Readers may remember this blog noting a piece some weeks back in the Guardian about a 650-page Italian book by Andrea Morandi, U2: The Name of Love, Testi Commentati. Based apparently on little more than the fact that the book was noted positively in L'Osservatore Romano, that piece cast a snide eye-roll at U2's lyrics as a front for proselytizing. Now, @U2 has interviewed Andrea Morandi himself, who sets the record straight on the subtleties and scope of his book. Excerpt:
I started with the lyrics and went backwards. The Bible has been a key source because in the book I compared Bono’s words with those of Habakkuk, Isaiah and David, but there is much more. There is an influence of Karl Popper in “Zoo Station”; of Jean Baudrillard in “Even Better Than the Real Thing”; of Raymond Carver in “Acrobat”; and of Paul Celan, Patrick Kavanagh and Soren Kierkegaard in “The First Time.” There are also influence from essays on foreign politics, books on the history of blues, Sam Shepard and Flannery O’Connor, John Boyle O’Reilly and Norman Mailer, John Clare and Thomas Mann, and Günter Grass and Virginia Woolf. I discovered all these thing starting from reading old interviews with Bono, old quotes, suggestions and well-known things (John Boyle O’Reilly is the man in “Van Diemen’s Land”).
I’ve read many books about U2, of course, but the one that I followed like a polar star was "U2 by U2." There are many revelations in that book and I try to investigate them more. I read Niall Stokes’ "Into the Heart" but I tried to dig deeper; Niall doesn't go very deep into influences from the Bible or literature.