Reading Trevor Dann’s excellent, if brief biography of Nick Drake this week I thought about Nick reading Baudelaire and possibly experimenting with LSD during his time in Aix-en-provence, birthplace of Zola and Cezanne. The latter of these was the subject of an essay by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in which he discusses Cezanne’s self-doubt, and his rejection by peers and critics, working alone, largely without friends. It’s not hard to draw some parallels with Nick’s own life. Merlau-Ponty was perhaps influenced by the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, himself the subject of the wonderful Magnetic Fields song “The death of Ferdinand de Saussure”, in which the singer, enraged by de Saussure’s pontification on what we might or might not know to be love, shoots the linguist in the name of Motown’s Holland-Dozier-Holland.

All well and good, you say, but I’m not really into semiotics, phenomenology, or structural linguistics. Besides, it’s Friday afternoon; do you have anything to maybe offset all the heavy thinking?

Will a video featuring Dale Winton shaking his pringles do?