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The Dustbin of History

by

The Dustbin of History Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"How much history can be communicated by pressure on a guitar string?" Robert Palmer wondered in Deep Blues. Greil Marcus answers here: more than we will ever know. It is the history in the riff, in the movie or novel or photograph, in the actor's pose or critic's posturing--in short, the history in cultural happenstance--that Marcus reveals here, exposing along the way the distortions and denials that keep us oblivious if not immune to its lessons.

Whether writing about the Beat Generation or Umberto Eco, Picasso's Guernica or the massacre in Tiananmen Square, The Manchurian Candidate or John Wayne's acting, Eric Ambler's antifascist thrillers or Camille Paglia, Marcus uncovers the histories embedded in our cultural moments and acts, and shows how, through our reading of the truths our culture tells and those it twists and conceals, we situate ourselves in that history and in the world. Rarely has a history lesson been so exhilarating. With the startling insights and electric style that have made him our foremost writer on American music, Marcus brings back to life the cultural events that have defined us and our time, the social milieu in which they took place, and the individuals engaged in them. As he does so, we see that these cultural instances--as lofty as The Book of J, as humble as a TV movie about Jan and Dean, as fleeting as a few words spoken at the height of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, as enduring as a Paleolithic painting--often have more to tell us than the master-narratives so often passed off as faultless representations of the past.

Again and again Marcus skewers the widespread assumption that history exists only in the past, that it is behind us, relegated to the dustbin. Here we see instead that history is very much with us, being made and unmade every day, and unless we recognize it our future will be as cramped and impoverished as our present sense of the past.

Review:

"Greil Marcus is one of the most accomplished commentators on popular culture writing today. Though a freelance writer, he has all the virtues of a good academic: he cares passionately for getting his facts right, is alert to the larger meaning of seemingly minor events, and can read any text—be it novel, rock song, or movie—with an eye for grand patterns and minutely significant detail. But he manages to steer clear of the typical faults of academics: his prose is free of all affectation, pretentions, and jargon. Above all, he writes clearly and knows how to shape an essay so that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. This collection of pieces written over the past two decades for such journals as Rolling Stone and The Village Voice can serve as an excellent introduction to Marcus' distinctive role as a critic, uncovering the byways of culture that often escape the eyes of academics. Whether he is pricking the balloon of Susan Sontag's reputation, or thoughtfully analyzing a seemingly forgettable (and forgotten) television movie about pop singers Jan and Dean, or giving a surprisingly sympathetic appreciation of the acting ability of John Wayne, Marcus has one outstanding quality as a critic: he is unpredictable. And in today's world of pre-packaged intellectuality, that is an increasingly rare and hence treasurable quality." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Synopsis:

With the startling insights and electric style that have made him our foremost writer on American music, Greil Marcus brings back to life the cultural events that have defined us and our time. Again and again he skewers the widespread assumption that history exists only in the past, that it is behind us, relegated to the dustbin.

Synopsis:

Whether writing about the Beat Generation or Umberto Eco, Picasso's Guernica or the massacre at Tiananmen Square, Marcus uncovers the histories embedded in our cultural moments and acts, and shows how, through our reading of the truths our culture tells and those it twists and conceals, we situate ourselves in that history and in the world.

Synopsis:

impoverished as our present sense of the past.

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

Sketch

MAPS

The Dustbin of History in a World Made Fresh

History Lesson

The Mask of Dimitrios

Myth and Misquotation

TERRITORIES A Single Revelation
On Peter Handke's Short Letter, Long Farewell

Götterdämmerung after Twenty-OneYears
On Nazi-Hunting ThriIers

You Could Catch It
On Guy Debord's Panegyric

Dylan as Historian
On "Blind Willie McTell"

Happy Endings
On E. L. Doctrow's Ragtime and Robert Altman's Nashville

Cowboys and Germans
On Wim Wenders's Emotion Pictures

Cowboy Boots and Germans
On A Susan Sontag Reader

The Bob McFadden Experience
On The Beat Generation CD Box Set

Thc Expanding Vacant Spot
On Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson's And Their Children after Them

Jan and Dean as Purloined Letter
On Dead Man's Curve: The Story of Jan and Dean

Dead Man's Curve
On American Hot Wax

When You Walk in the Room
On Robert Johnson

Cretins, Fools, Morons, and Lunatics
On Umbcrto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum

Old-Time Religion
On Camille Paglia's Sexual Personae

A Change in the Weathcr
On The Book of J

Lost and Found
On the Exhibition Ice Age Art

Escape from New York
On Herschel Chipp's Picasso's "Guernica"

A Dream of the Cold War
On The Manchurian Candidate

John Wayne listening

Germany in a Second Language
On Peter Schneider's The Wall Jumper

SETTLEMENTS

The Deborah Chessler Story

Think We Might Get Some Rain?

Sources

Acknowledgments

Credits Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674218581
Author:
Marcus, Greil
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
Marcus, Greil
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Historiography
Subject:
World history -- Historiography.
Subject:
History-Historiography
Subject:
HISTORY / Modern / General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
April 1997
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 line illustration
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 13 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock » Reference and Criticism
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Historiography

The Dustbin of History New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674218581 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , With the startling insights and electric style that have made him our foremost writer on American music, Greil Marcus brings back to life the cultural events that have defined us and our time. Again and again he skewers the widespread assumption that history exists only in the past, that it is behind us, relegated to the dustbin.
"Synopsis" by , Whether writing about the Beat Generation or Umberto Eco, Picasso's Guernica or the massacre at Tiananmen Square, Marcus uncovers the histories embedded in our cultural moments and acts, and shows how, through our reading of the truths our culture tells and those it twists and conceals, we situate ourselves in that history and in the world.
"Synopsis" by , impoverished as our present sense of the past.
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