“Nabokov wrote on index cards, at a lectern, in his socks”

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “There She Goes, My Beautiful World” from Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus (2004)

Sometime SWR scribe Bailey introduced me to this song when I stayed with him in NYC recently. Nick Cave never quite did it for me until I heard this song, an exhortation to make art by any technique necessary. It’s kind of silly, but kind of totally inspiring.

Many of the artists Nick Cave invokes SWReaders are no doubt familiar with, but I must call attention to poet (and jazz fan/pornography aficionado) Philip Larkin (who “stuck it out at a library in Hull”). Read his “High Windows,” “Annus Mirabilis,” and “The Explosion.”

Also, there’s a pretty good live performance of this song on YouTube.

Buy the Bad Seeds

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 2000s, Rock

3 responses to ““Nabokov wrote on index cards, at a lectern, in his socks”

  1. Adam Bailey

    As a sociologist, the following line from this song particularly resonates with me:

    “Karl Marx squeezed his carbuncles while writing ‘Das Kapital’ ”

    Nick Cave is one of the most underrated and darkly funny lyricists around, and I think he has become better with age. I listened to the Bad Seeds’ first album, “From Her to Eternity” for the second time ever the other day, and it’s a far cry from “Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus.” Their other stuff pre-1996 is hit-or-miss. However, “Murder Ballads,” “No More Shall We Part” and “Abbatoir Blues…” are all pure gold, while “The Boatman’s Call” has its moments, namely the first track (one caveat: “No More Shall We Part” and “The Boatman’s Call” contain exactly no humor, dark or otherwise). I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of “Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!” whose US release date is unclear as yet.

  2. glennlester

    A prof in the English Dept here said to me, about the unpublished Nabokov manuscript: “Publish it! That’s what you do when writers are dead! Publish everything! Invade their privacy! That’s what you do! They’re dead! They don’t care!”

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