Macabre dancing

by Lorenzo Piccoli


I discovered the Joy Division thanks to Marco, Leila and Niels in Torino, at Blah-Blah. I knew them before, as we all do, but I did not really understand what they stood for.

Two years later I found So This is Permanence during my visit to Shakespeare and Co. It is a volume of Ian Curtis’s notes and crossings outs on the original lyrics. It stands as a testimony of the influence of the likes to Rimbaud and Kafka on Curtis’ worldview.

A few months later, Jean Thomas insisted we watched a movie on Ian Curtis life: Control 2007. He sold me the movie not because it was about the Joy Division, but because it had a wonderful photography. That’s right. The movie, in black and white, is directed by Anton Corbijn, who had worked as official photographer for the band.

And then, some time ago, I stumbled into a short article by Fabio Zuffanti of La Stampa. I discovered a few other things that I did not know before. For example, the name Joy Vision comes from the sexual slavery wing of a Nazi concentration camp mentioned in the 1955 novel House of Dolls. The article also highlights the connections between Joy Division, David Bowie, and Albert Camus. And it finds the right adjectives: haunting, oppressive, claustrophobic (the sound); far, reverberating (Ian Curtis’ voice).