From Story to Song to Cinema: Re-interpreting Raymond Carver

What we talk about CarverAt the South by Southwest music and film conference in Austin, Texas, in March this year, writer Larry Ratso Sloman attempted to flatter Nick Cave by telling him that, for a drug addict, he was more productive than William S. Burroughs.

‘I dunno, really. I don’t know his stuff. Is it any good?’ Cave replied. ‘I’m more for Edgar Rice Burroughs,’ he added, helpfully explaining to the audience that the alternate Burroughs wrote Tarzan.

But I don’t see too much Tarzan in Nick Cave’s work. And I can’t imagine that someone with his interests wouldn’t have an intimate knowledge of William S. Burroughs. Surely he was taking the piss?

The inspiration drawn by writers, musicians and filmmakers from each other’s work is intriguing and instructive. When a musician or filmmaker uses the words of a writer in the creation of a song or a movie, the interest in both works is enhanced. Audiences want to hear all about the interpretation of one artists’ work by another, particularly when both are respected and successful. Continue reading