“If you read you’ll judge.”
These are the words scrawled on the cover of Kurt Cobain’s Journals , in his own handwriting. The cover is a facsimile of a red spiral notebook, one that was sold to publishers by his widow, Courtney Love. On page two there’s another message, probably left for Courtney, or another girlfriend, sleeping in his bed. “Don’t read my diary when I’m gone.” The irony, of course, is laughable. A few lines below there is another message, “Okay, I’m going to work now. When you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out.”
If you wanted permission to read Kurt Cobain’s journal, that’s as close as you will come. After all, this isn’t a book about his journals. This is the real thing; copies of actual pages in his own handwriting, as if someone snatched them off his coffee table and handed them to you – and that’s pretty much what Courtney Love did (though, I admit, I’m glad).
Journals begins like a collection of anyone’s writings, the difference being that this “anyone” turned into Kurt Cobain in the middle of writing them. The entries become painful to read as his life unravels (mostly due to heroin) but for the most part the book is moving, inspiring, and at the same time incredibly funny.
Kurt had a sarcastic sense of humor, which shines through on nearly every page. In one entry, for example, he talks about the town of Aberdeen where he and his best friend Chris Novoselic (Nirvana’s bassist) grew up. He calls it a town populated by “highly bigoted redneck, snoose-chewing, deer shooting, faggot killing, logger types who ‘ain’t too partial to weirdo new wavers.'” This is typical of Kurt Cobain’s humor. He was funny, irreverent and joyfully rebellious. He also speaks for every youth-movement that has ever happened in this country, from hippies to hip-hop musicians. He certainly wasn’t a saint, but he was a good person with a good heart. He hated bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and he loved all things beautiful and creative. He was also extremely sensitive, and prone to depression. In one of his more poignant entries, he even speaks about a suicide attempt as a teenager that was to change his life forever.”
Journals by Kurt Cobain
words Jeremy Fischer
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