This book is not another critical biography, but an interpretive essay investigating what we feel is the cultural and historical importance of Zappa and Beefheart in the context of a wide-ranging network of references that run from Michelangelo and Arcimboldo to William Burroughs and Vaclav Havel. Readers who are only vaguely familiar with their music will be introduced to a projected pantheon of maximalist artists and "moments" which will in turn give rise to poetic-associational readings designed to encourage them to explore the processes of art production, consumption and rejection in their expanding totality and to consider the body as the fluctuating constant against which all composition (addition and subtraction of parts) is attempted. In many ways, this book is also intended as a maximalist alternative to the cultural studies take on the study of popular music, which generally neglects aesthetics in favor of the merely semiotic and sociological and is reluctant to investigate the relationships and coincidences of mass, underground and "elitist" culture.
In what follows, we will propose an (anti-)method, a conspiracy theory of the mind that seeks to foster a promotional application of "paranoid" criticism risking its very credibility (and sanity) to abandon itself to the energizing virtues of connectivitis and coordinology.
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(229mm x 152mm x 11mm)
Publisher: Salt Publishing
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Author Biography - Michel Delville
Michel Delville is a writer and musician living in Liege, Belgium. He is the author of several books including J.G. Ballard and The American Prose Poem, which won the 1998 SAMLA Studies Book Award. He teaches English and American literatures, as well as comparative literatures, at the University of Liege, where he directs the Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Poetics. He has been playing and composing music since the mid-eighties. His most recently formed rock-jazz band, the Wrong Object, plays the music of Frank Zappa and a few tunes of their own (http://www.wrongobject.be.tf). Andrew Norris is a writer and musician resident in Brussels. He has worked with a number of groups as vocalist and guitarist and has a special weakness for the interface between avant garde poetry and the blues. He teaches English and translation studies in Brussels and is currently working on a book on post-epiphanic style in James Joyce.