I'm going to be considered an asshole here...

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
but I have ambivalent feelings about Camp Simon Goddard.

I totally am in awe of his efforts to study Morrissey in a detailed and exhaustive fashion and I have to preface this comment by saying I've yet to read his Mozipedia, but here's my issue. It's one of empathy.

Imagine you were a painter and your artwork was broken down and the conclusion made that you chose this color or that brush stroke based on a painting you most likely came in contact with when you were known to have visited a town that had a museum in it that had a painting that employed similar blush strokes at that time you were in the city? :straightface: That's kinda what he does. His conclusion have about as much merit as me saying Morrissey is the descendant of a mythical Egyptian princess, yet because his studies are literary in nature, they are accepted as truth when reality might be so far from the conclusion it's laughable.
 

not_me_not_I

New Member
They're not accepted as truth, by me anyway, if that's what you're worried about.
I appreciate that he makes readily accessible and organised all sorts of quotes and interviews and information about obscure British actors in a few concise volumes. And the amount of research he's done is staggering. You have to give him credit for that! He makes interesting observations which may lead one to consider things in a new light. But I don't think even he considers the subjective portion of his books to be "truth". It's just another version of the story. Or at least that's how I see it, having read a few versions of the story by different authors and realising that no one has all the truth apart from God, Morrissey, and possibly Linder. His mum probably has a good bit of the story too.
So not to worry.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
Well, it's like the oeuvre of his work is that Morrissey has a lazy brain and cribs his lines. I just don't think that's the case, it's more mystical than that. And I presume that isn't Goddard's intentions, but still. Also I could find the wrinkle of his eyes symbollic in one way or another but I don't go there because there's something to be said about embracing the mystery of Morrissey not nitpicking every fucking little detail until he's a frog guts open in the pan of a high school science class.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
Having said this I'm sure I'll buy Mozipedia and go :eek: and love it and make use of all the little tidbits and organization of it all.
 

Black Cloud

Case Sensitive
Well, I won't buy Mozipedia because I think that sort of thing is staggeringly boring, and I welcome the honor of being called an asshole because of it! :p
 

not_me_not_I

New Member
Well, it's like the oeuvre of his work is that Morrissey has a lazy brain and cribs his lines.
Huh, that wasn't the impression that I got. But, remember, if Goddard had done all the work on figuring out the mythical and mystical implications of Morrissey, what would you have left to do?

BTW, I do own Mozipedia. I like it cause it's a big book with tons of factoids about Morrissey and the things he's associated with, but it's in no way comprehensive.
 
D

Dave

Guest
I would download it.

Seriously though, I have mixed feelings about things like Mozipedia. I collect biographies, especially pop music subjects, but I've never read any of the books about Morrissey or the Smiths because I don't think it matters. (edit: because I don't want to know.) Morrissey has said this, in the Saint Morrissey interview, that it's all in the songs.

I find Crystal Geezer's take on Morrissey's symbolism to have merit, although I often disagree with it. The references often seem obscure to me, and yet they do sometimes make me consider Morrissey's work in a new light. It's undeniable that Morrissey is touching on mysticism in some of his works and in his interviews so who is to say?

I'm more of a believer in archetypes, that there is some underlying truth to universal symbolism, and that truths are expressed in obscure ways. So I'm as crazy as Crystal Geezer in a way. ;) I am not a materialist, and I don't believe that objective reality is possible to comprehend from our subjective perspectives. People that think everything makes sense and can be explained haven't really looked very deeply into it.

The website that is frequently unavailable now, It May All End Tomorrow, is very enlightening, in a way, and has an impressive list of quotes and references that show up in Morrissey's lyrics. It's undeniable that he was 'inspired' by other writers. Maybe going back to these sources can enrich your enjoyment of his music.

When I first saw that some of my favorite lines of his came from other places I was ...disappointed. But because of (insert postmodern theories here) it doesn't really matter. We have access to ...everything, and it's about context. Using bits and pieces from other works creates a situation where his songs are part of a larger work. Morrissey's lyrics should come with hyperlinks. He's one of the more clickable pop stars.

Finally *sigh* his lyrics have always seemed obvious to me for the most part, and while I am surprised sometimes that other people see them differently it doesn't really matter. I'm not for that idea that things should be written ambiguously so that the audience can get what they want from it, but that happens to be the case with some of his songs. Imagine thinking that Suedehead was about a woman, to name a currently raging debate. :lbf:

In the end, whatever. I probably won't ever read Mozipedia, but I'll continue to enjoy his music purely and simply for what it is.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
The website that is frequently unavailable now, It May All End Tomorrow, is very enlightening, in a way, and has an impressive list of quotes and references that show up in Morrissey's lyrics. It's undeniable that he was 'inspired' by other writers. Maybe going back to these sources can enrich your enjoyment of his music.

When I first saw that some of my favorite lines of his came from other places I was ...disappointed. But because of (insert postmodern theories here) it doesn't really matter. We have access to ...everything, and it's about context. Using bits and pieces from other works creates a situation where his songs are part of a larger work. Morrissey's lyrics should come with hyperlinks. He's one of the more clickable pop stars.
But that's exactly my problem with doing a source quote analysis of his lyrics. I maintain that while he does use quotes on occassion, foremost he's drawing more from a collective unconscious that those writers drew from before him. That hyperlinking his work is interesting in an openmind spectrum of "what are these artists mutually channeling," not so much Morrissey reads a book, sits down to write a song and consciously says "I am going to use these words or this imagery." The creative process does not, I don't think anyway, work that way. I copy shit ALL THE TIME without knowing it. And like earlier today on the "What are you listening to" thread I made a connection between a Pixies cover and a Calexico song. Do I think Calexico copied the tune from the Pixies? No. They didn't. God the composer did. Creative Intelligence at it's finest. I think Morrissey, more than most, is a pure medium of that act and to nitpick this quote and that quote seems to me like a way of dumbing down what is actually quite enigmatic.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
Because one time my work was discredited as being non-intellectual and flippantly disregarded as a waste of time when in fact I POURED over books in hell conditions learning this shit. I can't help it if it's weird source material, it's valid. :blushing: And I empathized with Morrissey having to read some of these Suedehead theories of source info and sitting there going "What the fuck!" and it made me all agitated so I brought it up. :o
 

M-in-Oz

Active Member
I don't find the Goddard book like that, it's handy to have around. I do think Morrissey can be very deliberate with his choices of words & associations back to other texts.
 

Girl-with-the-Thorn

If you hit me it's murder
I agree with all of you in various ways. Obviously the Goddard books aren't totally comprehensive and it's not possible to compartmentalise people, but i find Mozipedia in particular very interesting for trivia and information that I wasn't aware before. As for the using quotes from other sources thing, I do believe that some of it is conscious and intended as a direct homage to other artists and figures that Morrissey admires. However, I think that a lot of the references are possibly not deliberate, rather concepts and styles of wording things that have become deeply embedded and just happen to emerge without him necessarily intending it. That absorption of quotes, information etc into the subconscious happens with a lot of people, and I suppose if those people happen to be creative then the possibility of it becoming a part of their work is possibly quite high.
 
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