Art and Literature
Evelyn Waugh – Brideshead Revisited
If all my daydreams were given a name it would be: Sebastian Flyte. A beautiful interwar dandy in cricket whites illuminated by limestone, his alcoholic downfall is painful enough to confine all my frequent re-readings to book one of three. All that follows is too much like heartbreak. And yet it also has the power to heal that condition too. Whether read in hospital with the soothing accompaniment of morphine or whilst hiding from the bank balance amidst dreams of quail eggs in Oxford, Brideshead is both the perennial backdrop to my nostalgic existence and literary comfort blanket. The Granada Television production featuring the cherubic Anthony Andrews alongside Diana Quick is faithful to the text and sartorially inspirational.
One day when the sun shines I will let you see my tattoo.
The Strokes – Is This It
In my younger and more vulnerable days – for I am now a rotten post graduate – I became besotted with Is This It [N.B. No question mark! Says the Sub-Editor (me)] and listened to it every single day for three years. How I do not resort to hyberbole! Every morning without fail from GCSE to A Level, I woke up, pressed play on the CD player and granted myself exactly 30 minutes to get ready to be educated/smoke. If I was not pretty much together by the time New York City Cops came on I was on track to be Late. Now that I am old and wake up to the sound of Radio 4, I am unaware of what the kids are listening to, but I sure as hell know it isn’t a patch on this.
Film and TV
When I came across Black Swan I saw that someone – Darren Aronofsky- had made the film I was always meant to, and that therefore I should give up on life and become a banker. I probably would have, had it not been so sublime. A story about ballet – and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake nonetheless! – with a lovely dollop of Freud; Soviet Constructionist style artwork for the posters and costumes by Rodarte. Here, like floral paper lining a wooden draw, is the inside of my brain.
Additionally, spending a few minutes pondering over the lifestyle of a ballerina is always a wonderful kick up the ass. No matter how hard you think you work typing essays all night and panting up Park St, it all pales into nonexistence when put next to the inimitable dedication of a prima ballerina. Put down the whiskey-flavoured fudge Rosemary and work harder, harder, harder!