Future Mythologies

A Textual Journey with Maxwell Von Bismarck

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Touching From a Distance is perhaps the key primary source for one of the 20th century's richest, most complex bodies of music (namely Joy Division, but perhaps Manchester post-punk in general). Also, along with Morley's Nothing, it's one of the most honest and revealing biographies of the English punk era. Nothing sits on my chairside shelf waiting to be read, so I can't compare the two yet.

Touching, in addition to adding to the psychological insight behind Joy Division's music, also, perhaps for the first time, tells the story of an astoundingly successful rock band from a wife's point of view and manages to irreversibly color the legacy (I believe Cynthia Lennon released a book, but it is lost in an ocean of Beatles-related writings). Ian Curtis does not come across as a very nice person, but it doesn't make me like him any less as he was clearly a very disturbed person living in a society that had no idea how to help him. I would recommend it whole-heartedly, but when it comes to the Manchester music scene, I'm fairly easy to please (I loved the much-hated 24 Hour Party People, for instance).

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