Posts from 30th June 2009

30
Jun 09

STEVEN WELLS (1960-2009): SLEEP GENTLY SWEET FOE

FT5 comments • 2,196 views

dunkHundreds of posts now hang off Steven Wells’s intensely moving farewell article at the Philadelphia Weekly, which ends with an atypically cryptic Swellsy in prophet mode, quoting Michael Jackson, before the thread-flood of sad affection and bafflement from readers and colleages, bafflement that such a chaotically vivid force of self-willed nature is stilled; bafflement perhaps too that such deep fondness can well up out of the fury he loved to work to spark in one and all. I’ve read it declared a dozen times now that Steven alone is the reason such-and-such took up writing as a trade — all the little fires he started in all these hot little hearts, what’s that come to? The consensus (correct) that he was just a big bald huggable pussycat at heart, a friendly and a kind man behind the shoutiness; the gnarly and rather unacceptable sense that his lifelong war on the useless has somehow left us with more of it not less (which may be our fault not his); and huge great gobs of the feeling — utterly conventional and surely utterly bogus — that times and possibilities aren’t what they were.

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