No Love Lost
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Having just sold my copy of 'Sordide Sentimental', and recently reflecting about the 'Licht und Blindheit' insert, I found two different items online that help to shed some light on the creation of the classic JD oddity. So for your delectation, read below the English translation of the original insert (penned by Jean-Pierre Turmel himself), followed by translations of the two interviews/articles.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION by PAUL BUCK LICHT UND BLINDHEIT
Grey world under electric light
Mysterious moon still penetrates night
JOHN BLADES (1979)
("moon through the clouds")
The event on stage is more than a spectacle. The intense spotlight beam isolates the silhouette, fixes it in space and annuls time. Blinded and dumb-struck for a moment, the illuminated singer no longer discerns the limits of the room around him. An echo in the heart of the chance silence strengthens the overwhelming impression of a subterranean quest. Echoes of grottoes and cold cathedrals, echoes of the infinite cosmos. Categories of anguish tend to merge together: the oppression of depths and the closed evoke dread of the void, the corridors of the kingdom of the dead respond in the far depths of ourselves like the idea of the infinite. This spectacle is a ritual, one infinitely despairing of solitude. A shudder ... Those few seconds, free from vibrations, are an eternity. In them, they condense the depth of interior reflections, funeral exploration of dark labyrinths, from which only the unique and irremediable end is certain. Would the music be only punctuation and accentuation, the frame more or less hewn from an absolute silence, secretly sought after? The blinding spotight is a setting sun. The horizontal light of dusk, which strikes the eyes without the head having to look up. It is the hour of unmeasured shadows announcing the return of darkness. Intermediary time zone and moment of mixed emotions. Exaltation and depression can be born from those fires and shadows - the mental ambiguity in echo with that of the privileged moment. Every being anguished by its own existence experiences an irresistible attraction for these end of the day contemplations. Can it itself foresee what its feeling will be? Weary of life and desiring the Night, or on the contrary, sparking off internally at the sight of the last flarings? Two extreme examples; amongst others, to show the nodal character of that moment when all subjective experiences are summed up, when all of each day's conflicts are replayed. CLEMENS BRENTANO, the German romanticist, wrote this intuitive sentence: "... Impressively, the night veils the immense porch of dusk, and every human heart knows who has won, who has lost." The opposition of clarity to darkness as a reflection of the battle between reason and the delirious, but equally a point where the two empires cloud over reciprocally, as in a kind of reconciliation. Mad and secret hope of the distressed being ... Hope that the symbolic ritual, cosmic and everyday, will induce by its exemplarity, the synthesis of that which, in its own mind, is separated. Perhaps if the Star at that precise moment suspended its fall... But coexistence never establishes Itself, it is usually melancholy and despondency which accompanies the setting. Destiny of those who desire the half-light, who refuse to choose between analysis and delirium. Hesitant people from intermediary zones, from the uncertainty, from shadows and almost horizontal lights from half-open doors and broken windows. Others opt for the darkness. They will call up the abstract, will desire the rise of secret forces, of dream, of phantasms and of the unconscious ... but with some restrictions, in truth even a certain intellectual dishonesty. HEINRICH VON KLEIST, that other great Romanticist, states that "in the organic world, in so far as the conscious reflection becomes darker or weaker, grace advances more radiant and triumphant ..."; it is no less true of it that he hesitates to annihilate all conscience in himself. He seeks only in fact the awakened dream, a kind of somnambulism where the observer, though in retreat, would remain vigilant. The unconscious is here a super-conscience, a reservoir of occult knowledge in which the awakened part desires to drink deep. As MARCEL BRION notes in his work "The Romantic Germany" the question Is one of "sleep and active dreams". One enters the night in order to explore it and the twilight is its threshold. Interior darkness, darkness of the terrestrial depths, the romantic symbolism passes with ease and intuition from one world to the other. The nocturnal sky blends with the subterranean world of hells. The texts of that time testify to that ... Thus that magnificent letter from Caroline Von GUNDERODE to Bettina BRENTANO (Clemens Brentano's sister): "You don't yet understand that these paths lead right to the bottom of the spirit's mine; but the day will come when they will appear to you as such, for man walks often through deserted ways; the more he has the desire to advance, the more solitude becomes terrifying, and the more the desert spreads onwards. But when you realise how far you have descended into the well of thought and when you find there below a new dawn, when you re-emerge joyous, when you speak from your subterranean world then you will be consoled; for the world will never be with you." Most paradoxically, it is the fight that she seeks in the blackness of the inner worlds, a new dawn (that twilight of the morning) with an essential different quality - the revelation of herself.
O lamps of luminous fires
In your splendours the hollow grottoes
Of blind and dark feelings
Through advantageous favours
Give both light and warmth
To the cherished object of their heart
St JEAN DE LA CROIX
(The dark night of the soul)
Through those who are in misery of seeing
themselves without faith, one sees that God does not illuminate them; but for others one sees that there is a God who blinds them.
The light is like a materialisation of the "ungraspable", the intersection of transcendence and the visual. It is the very symbol of the Spiritual through antinomy to the MateriaL The light is truth, its domain of clarity is also that of transparence and the aerial. It is opposed to concealment and creeping, it is honesty and deprivation. The light should therefore induce only knowledge, its symbolism should be that of analysis, of description and of the look ... but there again the worlds mix, the illusions superimpose one on the other, the end achieved is in contradiction with the appearance conveyed by the invocation. Light and dazzle of sunset. Rays of light similar to shafts, crossing the bodies and destroying them, beams of radiations disintegrating the flesh. The mystic aspires to be only "pure spirit'', to free himself from the corporeal. "The Ecstasy of St. Teresa" by Bernini (1598 - 1680): the light is sharp, made from golden metal. The saint, in an ecstatic state close to fainting, has half closed eyes (the detail is important) ... it is like a voluptuous agony, the prolonging and the translation of the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastien. The marble, ghastly pale, sets the body in a specific moment, between flesh and crystal, just before the tangible disappears and the soul flies away. The Illumination, in the literal and mystical sense of the term. Extreme pallour of the death desired as the passage to immortality. Coldness of the renouncement of the palpable, anticipation of the infinite, timeless, absolute and fixed. But what is it internally, what is the reality behind the glazed image? The sunset burns with its last flames. Light/warmth, star energy, echo in the internal fire of emotions, the ecstasy is a fire devouring the being, and seeming to consume it literally. Interior and exterior lose all signification, the body sublimating its substance, becoming gradually transparent, is consumed in harmony with the illumination. The Mystic touched by the light feels he himself becomes immaterial radiation; but that subjective transmutation operates from the interior, at the source of illusions. It finds its origin in the depths of the being, it springs from the secret imperiousness of desires, of which it is only the symbolic resurgence. It appears then that the aim of the mystic in his search for the light is not so much as to be dazzled. That dazzling blindness is the triumphal way, although diverted, of a descent to hell. (The eyes which close indicate the withdrawal to the interior of oneself, introspection, self-speleology.) The difference between the blinding of the black nights and the white blindness of the illumination is minute ... The Mystic abandons the exterior look in order see better within himself, to be no more than Vision. His call to the elevation of the soul is a return to the primitive essence; is desire to be freed from pleasures of the flesh only opens the way to an intellectual orgasm embracing the whole body and not the sex alone. That desire to escape the body and to valorise the spiritual does not lead to an analytical knowledge but to another more intense and more animal. Mysticism is the universe of illusion par excellence of the opposition between the said and the experienced. It is not the animal that in us, at the moment, is destroyed, but on the contrary the "I", the spectator and the critic. Chastity and asceticism are not the negation of desire but rather one of the means of transcending pleasure and rendering it avowable. The light is a way to invoke the darkness of the "self". Esoterism was right to state that what is above is like what is below ... to adore God would be only to sanctify the strength that one feels in oneself, a fervent homage to the unconscious, to the interior double that one forebodes as so much more consistent. Religiousness, beliefs, are only the dregs justifying a dionysiac behaviour. A new exaltation, in some way purified, can be born and developed. Departing from less illusory bases, he atheistic Mysticism will produce new emotions, widening thus the spectre of ecstasy. Georges BATAILLE exploring the territories of transgression, as Sade before him, and some others, indicated one of the ways, but it would be boring to limit it to that. Certainly, pornography and intellectual violence permit interesting excesses, but the modern world conceals equally a quantity or experiences of which we don't yet perceive the whole oneiric and symbolic interest. At the heart of daily punishment and sufferings, in the very wheels of encroaching mediocrity, are found both the keys and the doors to inner worlds. Modern symbolism finds the source of its images and its myths in the sufferings of the present ... it reconciles itself with Naturalism by sublimating it. Thus the Factory is not solely alienated. Machines and cadences find in us certain secret correspondences, The 8 hour shift beyond the destruction it operates daily, brings the organism into a point, anti-natural, where the disordered state is expressed among other things through a kind of waking delirium. The maddest images are then born with ease, the unbridled established without the conscious being able to do anything but register them. How not to effect a parallel with Sufism which utilises giddiness and conjugate fatigue ... and the methods of western mystics centred on abstinence and prayer. If to ponder at every moment, in a quasi-superstitious way, the hidden signification of daily events is a widespread fact (evil?), to consider the modern world in its symbolic expansion is less so. Society of the Spectacle, modern mythology, generalised Publicity, are capital concepts but nevertheless Insufficient to define the nature of our relationships with the universe and society ... we perceive the world, unconsciously, as an omnipresence of signs ... signs without significations, whose sole interest is to evoke, to make us look back into the concealed part of ourselves. The look and subjectivity...we must reconsider our relationship with the event in the most innocent appearance.... thus is it the spectacle, minute fragment of Spectacular society. What happens in the concert is outside the ordinary. Anguish and concentration, between the fire of dazzling spotlight and the moving darkness of the crowd, vaguely disturbing, below the stage.
JOY DIVISION passes beyond simple entertainment to re-transcribe musically the worlds of half-light and the intensity of ecstasy. Sometimes disillusioned or nostalgic accents intrude, for the experience is multiform and its complexity cannot be translated in a sole concept. A music at the intersection of luminous and dark worlds, between silence and the cry, a bridge between the past and present mystic symbolism. Key of the rock concerts (doesn't the word "rock" in itself refer to the subterranean world?) modern rituals of which till now we saw only the entertaining or sociological aspects.
This article was pointed out to me by a JD fan from France. His username on JDC is Copeau, and he has just bought my copy of 'Sordide Sentimental' (number 1203)!
Jean-Pierre Turmel gave the following Interview in 1999. http://www.angelfire.com/ga/zza77/temp/turmel.htm
Jean-Pierre Turmel's interview, recorded in December 1999, for the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles (# 225, December 22nd 1999). Thanks to Stéphane.
sl (Stéphane Lucido): Besides Joy Division, what music did you listen to at the end of the 70s? Did you read the hexagonal rock press and according to you, was it ready to echo a group like Joy Division?
