A History of Violence (1973)
Publisher: Nine-Banded Books
Author: David Cotner
Release Date: July 1, 2022
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7.5 x 9.25 | 400 pages | Profusely illustrated | Softcover
1973. The year of the deaths of writers W.H. Auden and Victor Jara; actors Bruce Lee and Lon Chaney Jr.; and artists Robert Smithson and Pablo Picasso. The year of Skylab and Pioneer and Kohoutek. The year of the mass murders of Edmund Emil Kemper, Herbert William Mullin, Charlie Chop-Off, and The Alphabet Killer.
A History of Violence (1973) also stands as a testament to the tireless efforts of law enforcement to solve the violent crimes that grip America. In 1973, America sees the first blue flashing lights that complete the lightbars of today’s police cruisers; the breathalyzer comes into common usage; and Dr. Lester Luntz becomes the first forensic odontologist to try to crack a case by obtaining a search warrant to get a cast of a suspect’s teeth.
A History of Violence (1973). A history book for the history books.
A History of Violence (1973) represents the culmination of 20 years of exhaustive research, employing the digital advances that have thrown wide the doors of archives everywhere for a greater understanding of the human condition – both scaling the heights of creation and plunging to the depths of annihilation. With an audience as wide-ranging as true-crime enthusiasts, police detectives and horror movie buffs, A History of Violence (1973) also presents a seething array of lurid and alluring movie advertising art – some unseen for more than 40 years.
This isn’t the book about violence you thought you wanted. This is the book about violence you knew you needed.
David Cotner is a culture critic, composer, and conceptual artist. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Weekly, the Village Voice, the San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere. He lives in and around the greater metropolitan Los Angeles area.
What speaks to us, seemingly, is always the big event, the untoward, the extra-ordinary: the front-page splash, the banner headlines. Railway trains only begin to exist when they are derailed, and the more passengers that are killed, the more the trains exist. Aeroplanes achieve existence only when they are hijacked. The one and only destiny of motor-cars is to drive into plane trees. Fifty-two weekends a year, fifty-two casualty lists: so many dead and all the better for the news media if the figures keep going up! Behind the event there is a scandal, a fissure, a danger, as if life reveals itself only by way of the spectacular, as if what speaks, what is significant, is always abnormal: natural cataclysms or social upheavals, social unrest, political scandals…Awful! Terrible! Monstrous! Scandalous! But where’s the scandal? The true scandal? Has the newspaper told us everything except: not to worry, as you can see life exists, with its ups and downs, things happen, as you can see.
— Georges Perec, “The Infra-Ordinary” (1973)