Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen

Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen

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Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen, edited by Roxanne Harde and Irwin Streight, draws together close readings of Bruce Springsteen's lyrics by scholars across a range of academic disciplines. The editors first make a compelling comparison between Bruce Springsteen and William Shakespeare, carefully building the argument that both men offer profound insight into the hungry human heart. Springsteen, they argue, uses many Shakespearean themes such as the ties of blood and friendship, commitment to country and community, the monsters of lust and jealousy, vanity and power, and the hopeful pursuit of real love. These themes lift his music beyond stories of characters casing the Promised Land of America to universal matters of the heart's truth wherever it is found. Then, the twelve chapters of Reading the Boss, written by established and emerging scholars, engage readers both critically and enthusiastically with central issues in Bruce Springsteen's writing, as they read his explorations of gender, place, religion, philosophy, and other literary texts, notably the works of Walker Percy and Flannery O'Connor. Driven by arguments grounded in a wide variety of theoretical and critical positions, these essays offer a comprehensive and accessible discussion of Springsteen's oeuvre, from Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. to Working on a Dream that will appeal to both specialist readers and Springsteen fans alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739145364
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 08/14/2010
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 316
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Roxanne Harde is associate professor of English at the University of Alberta Irwin Streight is associate professor of English at the Royal Military College of Canada

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

A Note on Bruce Springsteen's Lyrics xi

Introduction: The Bard of Asbury Park Irwin Streight Roxanne Harde 1

Section I Reading Influence

1 Endlessly Seeking: Bruce Springsteen and Walker Percy's Quest for Possibility among the Ordinary June Skinner Sawyers 23

2 "On Blessing Avenue": Faith, Language, and a Search for Meaning in the Works of Bruce Springsteen and Walker Percy Michael Kobre 41

3 "The Flannery O'Connor of American Rock" Irwin Streight 53

Section II Reading Place

4 "Deliver Me from Nowhere": Place and Space in Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska Frank P. Fury 79

5 Tracking Place and Identity in Bruce Springsteen's Tracks Mike Cadó Teresa V. Abbruzzese 95

Section 3 Reading Gender

6 "Who's That Girl?": Nostalgia, Gender, and Springsteen Kenneth Womack 121

7 Growin' Up to Be a Nothing Man: Masculinity, Community, and the Outsider in Bruce Springsteen's Songs Ann V. Bliss 133

8 "Like a Vision She Dances": Re-Visioning the Female Figure in the Songs of Bruce Springsteen Liza Zitelli 151

Section 4 Reading Philosophy and Religion

9 A Covenant Reversed: Bruce Springsteen and the Promised Land Stephen Hazan Arnoff 177

10 Ironic Revelation in Bruce Springsteen Peter J. Fields 201

11 "I'll Work for Your Love": Springsteen and the Struggle for Authenticity John J. Sheinbaum 223

12 "May Your Hope Give Us Hope": The Rising as a Site of Mourning Roxanne Harde 243

Credits 267

Bibliography 275

General Index 285

Song Index 297

About the Editors and Contributors 301

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