Archive for February 2010
As part of the publicity campaign for Javier Marías’ Bad Nature, part of the recently introduced Pearl Series, I have been looking at Elvis related websites and contacting them about featuring Bad Nature on their sites.
In Bad Nature, the protagonist is a Spanish man working as a a translator and accent coach on a film shoot in Mexico. The story is fictional, but has an interesting portrayal of Elvis, and is accurate in it’s timing of his career. Elvis starred in many movies during the period between 1960 and 1967, but he took it a bit too far, and the movies became formulaic and his performances, both live and in the movies, suffered from his schedule of constant working and making movies. At the time, Javier Marías would have been about seventeen or eighteen, so (although we already know that this is fictional) it is unlikely that he shares this experience with the narrator of his story. Apparently Marías is obsessed with Elvis, so it is easy to imagine him wanting to create a story where he could place himself near Elvis, and this is probably the most likely way he would have gotten to work with Elvis.
This research has been cool because you would never really think about how many Elvis sites there are. According to Quantcast.com rankings, there are more than fifty websites in the top million websites on the Internet. This doesn’t sound like many, but the top million sites get a lot of traffic compared to most sites out there. According to some report written in February of 2008, there were approximately 156 million websites, of which 62 million were active. Considering that the total number of websites on the Internet has grown exponentially since 1995, this number could be way way more. So a site being in the top million is a pretty big deal. Many of the sites belong to Elvis impersonators. Oddly, a few of them belonged to motorcycle stores owned by guys named Elvis. But a lot of them are news sites, fan sites and collectors sites, to which I’ve been writing emails about the new publication. Some aren’t even active websites, which is crazy if you think about it, because more people have typed in things like “elvis-in-person.com” than have been to the New Directions website. There are Elvis fansites in many countries, like Norway, Romania, Poland, Australia, several from Holland, and there are Elvis sites that are just collections of links to other Elvis sites. Clearly, Marías isn’t the only person out there obsessed with Elvis.