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Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession
     

Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession

by Greil Marcus
 

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In life, Elvis Presley went from childhood poverty to stardom, from world fame to dissipation and early death. As Greil Marcus shows in this remarkable book, Presley's journey after death takes him even further, pushing him beyond his own frontiers to merge with the American public consciousness—and the American subconscious.

As he listens in on the public

Overview

In life, Elvis Presley went from childhood poverty to stardom, from world fame to dissipation and early death. As Greil Marcus shows in this remarkable book, Presley's journey after death takes him even further, pushing him beyond his own frontiers to merge with the American public consciousness—and the American subconscious.

As he listens in on the public conversation that recreates Elvis after death, Marcus tracks the path of Presley's resurrection. He grafts together scattered fragments of the eclectic dialogue—snatches of movies and music, books and newspapers, photographs, posters, cartoons—and amazes us with not only what America has been saying as it raises its late king, but also what this strange obsession with a dead Elvis can tell us about America itself.

Editorial Reviews

David Foster Wallace
Marcus' rapt attention to what Elvis continues to mean is both transmitted and justified in a splendid piece of critical art...a marvelous and profane book about a cultural symbol of cultural symbol-making.
Los Angeles Book Review
American Quarterly
Marcus shows that the rupture that was Elvis in 1954-57 lives on, below and above ground, glowing in grotesque and still dangerous half-life.
— W.T. Lhamon, Jr.
Glasgow Sunday Herald
Go no further for the biggest thoughts about the biggest ever pop icon.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Marcus's rapt attention to what Elvis continues to mean is both transmitted and justified in a splendid piece of critical art ... a marvelous and profane book about a cultural symbol of cultural symbol-making.
— David Foster Wallace
The Nation
The evidence Marcus has gathered suggests that Presley's posthumous appeal has to do with our ferocious ambivalence toward him, a blend of worship and revulsion, obeisance and revolutionary desire. Sympathetically despising what Presley became, everyone is now in on--not the joke, but the remaking of their world.
— Eric Lott

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385417198
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/19/1992
Pages:
256

Meet the Author

Greil Marcus is the author of Lipstick Traces, The Dustbin of History (both from Harvard), and The Shape of Things to Come, The Old, Weird America, Mystery Train, and other books.

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