“The Divine Alchemist”, portrait of David Bowie

David Bowie dreamed of impossible worlds

David Bowie dreamed of impossible worlds (photo: ANSA)

13:44, 18 AprROME APR 18 – “The Divine Alchemist”ANSA writing

(ANSA) – ROME APR 18 – “The Divine Alchemist”, by the Italian journalist Dalila Ascoli, is an unusual biography that explores the path of spirituality and esotericism to address the figure of an unprecedented David Bowie.
Published by Arcana, without photos, it allows us to delve deeper into the life of David Robert Jones -his real name-, who died in 2016, with many references to albums and lyrics of his songs.
The musician dreamed of impossible worlds, he created incredible characters -from Ziggy Stardust to Blackstar and Lazarus’ Blind Prophet- he was an extraterrestrial, a rock god who never really belonged to this earth and shook our certainties.
The book, the fruit of years of documentation and Ascoli’s boundless passion for Bowie since she was a child, goes on sale as it was just announced that “Moonage” will be seen at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Daydream”, the long-awaited documentary dedicated to Bowie by Brett Morgen, the first film officially approved by the estate.
“I delve into the investigation of spirituality, from the beginning of Bowie’s career and his thirst for knowledge, sometimes simply obsessive,” the author told ANSA.
“Bowie’s fascination for the occult is very present, there are many traces in his artistic production. Just think of the gestures. There is a very famous photo in which he places his finger on sealed lips to invite silence, an initiation sign later translated in an invitation to silence reason in order to listen to the unconscious”, he explained.
He added that Bowie “was a follower of the English magician Crowley and there is a photo of them crossing their arms on their chests with their hands on their shoulders and it is a gesture that is repeated until (in the video for the song ‘Lázaro’, in bed of the hospital”.
And then the famous photo on the back of the “Station to Station” album where Bowie draws the tree of life on the pavement in that striped suit that he will later use in the Blackstar video,” explained Ascoli, a communication sociology graduate. of masses.
The biography, which does not follow the chronology, but the thematic path, is also inspired by the anecdotal tradition that has accompanied the lives of extraordinary characters since ancient times.
“It is the so-called Legend of the Artist, in which there are recurring facts that have become narrative moles, as a kind of identikit of who the artist is: ‘enfant prodige’ kissed by destiny, almost always self-taught, with a personality a little outside the rules,” explained the author.
He argued that “Bowie embodies this myth and followed the footprints point by point. At the time of birth, in ’47, according to the mother, the midwife, who was reputed to be a psychic, when observing the baby David had said that he had already been in the Earth and that it was obvious from his eyes that he was someone who knew a lot. It’s all documented. And then, the fact that he was born on January 8, like Elvis Presley, almost seems like the mark of a predestined to a successful future.”
The White Duke, who was self-taught, as mentioned in several interviews, always also had an extraordinary passion for reading, as seen in the List of 100 books loved, or at least read.
In the book, Ascoli highlights Bowie’s teachers, including the great British choreographer and mime artist Lindsay Kemp “who taught him to use his body, brought him closer to the theater and William Burroughs, who introduced him to the ‘cut- up’, from which he used to take newspaper clippings and then recombine them at will.
“Esotericism was a deep passion for Bowie, which is why he never abandoned it. From the famous song ‘Quicksand’ on the album ‘Hunky Dory’ we came to ‘Blackstar'”, the author concluded.

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