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Morrissey The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart by Gavin Hopps

Morrissey The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart


Morrissey The Pageant of His Bleeding Heart by Gavin Hopps

This is the first full-length scholarly study of Morrissey's career - as a writer, performer, and troublemaker. Morrissey is arguably the greatest disturbance popular music has ever known. Even more than the choreographed carelessness of punk and the hyperbolic gestures of glam rock and the New Romantics, Morrissey's early bookish ineptitude, his celebration of the ordinary, and his subversive endorsement of celibacy, abstinence and rock 'n' roll revolutionized the world of British pop. As a solo artist, too, he consistently adopts the outsider's perspective and dares us to confront uncomfortable subjects. In his brilliant book, Gavin Hopps examines the work of this compelling performer, whose intelligence, humour, suffering and awkwardness have fascinated audiences around the world for the last 25 years. Hopps traces the trajectory of Morrissey's career and outlines the contours and contradictions of the singer's elusive persona. The book illuminates Morrissey's coyness (how can he remain a mystery when he tells us too much?) , his dramatized melancholy (surely more of a radical existential protest than the gimmick some believe it to be), and his complex attitudes towards loneliness and alienation, as well as his intriguing sense of the religious.


mention in Times higher Education Supplement, 4 June 2009 Hopps manages to tell Moz's life story in a way that educates even the most hardcore fans (like me). By comparing the artist to Romantic poets and incorporating references to film and other art forms, Hopps examines the former Smiths frontman with a critical eye and treats him as one of the most talented singer/songwriters of the last century. (And he is, isn't he?) Dive in, grab a highlighter and savor the plentiful footnotes. -Whitney Matheson, USA Today's PopCandy Mention in magic, October 2009 Mention in The Bookseller--, Hopps puts Morrissey, who he describes as pop's greatest disturbance, in the same tradition as Oscar Wilde and the Romantics, for none of whom is a simple or literal reading possible. Reggie Chamberlain-King, http: //iheartau.com/reviews/morrissey-the-pageant-of-his-bleeding-heart-by-dr-gavin-hopps/ Claiming that Morrissey is the most literary singer in the history of British popular music, and thus a serious artist working in a medium widely considered trivial, Hopps (theology, U. of St. Andrews, Scotland) compares his work to a number of canonical writers, among them Larkin, Beckett, Wilde, Hardy, and Christina Rossetti. http: //www.entrepreneur.com/tradejournals/article/205550381.html Hopps gives [Morrissey] plenty of passionate, well-informed attention in The Pagaent of His Bleeding Heart, a stylish and seductive hardcover from Continuum that reflects the love and devotion of its author to the subject's worldview and musical expression. This is not a rote biography or analysis of the shebeens and spielers with collaborators, but an ideal inquiry into the aesthetic and forces which shape Morrissey's lyrics, persona, and own influence on worldwide music culture. -KEXP, Seattle, WA Mention in The Bookseller--Sanford Lakoff [This is] the first book to focus on Morissey's lyrical output. -Publishing News--Sanford Lakoff The best book-length explication of Morrissey's peculiar genius I've come across. Acute when it does address the music, it focuses mostly on M's lyrical and vocal strategies (coyness, flirtation, caesuras and suggestive trailings away, irruptions of non-sense such as animalistic/Tourettic/comedic growls, ascent into nonverbal raptures of yodeling falsetto), then explores how these particular ways with words announce and embody a particular way of walking through the world; a life stance and ethic. Hopps managed to convince me that there's hidden depths and often-missed mischief secreted within the later work's deceptive slightness and can't-be-arsed-ness. A majorly illuminating work. - Simon Reynolds Finally, Morrissey's astonishing career as a writer and singer is treated with the scholarship it deserves. This is an outstanding, elegant book, of interest not only to Morrissey's fans, but to anyone interested in the literary capacity of pop music, as well as its power to enchant, seduce and unnerve - Michael Bracewell, author of England Is Mine and The Nineties: When Surface Was Depth

It's the best book-length explication of Morrissey's peculiar genius I've come across. Simon Reynolds--Sanford Lakoff

About the Author

Gavin Hopps is the Research Council's UK Academic Fellow in the School of Divinity at St. Mary's College, the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st March 2012


Gavin Hopps

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Continuum Publishing Corporation


320 pages


Rock & Pop music
Individual composers & musicians, specific bands & groups



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