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Michael Gira

The Knot: Complete Words for Music, Collected Stories and Journals (Soft Cover Book)

Journals, stories, and songs from Michael Gira/Swans spanning the years 1981 to present. Includes visual archives and artwork dating back to 1974. Hardbound, 408 pages, includes 101 color images printed on high quality photographic paper.

Soft Cover Edition 'This book contains the words to every song I’ve written worth collecting to date from all my musical projects throughout the years. I’ve left out various imbecilities and feckless half-starts. Also included in this book are several previously published short stories. They’re taken from the collections The Consumer and The Egg, as well as a few other hand- made limited editions of stories. In a few cases I’ve included excerpts rather than the entire story. This was done for aesthetic purposes, with the overall feel of this current volume in mind. There are a great many journal entries in this book. For the most part they are also, emphatically fiction. They’re from an ongoing journal, not a diary. My journals are where I often allow a disembodied, fictional 1st person narrator to take over and unspool imagined events, diatribes, impossible scenarios, psychic auto-cannibalisms, and corrosive or ecstatic dreams etc. Again, these are fiction. Certain things I’ve written about (in fiction and in song form) seem to exist beneath the surface (in myself and others) and I find them compelling to look at and to describe.

I view this as a positive act. In acknowledgment of the constricting and microscopically judgmental and censorious times we live in, the usual authorial caveats apply here. Certainly there are many purely anecdotal journal entries included in this book as well, and my presumption is that an intelligent reader would be able to differentiate one from the other. Personally, I’m very suspicious of memory (especially my own), so I can’t definitively vouch for the veracity of the recounting of the literal events herein either. I have also excised material that I felt too personal to include, out of respect for the people involved as well as for myself. There are several large gaps in the journal entries over the years. This is due to lost journals of the time, and in one case a lost laptop (which, painfully, contained a great deal of writing). There are also periods where I didn’t keep a journal and didn’t write fiction. In any event, I’ve tried to include fiction and journal entries that correspond roughly to the period before and after a musical album’s release and the words that were written for that music. The end section of this book consists of recently unearthed visual documents and imagery and functions here as an incidental archive. The images span the years from 1974 to the present.' — Michael Gira

Cat. number: n/a
Year: 2022