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About Literature / Professional Jacob GrahamMale/United Kingdom Groups :iconstarwriters: StarWriters
 
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Jacob Graham
Artist | Professional | Literature
United Kingdom
Jacob Martin Peter Graham, born 11 June 1994.

I've achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree with First-Class Honours in English and Creative Writing from the University of Salford.

At the moment, I'm an in-progress novelist working on the first of at least six fantasy stories set on the Isles of Izgarv (above) and other continents in the same world. Since drawing is a huge hobby of mine, some sketches of the characters in my stories have been uploaded into my gallery. They can all be found in my folders. I hope to reach a professional standard so that I can illustrate my own novels.

I also do a bit of fan art/fiction. I'm a huge fan of Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda, so you'll find some of that in my gallery.

I really hope you like my writing and illustrations!
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The Girl and John

The Dual Narratives of GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD by James

 

Bitch

 

Say no to everything I ever once did love

Say no, I could never, ever, ever be enough

 

Let me introduce you to our protagonist, driving along a precarious road around the side of a mountain with a very long drop into the sea on one side. He’s on his way down south, on a quest for a fresh start, and as he drives he thinks about the events and decisions that have led him to this monumental turning point. His name is John, and with a retrospective question he sets a frame for the story he’s about to recount—“Love my sons; I love my wife. My life is rich and full, so why’d I bitch?”—and with his first song he gives us a brief overview: “I’m in love with the fever of life . . . with the freedom of speech . . . I’ve spoken out of turn again.”

 

To My Surprise

 

Created by mistake

There’s no free will or fate

Don’t do what I have done, do what I say

Were you just born an asshole?


Watch the music video. John is represented by the hooded character who journeys through the shadows of our contemporary dystopia. Notably he’s revealed to be a woman at the middle-eight section. My image of John is a man with a feminine mind—one who opposes the greed, fear-mongering and hatred of his patriarchs. One of my favourite James songs is ‘Homeboy’ from the album Whiplash: “Try to fake it with the real men; try to fill your father’s size ten. Alone in this world, you’re not a boy or a girl.” That’s just my way of seeing him, though. She could just as easily be female to you. ‘To My Surprise’ shows us the kind of character John is. Disillusioned with the state of the world, governments & media, he tries to speak out and send a message of love. He thinks he’s “finally cracked [society’s] code”, got this message across, and found the real, true meaning of his life, when he enters a relationship with a Girl.

 

Nothing But Love

 

There’s no answers, only dances



This one also comes with a video which you NEED to watch, depicting the story of how the Girl, a comparatively normal person when placed next to John, struggles in the early stages of her relationship with him: his abnormal personality and views don’t afford him many friends among the general, judgmental public. It’s troublesome because he’s not a typical person; it’s strange that she should like him, but she persists despite the opinions of the world. At the end of this music video, once again, it’s revealed that John’s true face is a woman’s, and that his sex really doesn’t matter to him or to the Girl.

 

Attention

 

This is you, this is me

Underneath the manzanita tree

We are forged, we are baked

By this fire we are shaped

 

The opening lines are strewn with the shadows of uncertainty, although the subject is a beautiful one. John’s thoughts are filled with love, but are invaded by the fear of losing his unique identity in merging with this other person. “Dreamer, time to awake.” Time to stop fighting for his cause and join the real world? But he reassures himself: “No time to be afraid.” He knows he’s lucky to have found someone who accepts and loves him. “Skindiving (the name of a wonderful James track from the album Laid) for golden pearls; found you between the two worlds.” An intimate moment, calling attention to something very important. If ‘Nothing But Love’ was the forming of John and the Girl’s relationship, then Attention is the duration of it—especially the important bits: their marriage “underneath the manzanita tree”, loving her “till she breaks”, and eventually the end, when “stars will fall.”

 

Dear John

 

I wrote this song to tell you I’m leaving

Afraid to say these words to your face

Must be better than a letter, a text or an email

My ride stops here at the end of the line

 

After many years of married life, their relationship has come to a close. The Girl leaves John and writes him a song to explain why. She shared his fear of their identities becoming jumbled; of them becoming one another. “From the moment we locked eyes at the station our hours were synchronised; two reduced to one life.” Perhaps, after all the high and low points in their relationship, she finally realised she couldn’t accept how different they were. Back in the present, this is what’s on John’s mind as his car collides with an oncoming SUV. His ride stops here.

 

Feet Of Clay

 

As raindrops fall into the sea

They feel the end’s approaching

I keep falling, and I’ve got these feet of clay

 

John takes the breakup badly. “I keep falling” seems to have a number of meanings: he’s depressed, feeling down; he’s contemplating jumping from a high place to end his life out of depression; in the present, he actually is falling from a high place after crashing into an SUV on the side of a mountain. The song is filled with references to death: “I don’t want to live forever, but I’m afraid to fade . . . I am due to fade away into the dark.” In the present-day framing story, now that his life’s being taken from him, he remembers the time he almost took it himself and decided not to, though it was possibly due more to fear than hope.

 

Surfer’s Song

 

Know that your love’s right, whatever your incline

Be the bright light in the dark times

 

Albeit with some difficulty, John reassures himself that his life must continue. At his lowest point, he begins to see things clearly. Without the lens of love, through the naked eyes of someone without anyone, he reforms his identity and realises that there could still be good things to come if he’s willing to make a fresh start. “Here comes the swell, cascading over me.” The use of the cascade as a means of introspection and epiphany is highly reminiscent of track 2 from Hey Ma, ‘Waterfall’: “My mirror’s laughing at me . . . Under the Waterfall, it’s cool and cold and clear.” Meanwhile, in the present, John’s vehicle plunges into the ocean.

