Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and the Fab Four

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Kenneth Womack, Todd F. Davis
SUNY Press, 2006 M02 9 - 249 pages
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Despite the enormous amount of writing devoted to the Beatles during the last few decades, the band s abiding intellectual and cultural significance has received scant attention. Using various modes of literary, musicological, and cultural criticism, the essays in Reading the Beatles firmly establish the Beatles as a locus of serious academic and cultural study. Exploring the group s resounding impact on how we think about gender, popular culture, and the formal and poetic qualities of music, the contributors trace not only the literary and musicological qualities of selected Beatles songs but also the development of the Beatles artistry in their films and the ways in which the band has functioned as a cultural, historical, and economic product. In a poignant afterword, Jane Tompkins offers an autobiographical account of the ways in which the Beatles afforded her with the self-actualizing means to become less alienated from popular culture, gender expectations, and even herself during the early 1960s.
 

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Contents

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together Bakhtin and the Beatles
9
From Craft to Art Formal Structure in the Music of the Beatles
37
Love love love Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Selected Songs by the Beatles
55
Painting Their Room in a Colorful Way The Beatles Exploration of Timbre
71
A splendid time is guaranteed for all Theorizing the Beatles
95
Mythology Remythology and Demythology The Beatles on Film
97
Vacio Luminoso Tomorrow Never Knows and the Coherence of the Impossible
111
The Spectacle of Alienation Death Loss and the Crowd in Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
129
The rest of you if youll just rattle your jewelry The Beatles and Questions of Mass and High Culture
161
A Universal Childhood Tourism Pilgrimage and the Beatles
169
Baby Youre a Rich Man The Beatles Ideology and the Cultural Moment
183
Spinning the Historical Record Lennon McCartney and Museum Politics
197
I Want to Hold Your Hand
215
BIBLIOGRAPHY
221
CONTRIBUTORS
233
INDEX
237

We fill Want to Change the World Postmodern Politics and the Beatles White Album
147
We can work it out The Beatles and Culture
159

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About the author (2006)

At the Pennsylvania State University at Altoona, Kenneth Womack is Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Todd F. Davis is Associate Professor of English. Together they authored The Critical Response to John Irving and Formalist Criticism and Reader-Response Theory, and edited Mapping the Ethical Turn: A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory. Davis is also the author of Kurt Vonnegut s Crusade; or, How a Postmodern Harlequin Preached a New Kind of Humanism, also published by SUNY Press.

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