Thursday, June 14, 2007


About a month ago, a shipment arrived at my bookstore bearing a copy of the most esoteric and dry looking book known to the world of literary history: An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin by Rohan Kriwaczek.

Well, what does one do with this?...gothic cover et al. Does one shelf it in history? In Music? Nay, one snatches it up and places it in the staff picks section. This book is too good to pass up, mockworthy and full of hours of random page opening.

After my coworker and I used the ireads application on Facebook to "review" this slighted piece of brilliance with high words of praise, I decided to wikipedia the book just to see what I could glean about Funerary Violins.

What I discovered and what remains the best part of the whole experience --- is that the funerary violin book is indeed a complete and utter hoax.

The publisher was hoaxed.

The agent was hoaxed.

Unsuspecting bookstore clerks who chalked it up as yet another strange history book were hoaxed.

I dare you to google it, and to dive into a labyrinth of mistruths. In an age ( *cough* James Frey and the Da Vinci Code ) where readers are forever blurred with lines crossing fact and fiction and an incessant need to read about secret societies and a tyrannical Catholic Church, research into the supposed Guild of Funerary Violinists will definitely stay your thirst.

Search Rohan Kriwaczek's website to find sound snippets of songs that never existed, to read more of Herr Hieronymous Gratchenfleiss, to be directed to the website for the Guild of Funerary Violinists, to read of Kriwaczek's made up credentials in his made-up history, to order famous cd's of funerary violinists to register to fake universities for fake courses dealing with this "forgotten" form of musicianship.


It is sheer genius, utterly fun and worth a second glance.

Also, it is destined to become a rarity, so buy the book soon. Who knows what limited run this lucky piece of work will have.


No comments: