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07/12/2018 12:04:51  

As a book of the singer-songwriter’s lyrics is released, the Cloud Atlas author reflects on the songs that have been the soundtrack to his life and work

I’ve been a fan of Kate Bush for nearly 40 years. Being a fan, like being in love, is giddying, it’s as personal as skin, it connects you with others in a particular way, and it sets you up for a fall. Being a fan puts you on one-way first name terms with the object of your fan-ness, even if he, she, they or “Kate” don’t know you exist – as is almost always the case. Over time, the “fan state” may change in expression but not in essence. “Fan” as a label is a slur on your critical objectivity and even your maturity, but if you weren’t a fan of something or someone, wouldn’t life be a little bland?

You don’t learn much about Kate Bush from her songs. She’s fond of masks and costumes – lyrically and literally – and of yarns, fabulations and atypical narrative viewpoints. Yet, these fiercely singular pieces, which nobody else could have authored, are also maps of the heart, the psyche, the imagination. In other words, art.

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