Without knowing Lorde, I’ll admit that she seems likeable. On paper, a 16-year-old riding a hit single and already getting to share her artistic dreams to a huge audience is inspiring. Adding to that, the New Zealand native often mentions in interviews that her poet mother put lots of good books in her hands. An author she latched onto is short-fiction legend Raymond Carver — a personal favorite.
"A writer is judged by what he writes, and that’s the way it should be," Carver told the Paris Review 30 years ago. “The circumstances surrounding the writing are something else, something extraliterary.” The author, who was probably not a fan of KISS, died in 1988. So we’ll never know if a master of minimalist writing hears brilliance in the bare-bones beat of “Royals.” Much as we agree with Carver’s sentiment, it’s nearly impossible today to block out circumstances far outside what Lorde writes when forming an opinion on her.
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