Saturday, September 24, 2005

Open windows/Pete and Dickens


In honor of the 'windows of my mind' being unlatched today , I just opened my real bedroom window and as soon as I did, some bloke, who was probably just noticing movement, had to look directly in as he was taking the rubbish out. I had to then slam the blinds back together in a flurry of haughty indignity, my plunging black house dress swishing about as it accidentally cascaded of my shoulders...
See?
Who needs the internet, when SuperAmanda lives nearby?
But I need my window open as today has been fun and I want no stuffiness.

With the first installment of Pete's novella now up, Who fans everywhere can finally look upon their musical hero they've held so dear and know he is also a great writer, on par with Updike and Irving, Bennett or Sedaris. The Lifehouse concept is now fully illuminated and as clear as day. My friend who is, among many things, a Stanford educated Joyce scholar, found the first installment of The Boy Who Heard Music to be bleak but agreed with me that Pete Townshend is worthy heir to the writing style of Charles Dickens.
Like Sophia Loren being told by Noel Coward that she should have been sculpted with chocolate truffles, a higher compliment could not be paid. Like Dickens there is that savage bitterness towards the hellishness of industry that shackles the poor in Pete's writing. Pete is thinking of the artist though, where do they stand now? Charles Shapiro wrote in an afterword to Hard Times: "...while the schoolroom is to dehumanize its little scholars, the circus,all fancy and loves, gives humanity back. It is in the journey between the two worlds that we have presented the grown-up actuality of an industrial town whose frightening,hard, pragmatic values, almost parody utlilitarianism, are being transmitted-undistilled-to the children."

So now what to do with this knowledge? Remember that is is fiction? Or should I say 'pretend' it's fiction? I just like reading what Pete has to say and feeling like I'm back in England for now. It's one place I can always return to. Saturday's alright for writing.

5 Comments:

Blogger Neil said...

Where you see Dickens, I see Huxley. Orwell. At least we can agree on one thing, old Pete's in his element. Is his life imitating his art or vise-versa? Say, you don't by chance have witches' . . . you know.

I enjoy your creative writing. You really are talented.

Now, about your window . . . some guys have all the luck.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Justin Kreutzmann said...

Windows to the world. I thought it was nice that Pete found my site through yours. Thanks!

10:18 AM  
Blogger SuperAmanda said...

you guys are the best :)I never thought about Huxley..interesting. I think Pete has a freedom from rigidity that Orwell did not have a chance to feel because of his early years and the era. Orwell is one of those people that I wish had been left alone and not posthumously over analyzed (eg:C. Hitchens) I think Orwell was simplicity when it came to earth shattering events like the Spanish Civil War and Stalinism and that simplicity allowed the reader to form their own opnions. Pete leaves no stone unturned and is an artist that has taken sides against evil..the class system just does not seem to make much difference to him-he's very free in his thoughts.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Justin Kreutzmann said...

We had a Jerry Garcia Tribute concert last night in Berkeley so I posted to you when I got home. I feel as you do about John Entwistle, he was really, really cool. Doing that film I got to stay at his house for a week. It was my WHO fantasy come true, every inch of his mansion was covered in memorabilia and fascinating collections of art, cars, guitars, guns and armor. With John leading the tour it was very entertaining. Going to read Pete's story this morning, from what I'm seen written from you and others it sounds great.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Eliyahu ben Avraham vaSarah said...

Now, it may just be that I've read too much SF/Fantasy, but a lot of Pete's writing, both in The Boy Who Heard Music and other Lifehouse iterations, reminds me a little of Michael Moorcock. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I get a similar "vibe" from both authors. It could be because they are both of the same generation, Moorcock being about 6 years older than Pete.

9:02 PM  

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