Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Christos Tsiolkas on inspiration and postpunk

The Monthly magazine has a series of 'Slow TV' videos at its site. Christos Tsiolkas is here, filmed at the recent Sydney Writers Festival, talking about and reflecting on his inspirations and influences. While he begins with the profound, literally visceral, effect that cinema had on him as a 'Melbourne Suburban Wog' adolescent, and ends with a homage to the tough, genre-busting voices of American post-War writers like Norman Mailer and Philip Roth, I found this passage resonated with me:
Being an adolescent at the moment of punk and postpunk music, succumbing to the aggressiveness, revolt and atonality of the music, influence the rhythms and tones and expression of what I wanted to write.

This is all Tsiolkas says here about that strand of cultural influence, but it is interesting to note how the 'grunge' in Grunge literature was and still is rarely articulated to post-punk musical culture. Some previous writing that attempts such articulations here, there and here.

Also, for anyone interested in reading further about post-punk history, Simon Reynolds's cultural history of American and British postpunk (some mention made of The Birthday Party), Rip It Up and Start Again has an accompanying blog here.

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