Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On the Many Deaths of Amanda Palmer...

On The Many Deaths of Amanda Palmer: And the Many Crimes of Tobias James

Praise for On the Many Deaths of Amanda Palmer

“Through a fascinating series of essays, stories, fairy tales, poems, introductions, and appendices Kriwaczek explores issues of authorship, celebrity, popular culture, marketing strategies, and the culminating steady corruption of art in contemporary culture, all in a wildly exuberant, imaginative, and entertaining manner. Another surefire winner from the author of An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin.”

-The Guild of Funerary Violinists Quarterly Newsletter

I’ve said before that I’m fascinated with the Who Killed Amanda Palmer? project and this is an excellent example of the type of work Amanda Palmer inspires- something twisted up in reality, experience, and fantasy. The book is a series of lies that manage to convey a remarkable and truthful insight into how we view death and how we canonize celebrities and how we often confuse presentation with fact.

One thing that I love about this book is how it’s put together. The introductions define a fictitious form of online eulogy called the Palmeresque, states that this volume is a collection of such works for the dearly departed Amanda, and then proceeds to include a series of works that the Amanda Palmer Trust members chose to put in this collection. Admittedly, none of them actually fit the standard definition of a palmeresque.

With the exception of Text Number Nine, which so closely described the actual death of Miss Palmer that it was blacked out from the text by the police.

It’s an intriguing and mysterious book, to be sure. It’s also a bit of a puzzle, given that the second half of the book talks around the subject of Text Number Nine but can’t actually address it without being blacked out.

If you like mind games and intrigue, I’d recommend this book. Also, if you’re a fan of Amanda Palmer (who is not dead, if you were wondering), I’d recommend this. It fits neatly into the world created by the album, the series of music videos, and the photo book without directly contradicting them or giving anything away about the tragic demise of Miss Palmer.

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