Words By S.

Monday, 27 March 2006

Touching From A Distance

Filed under: Books/Literature,Music — S @ 10:06 am

Touching from a Distance

Obviously this isn't going to be the religion post (keep an eye out for that one, though).

This book is an amazing story of the life of a man and, essentially, two bands as well. I think it's pretty safe to say that if this man hadn't existed, neither band would have become what they did nor achieved as much.

It was so easy to get absorbed into this story because of how much adoration the involved parties receive even now, and how important they were to what has become one of the greatest musical movements (in my opinion, anyway). It was also a very human story, in spite of the subject at hand.

However, the story, in its captivating style and language, was a bit flawed. What I mean by this is that I can't help but to think that in some ways, the story was written in a little bit of a self-pity mind-set. This sounds harsh, so I will clarify.

There is one distinct tone change in the tale, and that is when we get to the subject matter of the affair. It is at that point that I started to notice how the words were written in a sort of desperate manner – almost as if she was a helpless victim of circumstance. "This was impossible for me as I didn't understand the situation myself. I still didn't know about Ian and Annik's relationship." (97) In fact, she later admits to having found out about the relationship, and continuing on with the relationship in spite of becoming increasingly unhappy. But it was at that very point, that very sentence that the tone started to change. It was also at that very point that the book became disheartening and depressing; perhaps because it was obvious that Deborah herself had become demoralized.

This book was also quite interesting in that because of knowing what would happen in the end, and knowing when it would happen, I was able to get quite anxious upon realizing that there was only a month left to go. However, when the end came, I felt nothing. This was quite possibly the hardest thing to grasp.

Perhaps my being so far removed from the situation and era could be an explanation of it all. Having not been born until 1983, and being an American, I have no real connection to this story beyond my current love for Joy Division. Perhaps given the story in its entirety, I could spot how it happened. Perhaps having already known what would happen, I was able to close off that part of myself. It is so unexplainable, yet there are so many different explanations. One thing remains certain, though, and that's that I wanted to be able to feel something.

After it all, I was left to know that in spite of the songs, in spite of the writings – incomplete and whole, no one will ever know the full story from the man himself. That is probably the worst bit of knowledge to have. To know that no one will actually know what went on in his head all that time, to know the adverse affect of those around him. At the end of it all, this is just one person's account of the time and how it affected her.

While Deborah Curtis most likely got extreme closure from writing and publishing this book, it left it wide open for me.


That, perhaps, is the point of the whole thing.


1 Comment »

  1. […] wrote a previous blog entry about the book ‘Touching From A Distance’, from which this movie is largely based. In […]

    Pingback by Control. « Words By S. — Monday, 14 January 2008 @ 10:15 am | Reply

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