An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin
An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violin is a 2006 book by Rohan Kriwaczek, purportedly tracing the lost history of funerary violin. Contrary to its title, the book is a work of fiction and not an actual account of history.
Peter Mayer, the publisher of Overlook Press, doubted the veracity of the book and the history that it was said to contain; nevertheless, he agreed to publish it. Violin dealers and stringed instrument publications quickly refuted the existence of a musical genre called "funerary violin," as reported by the New York Times.
Defending his decision to publish the book, Mayer said:
- I decided it didn't really matter to me how much of this was actually accurate. It was a life's work. [Kriwaczek] was dedicated to this guild not being forgotten, dedicated to the music. I decided this is just an amazing piece of work, and I wanted to publish it,... Who knows if it's true, but it's unbelievable reading.
Book stores that have agreed to stock the book are unsure how to categorize it. The book does not really belong in fiction because it is not a typical narrative, but the art history section would also be incorrect because much "historical" fact has been invented.
Kriwaczek argues that his book is neither a hoax nor an attempt to mislead. He issued a statement on October 5, 2006 saying that he wanted to "expand the notion of musical composition to encompass the creation of an entire artistic genre, with its necessary accompanying history, mythology, philosophy, social function, etc."
- JULIE BOSMAN (October 4, 2006). "British Author Espies a Funerary Violin Vacuum and So Fills It". New York Yimes.
- "An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin". Archived from the original on January 13, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
- "An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin - Book Reviews - Books". Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-04-18. Retrieved 2013-04-29.
- "History of the Art of Funerary Violin". Writing.Com. Retrieved 2013-04-29.
- Uncovering the 'True' History of the Funerary Violin by National Public Radio, accessed October 5, 2006.
- The funerary violin by Radio National, accessed April 28, 2007.
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