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Robert Johnson: Mythmaking and Contemporary Amercan Culture
Schroeder, Patricia R.
University of Illinois Press ,
ISBN 0-252-02915-1 ,
, 0.461 kg
Category: Robert Johnson
Description: No description
An examination of the culture of myth making by looking at the myths surrounding
Robert Johnson and how they were used by various writers and artists. Suddenly
Robert Johnson is everywhere. Though the Mississippi bluesman died young and
recorded only twenty-nine songs, the legacy, legend, and lore surrounding him
continue to grow. Focusing on these developments, Patricia R. Schroeder's Robert
Johnson, Mythmaking, and Contemporary American Culture breaks new ground in
Johnson scholarship, going beyond simple or speculative biography to explore
him in his larger role as a contemporary cultural icon. Part literary analysis,
part cultural criticism, and part biographical study, Robert Johnson,
Mythmaking, and Contemporary American Culture shows the Robert Johnson of
today to be less a two-dimensional character fixed by the few known facts
of his life than a dynamic and contested set of ideas. Represented in novels,
in plays, and even on a postage stamp, he provides inspiration for "highbrow"
cultural artifacts--such as poems--as well as Hollywood movies and T-shirts.
Schroeder's detailed and scholarly analysis directly engages key images and
stories about Johnson (such as the Faustian crossroads exchange of his soul
for guitar virtuosity), navigating the many competing interpretations that
swirl around him to reveal the cultural purposes these stories and their
tellers serve. Unprecedented in both range and depth, Schroeder's work is
a fascinating examination of the relationships among Johnson's life, its
subsequent portrayals, and the cultural forces that drove these representations.
With penetrating insights into both Johnson and the society that perpetuates
him, Robert Johnson, Mythmaking, and Contemporary American Culture is
essential reading for cultural critics and blues fans alike.
10 August 2005
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