Table of Contents
Into Gold: Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries and Forced
||If you want to cite this thesis, here's where you find the bibliographic information.
|Table of Contents
of the thesis.
Shit Into Gold
Through writing, Carroll transforms
his triumphs and his most vile experiences into poems, diaries,
and songs of visionary beauty. As a writer, Carroll is an
alchemist capable of transforming shit into gold.
Writing as a Weapon
The beauty of The Basketball Diaries
is its optimism: more than anything it is about the potential
an individual has to transcend the victimization of a corrupt
system. Carroll shows it is possible to make a difference
both in the way he lives his life and by creating a better
world through art.
Writing as Pennance
Because the writer that he is
grows out of his experiencing and transforming his double
life, Carroll must embrace his past and write about it.
In many ways, Carroll's becoming a Writer depends first
upon accepting the character identity of The Basketball
Diaries then overcoming and transcending that identity
to legitimize himself as an Artist. Also, he must come to
terms with his addiction: he must retain enough personal
control to continue writing while still "hooked."
Writing as Redemption
Because Carroll revises and redefines
his identity and his past with each work, a discussion of
his diaries alone barely scrapes the surface in revealing
his achievement as both an artist and the creator of himself.
Only by appreciating the complex interplay between Carroll's
songwriting, poetry, and his diaries is it possible to see
to what extent, and how, Carroll has been able to revise
and transform his past.
©1990 Cassie Carter. This material may not be reprinted except by permission from the author.