jpt (Jean-Pierre Turmel): I listened to different kinds of music: Pèle Mèle (and a few other examples); classical music (Carl Orff, Scriabin, Satie, etc); Blues (Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, etc); 50s rock (Gene Vincent, Vince Taylor, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Link Wray, etc); 60s (Pretty Things, Them, Sorrows, Rolling Stones, Roy Orbisson, Jan & Dean, Davie Allan & the Arrows, Yardbirds, Trashmen, Twice as Much, etc); almost all psychedelic music (except the rhythmic 'n blues white particularly bastards) and in particular the most deviant: Freeborne,
Baroques, Red Krayola (+ Mayo Thompson, my favorite), Silver Apples, Tom Rapp & The Pearls Before Swine, The Deep, Bubble Puppy, Electric Prunes, Saint Steven, Holy Modal Rounders, United States Of America (Joseph Byrd's group) , Cromagnon, Soft Machine, Pink Floyd (with Syd Barret), Neighb'rhood Childr'n, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The Seeds, The Godz (with a Z), Third Ear Band, Morgen, Beacon Street Union ( as well as practically all of Boston's rock at that time), The Shaggs, MC5, Beau Brummels, Captain Beefheart, Velvet Underground, Music Machine, etc; the 70s (T Rex (first LP), Slade, Van Der Graf Generator (and Peter Hammil), Kim Fowley, Comus, King Crimson, Sparks, Egg, Hawkwind, Can, Neu, Tangerine Dream, Blue Oyster Cult (the 1st) etc ...); unclassifiable: Moondog, Ron Geesin, Monte Young, Sun Ra, Magdalith, Art & Language (with Mayo Thompson); the beginnings of electronic music (excluding Contemporary Music): Head, Fifty Foot Hose, Mort Garson, Bruce Haack, Walter Carlos, Tonto Expanding head Band, more: Ron Geesin and Silver Apples who have already been cited). Finally the Punk-New Wave-Industrial movement: Sex Pistols, Stranglers, John Cooper Clark, Wire, Throbbing Gristle, Bauhaus, Cabaret Voltaire, S.P.K., Durutti Column; USA: The Twinkeys, Chrome, Pere Ubu, The Bizarros, Devo, Le mouvement New Yorkais (Suicide, Circle X, Television, Talking Heads, Ramones, Blondie, Theoretical Girls and The Static (pre Glen Branca) etc); Parasites of the Western World, Tuxedomoon, Screamers, Crime, Residents, in Canada: Bunny and The Lakers, Raw - War; France: Dogs, Urban Metal.
Of course, the list is VERY limiting, and includes only the most important (in my eyes and ears).
One of my motivations to create Sordide Sentimental was my conviction of the inability of the Rock press of that time to approach these new musical currents. The problems were less related to information than to a very narrow-mindedness, a distressing lack of culture (in the broadest sense) and a pathological incapacity to consider music criticism or the interview as a branch of literature. Fortunately there were some individuals to raise the lot: Philippe Garnier, Jacky Berroyer and Yves Adrien, Alain Dister previously for the Psychedelic era, and Bruno Letrividic for Rock 50s ... But that was not enough.
It was therefore hardly surprising that the press at that time found itself unable to properly comprehend Joy Division.
To my knowledge the only interesting articles to mention the release of JD's single on SS were written by Philippe Garnier in Rock & Folk (he was at the time in the USA!) And Jacky Berroyer (in Charlie Hebdo). After the death of Ian Curtis an announcement was published in Rock & Folk (unsigned of course, but I was able to know who wrote it and this sad individual can be assured of my unwavering hatred), an announcement which said roughly (from memory): 'the best thing that Joy Division has done recently was the suicide of its singer.'
sl: We made much of the depressed personality of Ian Curtis, in the end, what kind of character did you think you had met?
