A Year with Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno’s Diary

Mar 31, 2021

By Frank Valish

In 1995, amidst working with David Bowie, U2, James, and Jah Wobble, Brian Eno kept a diary. Originally published in 1996, A Year with Swollen Appendices, has been reissued for its 25th anniversary, with a new introduction by Eno.

A Year with Swollen Appendices is essentially a book in two parts. The first, Eno’s diary from 1995, is a day-by-day account of his life during that year. He chronicles his work with Bowie (Outside), U2 (the Passengers soundtrack), James (Wah Wah), and Wobble (Spinner) in entries that can be slightly obtuse for those who might not have the requisite background. He writes extended emails to his friend Stewart Brand, which largely detail his views on international issues of the day. He discusses his charity work for War Child.

The more interesting and lastingly relevant part of the book, however, is the “swollen” Appendices. Included here are musings on art, short stories, letters to collaborators, and intellectual, philosophical essays that shed light on Eno’s beliefs and his vision. And as interesting a journey as the diary is at times, these appendices are truly revelatory.


Author rating: 7.5/10

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