O For Obscurity, Or, The Story Of N is a biography of The Mysterious N. Senada, the Bavarian musician who influenced the early music of The Residents, drawn from material discovered in the band’s archives long after Senada’s death. Working from encrypted diaries, Andrew Hook has managed to piece together Senada’s life from his beginnings in the Bavarian forest to his death in a nondescript hotel room. Focusing on the creative development of “Pollex Christi” whilst also illuminating the inspiration behind “Eskimo”, this book forms a unique insight into the mind of the man and his theories of Obscurity and Phonetic Organisation which so heavily influenced and defined The Residents.
Hook explains the discovery of the diaries and the background to the book here..
Hook’s writing is, of course, sublime, and his portrayal of the mercurial German is both entertaining and surreal. And like Senada, Hook seeks to produce pure art, free from interpolation or distraction, while still being accessible. He (somehow) achieves it. Pure art and a real statement of intent – Chris Kelso, author of The Dissolving Zinc Theater.
Impeccable, especially in the dissection of the spiralling thought processes of the protagonist. A fine piece of work
– Andrew Humphrey, author of Alison.