[Jandek] The Cell--what's it about?

arkhonia gavin at arkhonia.co.uk
Fri Jul 21 10:07:14 PDT 2006


Friday, July 21, 2006, 11:00:35 AM, you wrote:

BD> I don't WANT to think about that, and I don't think it's fair to speculate on a forum about that.

This kind of seemingly-intrusive speculation has been discussed rather
more pruriently here in the past, and the debate was quashed as
unseeming - but this performance and subsequent album is a
specifically-themed piece, and a very personal open speculation (with
its refrain of 'what do I have?'), and while I don't want to reopen this
debate, I do think that the the 'Cell' has a dual meaning, and is an
indicator that this may be the (partial) subject matter...the nature
of the one-sided dialogue that the whole Jandek body of work is will
always prompt speculation about intention and subject matter, and
(for me anyway), it also interrogates the nature of 'artistic intention',
how much a listener brings to a piece of work and where it meets the
intention behind the work...and the nature of illness, ageing and
mortality is rarely addressed seriously (or otherwise) in music, so
I don't think, at least in this instance, an acknowledgement that a
very specific personal trauma has been transmuted into a truly Other
piece of work is outside the bounds of what we should and shouldn't
talk about here.

The person who makes these records is getting older, and, like all of
us, will die one day. My belief is that all of the records add up to a
still-unfolding 'diary' or 'book of my life' (I've blathered on about
this on this list in the past), and this is just another chapter; what
we can glean from listening to The Cell may (or may not) give us a
glimpse into our own lives, and that's (at least in part) what art can
do and is for...

But that's just my opinion.


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