Friday, February 10, 2012
It's Daniel Johnston.
Sisters and brothers, pay attention. Today's what we might call Daniel Johnston Day at Lipscomb. The man's art will be on display on campus for the next few weeks, and he'll be on hand for a performance this evening at 8:00.
While one of the narrators in the documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, almost captured a sliver of something in describing Johnston's people as a kind of fundamentalist Glass family in the Salinger vein, his role as a practitioner of--what shall we call it?--the biblical imagination has gone largely unremarked upon, except in the most dismissive sense, and his place as a pilgrim within and without "Church of Christ" culture, a peculiar inheritance he shares with Roy Orbison, is mostly visible to those who share such attachments. At noon today, this situation will begin to change as Gregory Alan Thornbury offers a provocative word concerning Johnston's witness entitled "Does Daniel Johnston Believe More Bible Than You?" I'm set to moderate discussion and offer a response. I read the whole thing aloud to Sarah this morning and we were simply amazed. I know his offering will be available in published form at some point in the near future, but you can partake of the conversation personally if you can make it to Lipscomb within the next hour and a half. Exit your cubicle now.