In the closing line of ‘Vicar in a Tutu’ Morrissey declares himself to be “a living sign” of the carnivalesque stance embraced by the vicar. The song, significantly included in the album entitled The Queen is Dead (1986) whose title-track offers a similar parody of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, is rich in strange images and complex associations. Interestingly, the song’s final sentence is sung with an extraordinary intensity, with the same line repeated through different melodic patterns, by which one can get the impression that Morrissey is trying to shift from the song’s narrative to a larger one in which to refer to his condition as a “living sign” within the vast and complex frame of contemporary popular culture. In order to read Morrissey from a semiotic perspective, and analyze his complex relationship with British, American and Italian popular cultures, it is necessary to rely on different approaches in a process where different categories such as the carnivalesque, iconicity, dialogism mix with each other. Bakhtin’s theory of the carnivalesque stands as a privileged perspective for the analysis of Morrissey’s parodic treatment of official culture. Peirce’s theory of the sign is also used in order to investigate the singer’s iconic status and his relationship with other cultural icons. Finally, Bakhtin’s dialogism and Barthes’ intertextuality are advocated in order to enquire Morrissey’s polyphonic consciousness and his capacity of quoting from many different texts using more discourse modes simultaneously.

"‘Vicar In A Tutu’: Dialogism, Iconicity and the Carnivalesque in Morrissey"

MARTINO, PIERPAOLO
2011

Abstract

In the closing line of ‘Vicar in a Tutu’ Morrissey declares himself to be “a living sign” of the carnivalesque stance embraced by the vicar. The song, significantly included in the album entitled The Queen is Dead (1986) whose title-track offers a similar parody of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, is rich in strange images and complex associations. Interestingly, the song’s final sentence is sung with an extraordinary intensity, with the same line repeated through different melodic patterns, by which one can get the impression that Morrissey is trying to shift from the song’s narrative to a larger one in which to refer to his condition as a “living sign” within the vast and complex frame of contemporary popular culture. In order to read Morrissey from a semiotic perspective, and analyze his complex relationship with British, American and Italian popular cultures, it is necessary to rely on different approaches in a process where different categories such as the carnivalesque, iconicity, dialogism mix with each other. Bakhtin’s theory of the carnivalesque stands as a privileged perspective for the analysis of Morrissey’s parodic treatment of official culture. Peirce’s theory of the sign is also used in order to investigate the singer’s iconic status and his relationship with other cultural icons. Finally, Bakhtin’s dialogism and Barthes’ intertextuality are advocated in order to enquire Morrissey’s polyphonic consciousness and his capacity of quoting from many different texts using more discourse modes simultaneously.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/10913
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