Brought To Book

from Hot Press, August 1990
by Joe Jackson
`A habit I have, is going back to three or four books I continually read, and which I treat like they are my favourite albums or poems. Books like Wuthering Heights by Emily Bront‰ — I probably relate to both Heathcliff and Cathy! Wilde’s The Picture Of Dorian Gray is also another of those re-readable books and Alice in Wonderland which I still love, I first read those books in my teens and I really saw no difference, say, between reading Dorian Gray and listening to Ziggy Stardust. I felt, and feel an affiliation with both characters.
Currently I am reading Brecht in America which is about the artistic realationships he had with people such as Charles Laughton and Peter Lorre before the heavy Red Scare — and about how he tries to extend his political base into movies. I’m also reading A Ticket To Ride, a short novel by a writer I got into because of his series Pennies From Heaven: Dennis Potter. And, because I like poetry, I’m reading this book `90’s by a young London poet, Jeremy Reid. It’s all about how he feels he was let down by people like Bowie and Lou Reed. I identify with that because he grew up with the mind of influences I had. And finally there’s Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood, which was the inspiration for Cabaret. A typical choice of mine, I’m afraid. And a bit of a clich‚! If you must know what my real trash reading is, it’s a Dictionary Of Symptons, because I’m a hypochondriac!