jpt: Obviously you have to be very depressed to end your life ... my meeting with him just before the Bains Douches concert (that's when he handed me the master for the single, and we showed him the painting by Jean-François JAMOUL inspired by German Romantic painters intended for the cover) confirmed all the ideas that I had from listening to their records. He was extremely pale, his eyes bright, shy. Deeply anxious, very different from the other members of the group, this was immediately visible. I have to go back to the genesis of this project: after the single from Throbbing Gristle (we hate you (little girl) / 5 knuckles shuffle) we were to collaborate with the experimental group from Boston, TV TOY, for which I wrote a text on the symbolism of light (on stage they used extremely blinding white neon lights) . Alas, between the moment when I saw them in Boston in 77 and the moment when I received their new tracks in 79, their style had completely changed and had become purely and simply detestable (by my own criteria of course. I cannot afford to assassinate some music on the pretext that I do not like it or do not feel it). I had therefore refused to carry out this project. A few months later Throbbing Gristle gave a concert in Manchester, during which Genesis P.Orridge and Ian Curtis had a long discussion. G.P.O. confirmed to me that I.C. had told him of his own desire within Joy Division to evolve towards a much harder music, much closer to industrial music. G.P.O. finally showed him the single that Throbbing Gristle had made with Sordide Sentimental, and according to G.P.O. he immediately showed enthusiasm for the object. Very shortly after I received Unknown Pleasures (sent by Rob Gretton the manager of the group), but I was in contact with Factory Records since their beginnings. Tony Wilson confirmed to me a few years ago that I had been the first independent to contact Factory, our common interest (in addition to music) for the situationists could only bring us closer.
It was my turn to be completely enthusiastic ... and it appeared to me that the text I had worked on for TV Toy could partly be used for Joy Division, with the addition of an evocation of the German Romantics (because for me the true roots of the group had to be much deeper than a fascination for the 3rd Reich). So I proposed to the group to make a record with Sordide Sentimental, explaining to them the main lines of the text that I was preparing. At this phase of the project I was always only in contact with Rob Gretton, but I guess Ian Curtis had to read my letters. What is certain is that later I realised that he was the only one interested in the themes I was talking about, the others were disinterested to say the least. The reaction of the British press to the release of the object was a mixture of envious spite and derision.
The tone changed with the death of Ian Curtis, he was therefore (obviously this time, and not merely below the surface) a romantic hero. I must say, it is absolutely essential, that although they fascinate me, I hate
romantic movements: I see too clearly how these pale and fragile heroes are victims of their human environment, which not only does not understand them but secretly desires their death. René Girard is absolutely right to say that our whole society is still based on sacrifice (in the most barbaric and sacred sense of the term).
sl: What impressions do you retain of their concert in December 79, at the Bains Douches, in Paris?
jpt: Gaze fixed on an imaginary horizon line, blinding white light. But also shadows, jerky movements of a body trapped in an invisible yoke ... my own despair was added to this almost twilight and funereal impression that came from the scene (according to the categories defined by Michel Guiomar in his principles of aesthetic of DEATH): the same morning we had just learned, during a visit to the hospital in Villejuif, that my friend at the time, Danny Dupic, would have only a tiny chance of defeating her cancer (she died in July 80 shortly after Ian Curtis).
sl: Regarding your Licht und blindheit project, wouldn't you have preferred that the two tracks (Atmosphere / Dead Souls) that appear on this disc, had been recorded on site in Rouen and not in England, at the Central Sound studio?
jpt: No, absolutely not ... on the one hand because I don't think he could find a studio in Rouen that lived up to their ambitions, but also because I believe too much in the importance of places for all creation, and that therefore the choice must be that of the artist.
sl: Were these two titles written and composed according to the project guideline or were they prior to your meeting?
jpt: I cannot answer with certainty, but the two titles (and in particular Atmosphere) correspond so closely in atmosphere to the text that I wrote, that I cannot believe in chance. Genesis P.Orridge is much more peremptory than me, and affirms that I completely changed the orientation of Joy Division, and that that goes a long way toward explaining CLOSER. It's flattering, but I think at best I only accelerated a little bit of an evolution that would have happened anyway
sl: Can you remind us what other works were featured in Licht und blindheit?
jpt: The cover first, a painting specially made for this project following a long conversation with Jean-François Jamoul, longtime friend, an unfairly unknown painter of a science fiction vision that sits uncomfortably between a decomposing future and uncertain past eras. He was very marked by the German romantic painters (as well as musicians and writers), among others by Caspar David Friedrich. It quickly appeared to us that on this cover no mention either of the group or the label should appear, thus deliberately reinforcing the idea of a pure and timeless object (the inclusion of any kind of brand would have been a stain, a stain)! I myself made a black and white collage enhanced with ink and charcoal, on the theme of light rays faintly illuminating the chasms, the underground hells, the interior labyrinths and the dangers hidden therein.
