Approaching David Bowie in literary terms means conceiving his work as a sort of dialogue among dialogues where music interrogates other art forms and in which images, sounds, and words constantly redefine themselves. Bowie’s songs and, in particular, his lyrics are characterised by a powerful theatrical dimension; they are associated with many different masks which the author constructed during his ca- reer in order to problematise the very notion of a natural, stable, and authentic identity that was dominant in popular music in the 1960s. As Bakhtin would have put it, these songs are underpinned by differ- ent voices, all resonating within the author’s words. Indeed, Bowie’s work is nourished by a deep dialogical relationship with writers such as Shakespeare, Wilde, Orwell, MacInnes, and Kureishi. What seems particularly relevant is Bowie’s ability to create, through his concept albums, an art form which both draws on literature at various levels and somehow becomes itself literature, recovering the power and direct- ness of early oral poems within extremely rich and complex narrative structures.

From Oscar Wilde to Hanif Kureishi. David Bowie and English Literature

Martino Pierpaolo
2019

Abstract

Approaching David Bowie in literary terms means conceiving his work as a sort of dialogue among dialogues where music interrogates other art forms and in which images, sounds, and words constantly redefine themselves. Bowie’s songs and, in particular, his lyrics are characterised by a powerful theatrical dimension; they are associated with many different masks which the author constructed during his ca- reer in order to problematise the very notion of a natural, stable, and authentic identity that was dominant in popular music in the 1960s. As Bakhtin would have put it, these songs are underpinned by differ- ent voices, all resonating within the author’s words. Indeed, Bowie’s work is nourished by a deep dialogical relationship with writers such as Shakespeare, Wilde, Orwell, MacInnes, and Kureishi. What seems particularly relevant is Bowie’s ability to create, through his concept albums, an art form which both draws on literature at various levels and somehow becomes itself literature, recovering the power and direct- ness of early oral poems within extremely rich and complex narrative structures.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/258373
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