, JG Ballard's "Running Wild" is only 110 pages but is a brilliant read, Ballard is my favourite author by the way. Paul Gallico's  24 page "The Snow Goose" can be read as you listen to the Camel album that was inspired it, you can finish it in forty odd minutes.

I will not be finishing "Tarantula" that quickly, though once you start reading the are interlude windows to an alternate parallel narrative which may or may not actually have a story. The book has had an immediate effect on me and I am enjoying it, and this is how all art should affect you.

I'll leave you with something from Camel's "Snow Goose" but do check out these books and then create some art yourself.

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