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In search of Nirvana : why Nirvana : the True Story could never be "true"

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Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
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Abstract

In my book Nirvana: The True Story (2006), I undertake an autoethnographical approach to biography, attempting to impart an understanding of my chosen subject - the rock band Nirvana - via discussion of my own experiences. On numerous occasions, I veer off into tangential asides, frequently using extensive footnotes to explain obscure musical references. Personal anecdotes are juxtaposed with "insider" information; at crucial points in the story (notable concerts, the first meeting of singer Kurt Cobain with his future wife Courtney Love, the news of Cobain's suicide), the linear thread of the narrative spills over into a multi-faceted approach, with several different (and sometimes opposing) voices given equal prominence. Despite my firsthand experience of the band, however, Nirvana: The True Story is not considered authoritative, even within its own field. This article considers the reasons why this may be the case.In my book Nirvana: The True Story (2006), I undertake an autoethnographical approach to biography, attempting to impart an understanding of my chosen subject - the rock band Nirvana - via discussion of my own experiences. On numerous occasions, I veer off into tangential asides, frequently using extensive footnotes to explain obscure musical references. Personal anecdotes are juxtaposed with "insider" information; at crucial points in the story (notable concerts, the first meeting of singer Kurt Cobain with his future wife Courtney Love, the news of Cobain's suicide), the linear thread of the narrative spills over into a multi-faceted approach, with several different (and sometimes opposing) voices given equal prominence. Despite my firsthand experience of the band, however, Nirvana: The True Story is not considered authoritative, even within its own field. This article considers the reasons why this may be the case.

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