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Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century

by

Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Greil Marcus, author of Mystery Train, widely acclaimed as the best book ever written about America as seen through its music, began work on this new book out of a fascination with the Sex Pistols: that scandalous antimusical group, invented in London in 1975 and dead within two years, which sparked the emergence of the culture called punk. "I am an antichrist!" shouted singer Johnny Rotten--where in the world of pop music did that come from? Looking for an answer, with a high sense of the drama of the journey, Marcus takes us down the dark paths of counterhistory, a route of blasphemy, adventure, and surprise.

This is no mere search for cultural antecedents. Instead, what Marcus so brilliantly shows is that various kinds of angry, absolute demands--demands on society, art, and all the governing structures of everyday life--seem to be coded in phrases, images, and actions passed on invisibly, but inevitably, by people quite unaware of each other. Marcus lets us hear strange yet familiar voices: of such heretics as the Brethren of the Free Spirit in medieval Europe and the Ranters in seventeenth-century England; the dadaists in Zurich in 1916 and Berlin in 1918, wearing death masks, chanting glossolalia; one Michel Mourre, who in 1950 took over Easter Mass at Notre-Dame to proclaim the death of God; the Lettrist International and the Situationist International, small groups of Paris--based artists and writers surrounding Guy Debord, who produced blank-screen films, prophetic graffiti, and perhaps the most provocative social criticism of the 1950s and '60s; the rioting students and workers of May '68, scrawling cryptic slogans on city walls and bringing France to a halt; the Sex Pistols in London, recording the savage "Anarchy in the U.K." and "God Save the Queen."

Although the Sex Pistols shape the beginning and the end of the story, Lipstick Traces is not a book about music; it is about a common voice, discovered and transmitted in many forms. Working from scores of previously unexamined and untranslated essays, manifestos, and filmscripts, from old photographs, dada sound poetry, punk songs, collages, and classic texts from Marx to Henri Lefebvre, Marcus takes us deep behind the acknowledged events of our era, into a hidden tradition of moments that would seem imaginary except for the fact that they are real: a tradition of shared utopias, solitary refusals, impossible demands, and unexplained disappearances. Written with grace and force, humor and an insistent sense of tragedy and danger, Lipstick Traces tells a story as disruptive and compelling as the century itself.

Synopsis:

This is a secret history of modern times, told by way of what conventional history tries to exclude. Lipstick Traces tells a story as disruptive and compelling as the century itself. "Hip, metaphorical and allusive"...--Gail Caldwell, Boston Sunday Globe. Full-color illustrations and halftones.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 449-462) and index.

About 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.

Table of Contents

Prologue

Version One: The Last Sex Pistols Concert

Version Two: A Secret History Of A Time That Passed

Faces

Legends of Freedom

The Art of Yesterday's Crash

The Crash of Yesterday's Art

The Assault on Notre-Dame

The Attack on Charlie Chaplin

Lipstick Traces (on a Cigarette)

Epilogue

Works Cited

Sources and Credits

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674535817
Subtitle:
A Secret History of the Twentieth Century
Author:
Marcus, Greil
Author:
Marcus, Greil
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Mass. :
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
World
Subject:
Civilization, Modern
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Punk rock music
Subject:
Art and society
Subject:
Punk rock music -- History and criticism.
Subject:
Avant-garde
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Modern - 20th Century
Subject:
Art and society -- History -- 20th century.
Subject:
Sex Pistols (Musical group)
Subject:
Popular Culture - Counter Culture
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Punk
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st pbk. ed.
Series Volume:
104-144
Publication Date:
September 1990
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
82 halftones, 24 line illustrations, 4 c
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
9.25 x 7.5 in 1.88 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Punk
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock » History
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock » Reference and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » US History » General

Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century Used Trade Paper
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Product details 512 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674535817 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This is a secret history of modern times, told by way of what conventional history tries to exclude. Lipstick Traces tells a story as disruptive and compelling as the century itself. "Hip, metaphorical and allusive"...--Gail Caldwell, Boston Sunday Globe. Full-color illustrations and halftones.
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