Things Fall Apart, the Centre Cannot Hold

It’s odd, because this feels like something of a prosthesis – a fake limb that gestures awkwardly; a supplicant to the phantom pangs of an amputation – to my former face, book, self.

‘All Things Fall Apart’ is my handle of choice for a number of inter-textual reasons. It nods to and echoes various poems, books, tunes and experiences which have – in their own and different ways – led me to write the way I do. Not, please note, ‘be who I am’. This is not a cathartic self-help introspection, it’s not a how-to guide and nor is it a therapy session. This is an experiment in writing; in pressing words into work to articulate my triumvirate passions of language, politics and culture.

‘Things Fall Apart’ was the title of a 1958 novel by the Nigerian anti-colonialist Chinua Achebe. Achebe – who struck a long chord between his upbringing and his political ambitions – borrowed the title from the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, who versed it in his poem ‘The Second Coming’. A writer with somewhat quixotic political allegiances, Yeats’ poem is open to several cross-cutting interpretations: at once revolutionary and conservative, Yeats – and his poetry – remains ambivalent. ‘The Second Coming’, more of you will note, was the Stone Roses’ long-awaited follow-up album, widely derided in the music press at the time but the record which enshrined now-classic tracks such as ‘Love Spreads’, ‘Ten-Storey Love Song’ and the 11-minute jazz-funk epic ‘Breaking into Heaven’. The latter conveys the immortalising – if not quite immortal – lyrics:

‘Listen up sweet child of mine,
Have I got news for you,
Nobody leaves this place alive,
They’ll die here, join the queue;

and:

‘How many times will I have to tell you,
You don’t have to wait to die,
You can have it all, anytime you want it – yeah,
the Kingdom’s all inside.’

More on this later. But thanks for migrating from FB.

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1 Comment

Filed under Politics and Economics

One response to “Things Fall Apart, the Centre Cannot Hold

  1. Hi. I’m Laydee Rosie and I’m addicted to blogs. Please update frequently with interesting and amusing well-written posts. Kthnxby.

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