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A mild mannered medical technologist by day, Mann transmutes into a student of topographical onomastics when bitten by his interest in history and genealogy.
There is nothing enigmatic about the front cover image showing the Foster Gherkin as a space rocket at take-off; nor on the back, where the up-blown dress of Marilyn Monroe, an iconic image from The Seven Year Itch, transmutes into Gehryesque Bilbao titanium facades.
In other words, he seems concerned with tracing the process by which "pure" form transmutes itself into symbol.
In 1891, Friedrich Nietzsche completed Also sprach Zarathustra, in which he elaborated upon his conception of the Ubermensch, that rationally superior person who spurns conventional Christian "herd morality" and transmutes himself, like a triumphant alchemist, to fully realize human potential and creative mastery.
The mysteriously deep friendship that binds two boys, one middle-class, the other a semi-psychotic rebel, transmutes the magic of childhood and adolescence into a nightmarish paranoid fantasy.