Greil Marcus

Greil Marcus is a music journalist and cultural critic. His best known works include Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces, The Old Weird America, and The Shape of Things to Come

"If you're lucky, at the right time you come across music that is not only 'great,' or interesting, or 'incredible,' or fun, but actually sustaining. Though some elusive but tangible process, a piece of music cuts through all defenses and makes sense of every fear and desire you bring to it. As it does so, it exposes all you've held back, and then makes sense of that, too. Though someone else is doing the talking, the experience is like a confession. Your emotions shoot out to crazy extremes; you feel both ennobled and unworthy, saved and damned. You hear that this is what life is all about, that this is what it is for. Yet it is this recognition itself that makes you understand that life can never be this good, this whole. With a clarity life denies for its own good reasons, you see places to which you can never get."

– Greil Marcus, In the Fascist Bathroom: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992


Heartbroken Patriots

Greil Marcus’s new book interrogates American myths of success and belonging via adaptations and revisionings of “The Great Gatsby.”...

Myths and Depths: Greil Marcus talks to Simon Reynolds (Part 1)

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