An interpretation of the places and the look of Elvis's life, from shotgun shack to mansion, presenting it as a dialogue he conducted with himself, family and fans. The book incorporates a guide to Graceland, with directions, admission prices and a detour into Southern literature and culture.
Graceland: Going Home with Elvis by Karal Ann Marling
He didn't write music or lyrics and wasn't too articulate on the subject of himself, but when he created his dream house Elvis Presley spoke volumes about who he was. From the musical notes that dance across the gates to the soaring columns of the neo-Southern manse, from the glittering stairwells to the jungle rec room to the plush-lined bathroom suite where he died, the colors and textures and shapes of Graceland speak eloquently for the boy from Tupelo who became the King of Rock 'n' Roll. What the mansion says of Elvis, and what it says to - and of - the millions of fans who make the journey there each year, is what Graceland: Going Home with Elvis is about. This conversation is what tourism is about, and so Graceland speaks of tourism as well of the author's forays into an alien South, its rhythms, its history, and of Elvis as the ultimate tourist, the musician on the road, ever in transit between home and the one-night stand. Reconstructing the changing interior of Graceland during its owner's lifetime, the book describes the cultural geography of Elvisness - his self-created material world - and of American mobility in the postwar era.
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[Marling's] expertise in the decorative arts (plus the phrase-making knack that complements it) makes Elvis's mansion on the hill seem a creation as well as a site. A revealing and almost perfect book. -- Rick Tamble "Nashville Banner" Marling's expertise in the decorative arts (plus the phrase-making knack that complements it) makes Elvis's mansion on the hill seem a creation as well as a site. -- Robert Christgau "Village Voice" The liveliest and most intriguing of the new books on Elvis is "Graceland: Going Home with Elvis," a sometimes funny, often thoughtful rumination on the place of Elvis and his super-kitsch mansion in the American iconography. -- Linda Deutsch "Los Angeles Times" Marling's book is like a road trip with a smart, funny friend (junk food, driving all night, collecting silly souvenirs)...A beguiling, original guide to Graceland complete with directions, admission prices, and detours into Southern literature and culture. -- Kelleher Jewett "Nation" Reading this book is like taking a trip with a funny, well-read friend who knows where to find the best little dinners and the kinds of roadside attractions that don't get listed in guidebooks, and who can discourse wittily on their meaning and history. -- David Nicholson "Washington Post Book World" By broadening her scope to include so much of American culture, Marling has cleverly set Elvis up as the ultimate tourist, always on the road and longing to get back home. What makes the trip so compelling is Marling's ability to make his story our story. As readers will discover, the cultural geography of 'Elvisness'--alien as it may seem--is ours as well. -- Edward Gunts "Baltimore Sun" Marling knows her way around the Nashville country-music scene, the celebrity mansions of Bel Air, the hipster clothing outlets of Memphis. She evokes role models of conspicuous consumption like Hank Williams and Liberace, who--like Presley--knew they were thumbing their noses at good taste, but did so with more humor..."Graceland" is filled with the rich madness of life... It is as pleasing as a new pair of blue suede shoes. -- Robert Campbell "New York Times Book Review" A masterful entry into Elvisology...Marling constructs a meandering biography out of the domestic theater of Elvis...Marling's scrupulously researched (and also hilarious) cultural analysis recalls that of like-minded heroes Tom Wolfe and Greil Marcus..."Graceland: Going Home with Elvis" is a brilliant achievement. Elvis, as the saying goes, may have left the building, but the author shows us how we are all now living in Graceland. -- Michael Tortorello "City Pages (Minneapolis)" In this brilliant, if highly personal, guide to both the man and his home, Marling explains how the Presley shrine differs from other places of tourist pilgrimage: 'The house if full of things that we all have or used to have, or used to want, or hate.' Though it is easy to scoff at Graceland's decor ('a violent Christmastime-lipstick-cherry-coke-fire-engine-hellfire red') and the Polynesian-theme Jungle Den, Marling insists that Elvis was 'the last great Dixie regionalist', on par with William Faulkner. The book is a near-masterpiece. Imaginatively thought and generously felt, "Graceland" isn't just an essential addition to Elvis literature; it's a shrewd, empathetic meditation on the unexpected dignity that lurks beneath the kitsch surface of middle-class taste... I t's Graceland...that inspires Marling's finest work. She cuts through the practiced inanities of the tour guides and their sanitization of all that was revolutionary or horrific about Elvis to imagine a real person living there. No one has ever written about Graceland with the penetrating understanding that Marling shows...She makes its smallness and tackiness, its owner's unquenchable thirst for newness, almost inexpressibly, and never condescendingly, moving. -- Charles Taylor "Boston Phoenix" detours into Southern literature and culture. discourse wittily on their meaning and history. super-kitsch mansion in the American iconography. last great Dixie regionalist', on par with William Faulkner. unquenchable thirst for newness, almost inexpressibly, and never condescendingly, moving. Marling's ability to make his story our story. As readers will discover, the cultural geography of 'Elvisness'--alien as it may seem--is ours as well.
Graceland: Going Home with Elvis by Karal Ann Marling
Karal Ann Marling
Used - Very Good
Harvard University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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