Cultural Seeds: Essays on the Work of Nick Cave
Nick Cave is now widely recognized as a songwriter, musician, novelist, screenwriter, curator, critic, actor and performer. From the band, The Boys Next Door (1976-1980), to the spoken-word recording, The Secret Life of the Love Song (1998), to the recently acclaimed screenplay of The Proposition (2005) and the Grinderman project (2008), Cave’s career spans thirty years and has produced a comprehensive (and sometimes controversial) body of work that has shaped contemporary alternative culture. Despite intense media interest in Cave, there have been remarkably few comprehensive appraisals of his work, its significance and its impact on understandings of popular culture. In addressing this absence, the present volume is both timely and necessary.
Cultural Seeds brings together an international range of scholars and practitioners, each of whom is uniquely placed to comment on an aspect of Cave’s career. The essays collected here not only generate new ways of seeing and understanding Cave’s contributions to contemporary culture, but set up a dialogue between fields all-too-often separated in the academy and in the media. Topics include Cave and the Presley myth; the aberrant masculinity projected by The Birthday Party; the postcolonial Australian-ness of his humour; his interventions in film and his erotics of the sacred. These essays offer compelling insights and provocative arguments about the fluidity of contemporary artistic practice.
Contents: Introduction, Tanya Dalziell and Karen Welberry; Part I Cultural Contexts: The light within: the 21st century love songs of Nick Cave, Jillian Burt; Planting seeds, Clinton Walker; Nick Cave and the Australian language of laughter, Karen Welberry; Nick Cave, dance performance and the production and consumption of masculinity, Laknath Jayasinghe. Part II Intersections: An audience for antagonism: Nick Cave and doomed celebrity, Chris Bilton; And the Ass Saw the Angel: a novel of fragment and excess, Carol Hart; Red right hand: Nick Cave and the cinema, Adrian Danks; Grinderman: all stripped down, Angela Jones. Part III The Sacred: From mutiny to calling upon the author: Cave”s religion, Robert Eaglestone; Oedipus wrecks: Cave and the Presley myth, Nathan Wiseman-Trowse; Fleshed sacred: the carnal theologies of Nick Cave, Lyn McCredden; The moose and Nick Cave: melancholy, creativity and love songs, Tanya Dalziell; Index.
About the Editor: Dr Karen Welberry, School of Communications, Arts, and Critical Enquiry, La Trobe University, Australia and Dr Tanya Dalziell, English, Communication and Cultural Studies, The University of Western Australia, Australia [ASHGATE – June 2009]
The Light Within: The 21st Century Love Songs of Nick Cave By Jillian Burt (Pop Matters, 2 Feb 2008)