punk

Notes on Notes from Underground, Punk and Russian Poetry

Photo Credit: Klaviatura by khanele / Hannah Born We all come out of Gogol's overcoat
                      --Fyodor Dostoevsky
When I read Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground for the first time, it screwed me to my chair for about a week. I was paralysed with a not completely unpleasant terror that when or if I finally pried myself loose, the world would no longer be the brick-and-mortar, what-you-see-is-what-you-get place I had always thought it was. And I was right; when I eventually stepped out into the sunshine, I saw cracks and seams everywhere. I knew for the first time that if I had the right kind of crowbar, I could finally get a good look at the springs and sprockets that made things go.

Jim Carroll (1949 - 2009)

Stairwell at CBGBs, Circa 2003 Photo by bettyx1138 via Flickr Creative CommonsIf you're of a certain age and have a bent toward a certain kind of music, then you probably ground the grooves flat on your copy of Jim Carroll's "People Who Died." It wasn’t an anthem (which by definition excludes); it was something purer than that: a coyote howl of mourning--not for those who had gone (because they had reached something permanent, if only the void), but for those who remained, those who were forced to go on with one more ragged hole in their lives where a person once had been.

All that, and the song just flat out rocked.

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