Bowie by Simon Critchley

By Simon Critchley

Simon Critchley first encountered David Bowie within the early seventies, whilst the singer seemed on Britain’s most-watched track exhibit, best of the Pops. His functionality of “Starman” mesmerized Critchley: it used to be “so sexual, so understanding, so strange.” days later Critchley’s mum acquired a duplicate of the one; she beloved either the track and the performer’s shiny orange hair (she had formerly been a hairdresser). The seed of a lifelong love affair used to be therefore planted within the brain of her son, elderly 12.

In this concise and fascinating day trip during the songs of 1 of the world’s maximum pop stars, Critchley, whose writings on philosophy have garnered frequent compliment, melds own narratives of the way Bowie lit up his uninteresting existence in southern England’s suburbs with philosophical forays into the best way innovations of authenticity and identification are became inside of out in Bowie’s paintings. the result's approximately as provocative and mind-expanding because the artist it portrays.

"The strongest and provocative thinker now writing …" —Cornel West

"Critchley lovingly finds profoundly deep cuts from each Bowie period in a brief sharp publication helpful of its topic. Miraculously doubles up as an advent to philosophy." —Gruff Rhys, member of large bushy Animals

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Extra resources for Bowie

Sample text

We learned to live with illusion and learn from illusion rather than run away from it. To inhabit this space is also to live after the revolution, in the dis-illusion that follows a revolutionary sequence. For us, this was the fucked-up, disappointed solidarity of the early 1970s most powerfully expressed in “All the Young Dudes,” written by Bowie for Mott the Hoople. This song was like Kerouac’s On the Road for a beaten generation who knew they were going absolutely nowhere: 10 5 My brother’s back at home with his Beatles Like so many of my generation, by this time I was and his Stones listening to a weird cocktail that included Detroit We never got it off on that revolution stuff rock and roll, like Iggy and the Stooges and the .

Hamlet’s first lines onstage are “That this moment in “Space Oddity”: the Everlasting had not fixed his canon ’gainst self-slaughter” (Bowie assumed the persona of Ashes to ashes, funk to funky Hamlet to great effect, holding Yorick’s skull when We know Major Tom’s a junky he sang “Cracked Actor” during the David Live Strung out in heavens high tour in 1974). Against this, Major Tom passively Hitting an all-time low. intones, Of course, these words are self-referential, where I’m feeling very still the “all-time low” is both the title of Bowie’s 1977 And I think my spaceship knows which way to go album, Low, and the experience that album tries Tell my wife I love her very much to evoke and escape: depression caused by drug She knows.

I’d been Arcade Fire’s stunning Reflektor from 2013, which playing off and on in crappy bands for a couple features a one-word cameo from Bowie. of years with names like the Social Class Five and Panik (with a k, just to be Germanic). When The huge anticipation surrounding Lodger in “Heroes” was released just ten months after Low, May 1979 meant that the album had to be a dis- in October 1977, it hit those of us who heard it with appointment with too many obsessively reworked, extraordinary force.

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