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Reading Camus in Salford

Steeped in European culture, Ian Curtis epitomised the 1970s young British working-class intellectual

By Paul Lay   November 2007

What became of the young working-class intellectual? It is a question prompted by Control, Anton Corbijn’s biopic of Ian Curtis, singer of Joy Division, the most celebrated product of a period of extraordinary cultural aspiration among British working-class males. The phenomenon seems all the more astonishing viewed from our age of Nuts and wall-to-wall sport. To get some flavour of the age, look at any copy of the New Musical Express between 1978 and 1982. The NME ran a weekly column, “Portrait of the Artist as a Consumer,” in which musicians would list their favourite books, films and thinkers. References…

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