By Gary Vikan
Graceland is much more than a wildly popular tourist destination associated with a famous entertainer, and Elvis Presley is much more than the King of Rock 'n' Roll. As former Walters Art Museum director and medievalist Gary Vikan shows us in his fascinating new book, Graceland, the second-most visited historic house in the U.S., is a locus sanctus-a holy place-and Elvis is its resident saint, while the hordes of fans that crowd Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis are modern-day pilgrims, connected in spirit and practice to their early Christian counterparts, sharing a fascination for icons and iconography, relics, souvenirs, votives, and even a belief in miracles. Vikan reveals the emergence of contemporary holy places-Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the Grassy Knoll in Dallas, Place de l'Alma in Paris-and shows us that the saints of our day are our "martyred" secular charismatics, from Elvis to John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson and others.
10.25 x 7.25 in