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

The screen door slams

Bruce Springsteen, Drammenshallen, Norway, 1981. Wikimedia Commons

Bruce Springsteen, Drammenshallen, Norway, 1981. Wikimedia Commons

The screen door slams
Mary’s dress sways
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that’s me and I want you only
Don’t turn me home again
I just can’t face myself alone again

In two days I’m going to see Bruce play. I had something else I was going to write about today but then it hit me that I simply had to write about Springsteen. Because as much as any writer, artist, or performer he was the first spark in my interest in writing. His lyrics, the way he sings them and his genuineness as a performer and a person (from what I know) have been a signpost for me not only in that I write at all, but in what and who I choose to write about and the voice I aim to bring to my writing. Continue reading