It’s a day for sharing David Bowie quotations on the social medias. One in particular just crossed my path:
I presume the person who wrote out, photographed, and posted this little tidbit (making sure to draw attention to their book store’s own social media outposts) found it among the collected Bowie quotations on some “famous quotes” site, of which there are many, very few of which ever give references.
But, because Internet, I managed to trace it to the original source, a BowieNet LiveChat, held on 27.4.99. Actually Bowie had done this sort of thing on CompuServe and America Online as early as 1994, which may even be before I started using the Internet. He launched BowieNet – an ISP and content platform – in 1998. Now I find out that in addition to anticipating the rise of social media and digital content sharing, Bowie was decades ahead of The Life of Words.
The BowieWonderWorld website pulled together transcripts of all of his chat sessions, including the one excerpted above. A little more of the context is quoted below, and the full transcript is here:
Bonster1: You reviewed a book you didn’t finish???
David Bowie: This is my second time!
David Bowie: But this time I’ve got my Oxford dictionary with me.
David Bowie: Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it, I thought it was a really really long poem about everything.
sQuacebo: Websters has a similar storyline.
David Bowie: Yes I agree, but it doesn’t have the cunning and insight of that old fable ‘everything’.
David Bowie: i think the slightly sinister aspect of the Oxford came about because of the nutcase murderer who co-wrote it.
Ysengrin: The LArousse even got bits in LATIN!!
David Bowie: I would have thought it would have been French, wouldn’t you? A bit decorative for my taste.
There’s real insight in the comment about “the cunning and insight of that old fable ‘everything’.”
Ben Zimmer points out on Twitter that Steven Wright was decades ahead of David Bowie.
… and here’s him doing the bit on Youtube