Elvis Costello: Everyday I Write The Book Meaning
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Everyday I Write The Book Lyrics
anonymous Sep 4th 2016 report
This song is about the truth behind every great work of art---over-strained, obsessive, unfulfilled yearning--might I just say self-enforced isolation, melodramatic self-deprivation (much like a fasting, praying, prostrate Monk in a cave, suffering Angelic visitations, transcribing HOly SCript--sans paper, sans a bic(r.) pen) masochistic inverted narcissism,i.e----SUFFERING.
Thomas Maine was approximately correct when, in "A Death In Venice", he offered up war as a metaphor for the undue demands and binding risks associated with a life in the arts---Jack Kerouac was up three days and one endless night on Benzedrine--("Who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to Holy Bronx on Benzedrine/ until the noise of wheels and children brought them down/ shattering, mouth-wracked, battered-bleak-of-brain all-drained of brilliance/ in the drear light of Zoo" Ginsberg, "Howl."), working like a demon to get it all out; and composers, who dream a song in their sleep, these gifted/tortured souls are compelled to rise from their warm beds at any and all hours of the night to work it out on their instrument, lest they be driven insane by that incessant FM radio that is blaring between their dialed-in ears.
But war is hyperbole when deployed in any, all and other-than actions and conflicts of life--save war itself. (If war is used as metaphor for divorce, then we should expect to be traumatized or driven mad and catatonic by being mere disinterested witness to it( by being in the jury box)---every (EVERY!) war and its direct experience, no matter how small the tribal battle or short-lived the violence, is so unnatural as to be war and nothing less than war, nothing less than the word's logos circumscribes--and, I might add, Apocalypse, and that word's logos, is never hyperbole in live battle. War is a reality, separate and solemnly desecrate--to use the word figuratively betrays flippancy, a carelessness born of ignorance--or, frankly, an immorality similar to the act of war itself.
But I digress. But war makes me so damn Hyberbolic! Ha!
For Costello, the creative processes of art are hyper-distilled, and formidably refined and sharpened by "Longing." The artist makes better art by his or her remaining unfulfilled, by being in want, by coveting that which is impossible to attain and, conversely, that which is impossible to refrain from coveting. Such is the inner life of the very best artists from here to Venus to Aphrodite, alas. Most artists live lonely lives; they are searching, very privately, for something. Sometimes it's just a girl. But, with the very better artists, it's never that simple. And that's why Cliff came up with his winning invention for all the befuddled and bemused--his NOTES! Opaque abstractions and implied symbolism are just artists concealing their deepest, darkest, most passionate, most personal desires--all their fetishistic obsessions they fondle and preen in their dark closets---... It's done out of embarrassment....
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