 

Catapult

 

You’ve seen the best of me

And you’ve seen the worst of me

So don’t expect me to be

Not thinking out loud

 

With his newfound clarity and self-confidence, John decides it’s okay to speak his mind from now on. He embraces his love for the freedom of speech and starts blurting it all out: fuck all censorship and sensitivity. “I was born an asshole” and I’ll be one. The world needs someone to speak out against this anti-natural mess of a society. “Don’t ask this songbird to hide his song lines.” Obviously, he ends up offending probably quite a lot of people; probably including the Girl. Personally, I love how much this song’s theme reminds me of the oft-live-played ‘Stutter’, which shares its name with James’s first album but unfortunately wasn’t included on it. I think it only appears on the incredibly rare live album One Man Clapping, which I’m very sad I don’t own, and the recently released Gathering Sound.

 

Move Down South

 

Pray this weather cycles

Pray and dance for rain

 

Having pushed everyone away and feeling more despondent, disappointed and disillusioned than ever with life and society, John packs up and moves away, hoping against hope to pull through and find the happiness of love again. “Love comes to heal the broken. Her house is always open.” Again, I feel a call back to the lyrics of ‘Waterfall’: “One day I’m gonna break from my life, due south down to Mexico. I’m gonna burn down my house; it’s the only way to let it go,” and it feels to me like that “one day” prophesied eight years ago has finally arrived. I like that.

 

Alvin

 

Le roast beef

 

This one is very difficult. I don’t know French; I can just about pick up on a reference to a fall from grace—“La chute du grace”. Otherwise, I’m not comfortable trying to read too much into this song, which frustrates me because despite the spritzy, playful tone of the music I suspect there’s a meaningful and interesting poem, purposefully hidden beneath a language foreign to most of the band’s listeners. I mean, besides “le roast beef”. I welcome any and all suggestions from French-to-English translators. Whatever the meaning of this song, I get the feeling it’s more of an aria than anything else: a song for expressing thoughts and feelings rather than moving the story forward. And where else is there to go from here? We pretty much know where we’re headed now, right?

 

Waking

 

Brothers, sisters, we’ve been fools

They don’t want us to fulfil

Just enough to pay your bills

Entertainment, dog-whistle views

 

The finale of the album’s socio-political plotline, and its most powerful message, criticising the “dog-whistle views” of politicians and the public following them, the unavoidable corruption of governments, and the influence we leave on our children, who are eternally Born of Frustration (“Stop, stop talking about who’s to blame when all that counts is how to change”) with an emotional and intellectual craving for so much more than what the world we’ve made has to offer them. They are “schooled, schooled to follow the rules”, becoming adults who, like the Girl and like John, and like the people who shunned John, and like us, will fail to find any deeper meaning before the end.

 

Girl At The End Of The World

 

Overtaking SUV approaching

We’re on a blind curve

There’s nowhere to swerve

 

The end. “A heaven-bent moonlight drive. We’ll meet it side by side, the big whatever.” Our protagonist, poor old Johnny Yen, can’t avoid the approaching SUV, crashes and falls to his demise. In his final moments, his life flashes before his eyes: the events and decisions that have led him to this monumental ending point. But more prominent than any thought or feeling is a single image: the image of a Girl.

 

Remind me to breathe at the end of the world

Appreciate scenes and the love I’ve received

To love who I’ve been at the end of the world

The departing, the departing

 

Remind me to breathe at the end of the world

Appreciate scenes and the love I’ve received

There’s always a Girl at the End of the World

The departing, the departing

  • Listening to: GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD
  • Reading: The Black Cauldron
  • Playing: Pokémon Yellow
  • Eating: A leftover Easter egg which was almost forgotten

Activity


Why does the drive to write only come at night?
In a moment, a dog sees the reflection of a television in the window, looks from one to the other, and back to one and back to the other, and then to you. And you can see it in his eyes. He's thinking something. He's thinking, There's more than I can understand here. You look back and think, Go on. See it. Know it. But you can never know if he'll ever understand. He puts his head down on the floor. 

Aren't there similar moments for us? 

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:iconyouinventedme:
YouInventedMe Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016   Writer
Thank you for the :+fav: on fire in glass!
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:iconmurdokdracul:
murdokdracul Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Professional Writer
You're very welcome!
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:iconkrustalos:
Krustalos Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Feliz  Thank you for the fave! luigi dance 
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:iconmurdokdracul:
murdokdracul Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016  Professional Writer
You're very welcome!
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:iconwaspdrake:
Waspdrake Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015
Thanks for watch!
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:iconmurdokdracul:
murdokdracul Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015  Professional Writer
You're welcome ^^
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:iconvoiceinforestshadow:
VoiceInForestShadow Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2015
Thank you very much for the fav!
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:iconmurdokdracul:
murdokdracul Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015  Professional Writer
Very welcome ^^
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:icondatfmcobalion:
DatFMCobalion Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You have some pretty cool artwork ^^ here's a +1
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:iconmurdokdracul:
murdokdracul Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015  Professional Writer
Thanks for that, and for the faves!
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