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

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $83.82   
  • New (3) from $83.82   
Sending request ...

Overview

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.

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Midwest Book Review
College-level music and literary collections alike will find this a winner!
Rocky Mountain Review
Call it what you will -- hyperbolic, hagiographic, hilarious -- but Roxanne Harde and Irwin Streight, editors of Reading the Boss, liken their subject to a modern-day Shakespeare. Their introduction, "The Bard of Asbury Park," adumbrates some of the literary traits the two share; beyond a 2009 cover photo from Rolling Stone and its resemblance to the famous Chandos portrait of the Bard, there's Springsteen's abiding interest in loco-descriptive histories, or stories involving a particular place (i.e. Nebraska, Thunder Road, E Street), class struggle, song cycles and the fact that both the Boss and the Bard "offer a profound insight into the hungry human heart -- and Springsteen, arguably, with more breadth and depth than any other current American singer-songwriter" (6)....editors Harde and Streight have assembled some informative and insightful approaches to the Bard of the Garden State.
Eric Alterman
It is no longer surprising to see scholars devote themselves to the significance of Bruce Springsteen, whether as a performer, a poet, or a global cultural symbol. But it is indeed a pleasure to find the quality of such investigations so consistently impressive, probing, and often eloquent. This is a collection worthy of its subject. I know of no higher praise.
Joel Dinerstein
This collection focuses explicitly on Bruce Springsteen's literary connections: to the authors Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and John Steinbeck (among others), and to the tensions in his songcraft, whether of rebellion and rootedness, or gender and blue-collar ethnic masculinity. In contrast to a discourse often filled with praise-song, these essays instead hone in on the artistic elements Springsteen wields to create moments of redemption for his everyday alienated working-class characters.
Midwest Book Review
College-level music and literary collections alike will find this a winner!
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739145357
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 8/20/2010
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet 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
Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)