The Mourning of John Lennon Paperback – Mar 17 1999
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From Library Journal
Ambivalence in John Lennon's life and work is a primary theme in Elliott's self-described "metabiography," but it also applies to the author's attempt to "uncover some of the implications Lennon's assault on the ideology of celebrity carries for our personal and political lives." Elliott, a political scientist at the University of Melbourne and author of Psychoanalytic Theory: An Introduction (Blackwell, 1994), uses psychoanalytic, cultural, and critical theory to examine the way Lennon melded his music, politics, and view of celebrity. Elliott develops some insightful discussions, but obscure writing, some factual errors, and a reliance on secondary source material undermine his authority. Discussion of Lennon's intimate relationships are consciously limited to key women in his life, but it is hard to consider any treatment of his losses complete without an examinaton of the death of original Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe. Well intentioned but ultimately an optional purchase.ALloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Inside Flap
"John Lennon's death has left an appreciation of loss. Yet, through Elliott's book, we recover a powerful sense of those qualitieshonesty and idealism, irreverence and excitementthat Lennon represented while he was alive. It's a story we should take heart from."Paul Du Noyer, author of We All Shine On
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p. 41 Elliott confuses Freud's "primal scene" (accidentally viewing parents having sex) with Janov's "primal scream," which involved *any* key childhood trauma, quite often non-sexual in nature.
p. 84 Elliott states "some critics...suggest[ ]that he [John] actually beat up women, including his first wife." No need to suggest: in the Hunter Davies '60s Beatles bio, both Lennon and then-wife Cynthia openly discussed his violent episodes during their dating days. Although Cynthia later back-tracked in her book _John_, indicating that this was an isolated incident, in the Davies book both John and Cynthia gave the impression that he was violent more than once, on one occasion shocking a cleaning lady who witnessed his behavior and later warned Cynthia not to get involved with a person like that.
p. 116 and elsewhere Elliott uses "sedimenting" where one would use "cementing," as in, "cementing his image." Is this a regional slang usage or just bad proofing?
All in all, it reads like a dissertation hastily adapted for publication.
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