Bowie by Bowie, David; Critchley, Simon

By Bowie, David; Critchley, Simon

An impressive and deceptively slender booklet, during which no essay takes longer to learn than it can take to hear a David Bowie music, yet during which there's a cumulative experience of revelation as regards what makes Bowie designated, and why it truly is that his paintings turns out to yield extra, the extra time you spend there. The publication is pleasant, hugely readable, with bits of Nietzsche, Ruskin, Roland Barthes and Deleuze emerging up like wisps of cloud in its humorous, relocating and passionate box of inquiry. -Rick Moody, Salon

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How do we live with the kind of memories expressed in “5:15 The Angels Have Gone” without becoming prisoners of the past, crushed by regret, or simply deluded? Such is the conceit of “Survive,” which is one of the most beautifully simple songs Bowie has ever written. ” There is a frank realization that “Who said time is on my side? ” BOWIE’S MUSIC IS ABOUT YEARNING. Ultimately, this is a yearning for love. His yearning touches something in ours, unlocking a bittersweet melancholy, for example the deliciously painful longing of exile.

There is a world of people for whom Bowie was the being who permitted a powerful emotional connection and freed them to become some other kind of self, something freer, more queer, more honest, more open, and more exciting. Looking back, Bowie has become a kind of touchstone for that past, its glories and its glorious failures, but also for some kind of constancy in the present and for the possibility of a future, even the demand for a better future. I don’t mean this to sound hubristic. Look, I’ve never met the guy—Bowie, I mean—and I doubt I ever will (and, to be honest, I don’t really want to.

Why would we have been interested in that? Life was routine, gray, cramped, and dull. Our parents were deeply morally confused by the 1960s, having affairs, getting divorced, and wearing flared trousers. We were just bored. BORED. Let the upper-middle classes celebrate street life after their winter skiing trips with their parents or taking the Volvo on a tour of the Dordogne. Bowie represented something else, especially for intelligently disaffected ordinary boys and girls. It was something impossibly glamorous and strange.

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