A photo of the group by the always very talented Anton Cobijn (again underground and light).
Printed in brown under my text (Licht und blindheit), rather than taking too obvious an illustration as had been the ecstasy of Sainte Thérèse by LE BERNIN (quoted in my text), I preferred to reproduce a detail of Saint Augustin and Sainte Monique by the French painter (unfortunately forgotten) Ary Scheffer (1795 - 1858) (The Italians who hacked the artefact later did not know it and therefore could not reproduce it).
A warning composed of a single German word: GESAMTKUNSTWERK which means: total art. It was a concept developed by the German Romantics consisting in bringing together in the same place and at the same time a painting, a text and music made especially for the occasion. This is exactly what Sordide Sentimental has always tried to do.
About my text, a word concerning the quotes. Next to famous names like St Jean De La Croix, Pascal or Clemens Brentano, in order to deliberately break the literary tone of the artefact (to prove to the future that I have never taken myself seriously and that there is, in Sordide Sentimental, always at least a small piece of jubilant provocation), I have placed a quote taken from a letter from an Australian correspondent, John Blades ... and whose celebrity I fear is now limited to this single quote (having said that I haven't heard from him for years, he may be well-known there by now).
Finally, an A4 sheet, folded in half, with the English translation of my text. The translator is Paul Buck, a very interesting writer in different fields (poetry and novels), author of the cult biographical thriller, 'The Honeymoon Killers'. Translator also of Georges Bataille in England. He also made an adaptation for the scene of MA MERE by the same Georges Bataille project, in which Cosey Fanni Tutti (from Chris & Cosey, ex Coum Transmission and ex Throbbing Gristle) was used for the performance part, and Mark Almond for music and singing.
sl: Twenty years later, looking back, what do you think of the overall result?
jpt: I was very lucky to be there at the right time, and in tune with what was going on. That said, I like all the other projects that have remained in the shadows just as much or even more. I would quote for example the LP of the American group PROBLEMIST which for me marks the apogee of Sordide Sentimental.
sl: The disc was pressed in 1578 copies and since then, the two pieces contained on this collector have been reissued several times in studio or live version by Factory then London records. However, the initial print remains a beautiful object, are you not tempted, in your turn, by a reissue?
jpt: I cannot republish this object, my contracts of the time did not envisage this possibility. Anyway re-editing would require a lot of effort ... and energy is what I lack most now. So I hardly want to.
sl: Do you currently listen to a lot of music? What?
jpt: Very little. My state of chronic fatigue prevents me (whereas in the past I was a frantic consumer of music) ... it is also due to the fact that currently nothing really excites me ... I would probably listen to the techno when it becomes less anonymous and more intelligent ... for the moment I can only see it as a regression when
compared to what I liked. The Grunge period pleased me a lot ... Actually I listen to 'Time's Up', the first CD of
THEE MAJESTY, Genesis P. Orridge's new group, 'Blood River Dusk', the Spanish CD of Mark Cunningham, ex MARS (NY) (this although usually I hate the trumpet), and, whilst ironing, I listen to Zarah Leander, a German singer of the 30s.
sl: What do you think of New Order?
jpt: I don't feel anything so I don't talk about it. It cannot be considered as a condemnation: there are very many musics to which I am indifferent, yet which I am intellectually convinced must be excellent (I am not the universal spirit that I would like to be).
sl: Did you listen to the collaboration between their singer Bernard Summer and the Chemical Brothers on a title of the latter called 'Out of Control'?
