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Fictional Blues

Narrative Self-Invention from Bessie Smith to Jack White

«"...illuminating, thought-provoking, refreshingly broad-minded..." — Los Angeles Review of Books

"The perspective Mack offers on blues mythology is fresh and compelling. Fictional Blues is well-researched, engaging, clear, confident, and important." — Emily J. Lordi, author of Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature

"Mack provides a complex mapping of American blues music to investigate the work it does as a multifaceted cultural trope, from its inception in the Jim Crow South to its global dissemination in the twenty-first century. Fictional Blues is certain to make an impact in African American studies, along with American literary and cultural studies writ large." — Caroline A. Streeter, author of Tragic No More: Mixed-Race Women and the Nexus of Sex and Celebrity»

The familiar story of Delta blues musician Robert Johnson, who sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads in exchange for guitar virtuosity, and the violent stereotypes evoked by legendary blues "bad men" like Stagger Lee undergird the persistent racial myths surrounding "authentic" blues expression. Les mer

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The familiar story of Delta blues musician Robert Johnson, who sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads in exchange for guitar virtuosity, and the violent stereotypes evoked by legendary blues "bad men" like Stagger Lee undergird the persistent racial myths surrounding "authentic" blues expression. Fictional Blues unpacks the figure of the American blues performer, moving from early singers such as Ma Rainey and Big Mama Thornton to contemporary musicians such as Amy Winehouse, Rhiannon Giddens, and Jack White to reveal that blues makers have long used their songs, performances, interviews, and writings to invent personas that resist racial, social, economic, and gendered oppression.Using examples of fictional and real-life blues artists culled from popular music and literary works from writers such as Walter Mosley, Alice Walker, and Sherman Alexie, Kimberly Mack demonstrates that the stories blues musicians construct about their lives (however factually slippery) are inextricably linked to the "primary story" of the narrative blues tradition, in which autobiography fuels musicians' reclamation of power and agency.

Detaljer

Forlag
University of Massachusetts Press
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
ISBN
9781625345493
Utgivelsesår
2020
Format
23 x 15 cm

Om forfatteren

Kimberly Mack is assistant professor of African American literature at the University of Toledo.

Anmeldelser

«"...illuminating, thought-provoking, refreshingly broad-minded..." — Los Angeles Review of Books

"The perspective Mack offers on blues mythology is fresh and compelling. Fictional Blues is well-researched, engaging, clear, confident, and important." — Emily J. Lordi, author of Black Resonance: Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature

"Mack provides a complex mapping of American blues music to investigate the work it does as a multifaceted cultural trope, from its inception in the Jim Crow South to its global dissemination in the twenty-first century. Fictional Blues is certain to make an impact in African American studies, along with American literary and cultural studies writ large." — Caroline A. Streeter, author of Tragic No More: Mixed-Race Women and the Nexus of Sex and Celebrity»

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