Insomniac Light

15 April 2008

J. describing learning lines for the Sight is the Sense… monologue, during a camping trip in Mexico. Lain sleepless in the desert, in the pitch darkness of a tent next to his daughter, using his cell phone to highlight the text – each brief illumination of the phone's screen enough time for him to read just one line, after which he'd lie there and repeat the phrase again and again, before pressing the keypad once more to find the next part. Piece by piece, the whole emerging, in green insomniac light, and silent repetition.


A friend wrote:

The meeting was a little strange, they all seemed to be really tired and half ill from all the work..

(The idea of traveling far to a meeting and on arrival finding the place very odd – the people pale, listless, the windows shut. The managing director comes out briefly but the light seems to hurt his eyes. The presentations by his underlings are nervous, distracted, unfocused. On leaving the traveller sees that the secretary has fallen asleep at her typewriter table.)

(Thinking for some reason of Herzog's Heart of Glass with all the hypnotized performers.)


Excerpt from forthcoming M.E. Smith autobiography Renegade: The Lives and Tales of Mark E Smith at The Guardian. No doubt The Fall are the greatest band since war-time living memory etc, and as lyricist/all round difficult bastard Smith has few rivals. Perhaps because he long ago applied the cut-up technique to his own brain means that as an interview subject – or here as supposedly relaible/ 'realistic' self-portrait artist – he's not always as sharp or as insightful as his persona/s. Might trust Roman Totale's version more than this one. Some great touches though, esp Smith's childhood game 'Japanese Prisoner of War Camp'.