An obituarist opens his archive to celebrate the obscure and the eccentric.
In Doomed and Famous, an obituarist opens his archive in celebration of the most marginal and improbable characters, creating a meta-fiction of extinction and obscurity. For many decades Adrian Dannatt tracked and dredged the dead, with a macabre disregard for the etiquette of mortality. His specialty, much in demand among even the most mainstream publications, was to memorialize those whose eccentricity or criminality made them unlikely candidates for the fleeting immortality of a newspaper necrology. Dannatt maintained a veritable lust, perverse certainly, for capturing and celebrating such wayward existences. This book is a selection of some of the best—meaning most improbable—of these miniature biographies.
Here are arranged an almost fictive cast of characters including an imaginary Sephardic count in Wisconsin, a sadomasochist collector of the world's rarest clocks, a discrete Cuban connoisseur of invisibility, an alcoholic novelist in Rio, a Warhol Superstar gone wrong, a leading downtown Manhattan dominatrix, a conceptual artist who blew up a museum, and many others. Dannatt terminates this volume with his own putative extinction, performing the difficult if not dangerous task of penning his personal life history and ultimate end.
About the Author
Adrian Dannatt is a writer, curator, editor and artist. His fiction and poetry has been published in anthologies including Best British Short Stories and PEN New Poetry and his books include the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Wim Delvoye, and most recently Les Lalanne: In the Domain of Dreams.
"The best moments lie in Dannatt’s musings on death itself, as, in death, “everything comes together as one giant, cosmic anecdote.” Dannatt’s collection is easy to dip into and difficult to put down."
"If I were in charge of high school curricula, I’d make Doomed and Famous required reading, to empower eccentric young souls.”—Kathelin Grey, Los Angeles Review of Books