The Depp-Smith Conversation (to die for)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I am powerless when it comes to intelligent conversation—utterly done in when two learned, well-lived, curious people go back and forth, talking craft, talking wanting (this need I have for real conversation renders me pretty useless at most cocktail parties, I confess, an utter bore).  Conversation is what we get in the January 2011 issue of Vanity Fair—Patti Smith (and you know that I loved her memoir) interviewing Johnny Depp (who needs to say more?).

Look at how far afield from the traditional celebrity interview this goes. Look at what Hollywood mashing with Rock and Roll can be:

Smith:  When you spouted a few lines of poetry to Samantha Morton, who played Elizabeth Barry in the movie—that was my introduction to Wilmot's work, to his poetry.  And I noticed in Alice, when the Hatter recites, "Jabberwocky," that you have a gift for giving us the full measure of a poet's work. It is really quite difficult. Could you imagine doing a recording of works of poetry?

Depp:  I don't know.  It's daunting, because you don't know exactly... I mean, you can decipher the intent, and you can kind of swim around in the guts of it, but you just don't know how the poet would have wanted it read.

Smith:  Yes, but that's no different than Glenn Gould having to anticipate how Bach would want his work played.  I thought the Hatter's reading of "Jabberwocky" was luminous.  Yesterday you read me a poem written by the Elephant Man.  I didn't know he wrote poetry.  The poem you recited was heartbreaking.  How did you come to find it?

Depp:  I made an appointment at the hospital where they had his remains....


Nazie said...

Ahhh . . . Johnnie Depp. He even has a brain.

Lilian Nattel said...

Beauty brains and music. What a nice combo. That hospital was in the East End of London. There was a good BBC series about it based on nurse's notes, and I wrote about it in The Singing Fire.

Karen Mahoney said...

Thanks for pointing this out! I'm going to link to it later.

Hope you are doing well. Is that photo of you on the site new? Just goes to show how long it's been since I commented. :)

Warm wishes,

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