Sordide Sentimental reminiscence https://aaar.fr/itineraires/oeuvre/sordide-sentimental/ Joy Division - Souvenirs by Jean-Pierre Turmel I discovered Joy Division from the compilation 'A Factory Sample', a double EP from Factory Records, on which they appeared. It was early 1979 and I immediately wrote to Tony Wilson to congratulate him and tell him all the affinities that his label had with Sordide Sentimental (the fanzine was already released and we were preparing the first single). A few years later Tony Wilson told me over the phone that Sordide Sentimental was the very first independent label to have contacted him. Throbbing Gristle having appeared in Manchester a few months later, Genesis P-Orridge showed Ian Curtis, with whom he had a real friendship, the single which we had just published with T.G. (the very first). The object aroused great interest in Ian Curtis, to the point of giving him the idea of making a disc with Sordide Sentimental, in the same spirit (disc as object with texts and illustrations). When the first LP from Joy Division ('Unknown Pleasures') appeared on Factory, Rob Gretton, the group manager, sent it to me immediately. This disc totally convinced me of the exceptional importance of this group. By coincidence, I had just cancelled a project with an American group which had unfortunately changed its style, and felt that the text that I had prepared (on the theme of light) could perfectly suit Joy Division with a few additional developments. I proposed a collaboration with the group, which was accepted. At that time the group still had a very "modern" image, but I saw in their photos and I heard in their music echoes of the past, deep ties with German Romanticism. I explained my theses, and Ian Curtis nodded. (In fact we have always communicated very little ... as if there was nothing else to add). It turns out that one of my best friends, who was sort of my spiritual father, Jean-François Jamoul, was a painter, and very marked himself by German romantic artists. It was obvious to ask him to design a cover for this project. It was originally planned that the cover illustration would be in vertical A4 format, and that the name Joy Division would be included. But what Jamoul painted was a landscape, horizontal format ... Cropping it would have been feasible but, on consideration, this solution was impossible for me because the work was so impressive and strong. So I decided, despite the extra cost that it meant to print it in full, the left side of the painting becoming the back of the cover. Adding the name of the group or the Sordide Sentimental logo was just as intolerable to me ... as on reflection an 'Enigmatic' (without any information) cover would be perfect for both the group, and the text I was preparing. I opted for this solution. As the group was to perform on stage in Paris at the Bains Douches on December 18, 1979, it was agreed between us that we would meet that day to hand over the tape. On a personal level this meeting will ever remain associated with a terrible event. Danny Dupic, my partner at the time, had been suffering from cancer for a little over a year. We had an appointment, on the morning of that day, in Villejuif to consult with the medical team that was treating her. We were given to understand that the hope of survival was extremely slim (she would actually die in July 1980). So you can easily imagine our state of despair at the meeting with the group. This could not facilitate communication. Nevertheless, a perfectly cordial meeting with the members of the group and Rob Gretton took place in a tiny hotel room … Silent fascination from Ian Curtis, whose pale complexion and intense gaze could only confirm my theses about the Romanticism of the group. The meeting was brief because everyone had obligations to fulfil, but we still had time to show the picture that Jean-François Jamoul had just finished for the cover. Ian Curtis was visibly surprised (this is the term which seems to me the most appropriate), to the point of saying that he wanted to buy the painting … I had to explain to him in my hesitant English, that Jean-François Jamoul had just offered it to me, and that really I could not consider parting with it. The concert itself was extraordinary, but I felt disconnected, completely wiped out by the horror of the news about Danny's health. Danny herself spent an incredible amount of energy, throwing herself into taking pictures of the band on stage. One last revolt against death ... A strange dialogue between her and Ian Curtis (one of her photos is incredibly premonitory) ... We did not know it then, but in fact it would soon be followed by death. Jean-Pierre Turmel, Rouen, July 2007 This text was published in issue 49 of ELEGY (August / September 2007) on the occasion of the publication of a special edition "Joy Division" for the release of the film "Control" by Anton Corbijn. It was accompanied by some photos taken by Danny Dupic on 12/18/79 during the Joy Division concert at the "Bains Douches". © Sordide Sentimental - 2007 http://sordide-sentimental.com __________________ Benno