Ian Curtis notebooks to be published by Faber

Ian Curtis illustration

Ian Curtis notebooks to be published by Faber

Ian Curtis - So This is Permanence

Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis remains one of the most enigmatic figures of rock. The band’s songs were a reflection of Manchester in the late seventies and a foil for Ian Curtis’ troubled personality, as he battled depression, epilepsy and debilitating stage fright. Curtis committed suicide in 1980, on the eve of the band’s first American tour.

“So This is Permanence” is a collection of three of Curtis’ notebooks, containing lyrics, some prose and notes. They give an idea of his approach and underscore the heavy longing that was a trademark of much of his writing.

Jon Savage, who edited the book, says that there are few revelations as such. The prose writing, however, indicated Curtis’ taste for dystopian science fiction.

Interspersed with the lyrics are previously unpublished facsimile pages of Ian’s notebooks, which throw his highly emotive lyrics into fascinating relief and cast light on the creative process of this singularly poetic songwriter.

Ian Curtis lyrics in plastic bags

One reviewer remembers talking to a label head about Curtis’ lyrics: “I found the whole book to be mesmerising, particularly as, some 35 years ago, I had rung Wilson at Granada and during the conversation I asked him where I could get hold of copies of Ian Curtis’ lyrics. After a few minutes talking about other things Wilson said, “those lyrics you want…they’re not really available to anyone at all”. He explained; “Ian writes them on bits of paper and keeps everything in plastic bags”. I didn’t take that seriously at the time, putting it down to typical Wilson-esque nonsense, but it’s since been confirmed to be true many times in countless articles.”

“So This is Permanence” is published by Faber & Faber.

So This is Permanence on Amazon

For lyrics by Michael Leahy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *