MASKS (Book)

Bowie and Artists of Artifice

Edited by James Curcio

This interdisciplinary anthology explores the complex relationships in an artist’s life between fact and fiction, presentation and existence, and critique and creation, and examines the work that ultimately results from these tensions.

Edition

This interdisciplinary anthology explores the complex relationships in an artist’s life between fact and fiction, presentation and existence, and critique and creation, and examines the work that ultimately results from these tensions.
 
Using a combination of critical and personal essays and interviews, MASKS presents Bowie as the key exemplifier of the concept of the “mask,” then further applies the same framework to other liminal artists and thinkers who challenged the established boundaries of the art/pop academic worlds, such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Søren Kierkegaard, Yukio Mishima, and Hunter S. Thompson. Featuring contributions from John Gray and Slavoj Žižek and interviews with Gary Lachman and Davide De Angelis, this book will appeal to scholars and students of cultural criticism, aesthetics, and the philosophy of art; practicing artists; and fans of Bowie and other artists whose work enacts experiments in identity.

Jamie Curcio (BA, Bard College) is a writer, artist, and transmedia producer living in Boston. He is the author of numerous books including Join My Cult! (New Falcon, 2004), Narrative Machines and Party at the World’s End (Mythos Media, 2017, 2013), and former editor for Rebel News, and The Immanence of Myth (Weaponized, 2011). He is the current editor at ModernMythology.net.

John Gray, Foreword, “The Shifting Shaman of the Modern Age”

James Curcio, Editor’s Introduction, “Somebody Else Took His Place and  

Bravely Cried”

Chapter 1: “Masks All The Way Down”

James Curcio

Chapter 2: “Mishima’s Anti-Metaphysics of the Mask”

Roy Starrs

Chapter 3: “Not All That Glitters Is Gold: Ziggy Stardust and the Fractured Mask of the 70s”

Lúcio Reis-Filho

Chapter 4: “Watch That Man”

Casey Rae

Chapter 5: “The Enemy is fragile: David Bowie’s larvatus prodeo”

Peter-R. Koenig

Chapter 6:  “From Vigilius Haufniensis to Ziggy Stardust: Pseudonyms, Irony, and Truth”

Tara Isabella Burton

Chapter 7: “On the Truth of the Aphorism: Wilde and Nietzsche on Style”

Yahia Lababidi 

Chapter 8: “Love and Rock ‘n Roll: The Dual Marriages of David  Bowie and Robert Smith”

Tom Powers

Chapter 9: “Seeing Things Like Hunter: Ralph Steadman’s  Cartoon Visions as Revelatory Masks in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”

Kevin J. Hunt

Chapter 10: “The Beautiful Madness”

JF Martel 

Chapter 11: “The Skin & the Double: Firbank’s Aesthetics of Surface”

Michael Hunter

Chapter 12: “The Tyranny of the Literal”

James Ley

Chapter 13: “God’s Twisted Identity”

Slavoj Žižek

Chapter 14:  “Conversation with Gary Lachman”

James Curcio

Chapter 15: “The Many Masks of Manifestation”

John Harrigan

James Curcio, Epilogue, “Origin Myths”

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